Old School Runescape – The Complete Fishing Guide

Our OSRS Fishing Guide will help you level faster, train multiple skills at the same time, and even make money in the process!

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Fishing is one of the F2P skills in Old School Runescape, that can be trained with both F2P and P2P methods. It is a very slow skill to train, and making money with fishing is not that profitable, but it helps. Follow our OSRS fishing guide in order to learn the ins-and-outs of the Skill, through simple processes, detailed tables, and a ton of icons to help you identify each item quicker!

This skill allows you to catch fish that can be found in some specific spots around the OSRS world. Each kind of fish has its specific spot and equipment to catch and that also requires you to have specific Fishing levels in addition to some other requirements.

You can make money from this skill by selling the Fish to the Grand Exchange, or you can cook it to make edible food that gives you Hitpoints when eaten. The cooked Fish can also be sold to the Grand Exchange, but the profits might be lower as you may burn some Fish depending on your Cooking level.

In this article, we will introduce the fastest way to level 99 Fishing as well as some money-making methods. Almost all of the methods below will be semi-AFK, and keep in mind that Fishing training is fairly cheap, as you only pay for the equipment.

Make sure to check out all 23 OSRS skills in our relevant guide.

OSRS Fishing 101

There isn’t only one way to fish in OSRS, and that’s the beauty of it!

While you can focus on training fishing the conventional way, you can also engage in Aerial or Barbarian Fishing, which will let you train more skills simultaneously!

Read on to learn the specifics:

How to Fish Regularly

Fishing Spots, Old School Runescape
Fishing Spots, Old School Runescape

To start fishing, you need to find a fishing spot that allows you to catch the desired fish. Each fishing spot in the game has different fishing options, each option requires different fishing equipment and it gives you a specific range of fish.

These fishing options also require you to have a specific Fishing level, and the required fishing equipment for each option will be explained later in this article.

Clicking on the fishing spot while having the required fishing equipment in your inventory is all you have to do, then your character will automatically start fishing until you get a full inventory or the fishing spot depletes.

Barbarian Fishing

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Barbarian Fishing is a type of fishing activity that gives you Fishing XP, Strength XP and Agility XP. Although the Strength and Agility XP gained from this method is not great, it is a good way to train 3 skills at the same time.

To be able to do that, you will need to finish the Barbarian Fishing task in the Barbarian Training. You start the Barbarian training by speaking to Otto Godblessed NPC near Baxtorian Falls. Talk to him about the Barbarian training while having at least level 48 Fishing, 15 Strength and 15 Agility.

These levels are required to be able to catch Fish from Otto’s lake, and you can do that by using the Barbarian Fishing Rod which can be found underneath the bed in his house. There are only 3 types of Fish can be caught this way; Leaping trout, Leaping Salmon and Leaping sturgeon. Each type has its required levels to be caught and can only be caught this way in either Otto’s Lake or Mount Quidamortem.

The Leaping Fish is cannot be cooked (unlike the normal Fish) but used instead to get Roe and Fish offcuts by using a Knife on them.

Fish Level / Levels XP / XP XP  (cutting)
Leaping trout 48 15 50 5 10
Leaping salmon 58 30 70 6 10
Leaping sturgeon 70 45 80 7 15

There is also another type of Barbarian Fishing where you can catch Fish with bare hands. instead of using a Harpoon. This type of Barbarian Fishing requires at least level 55 Fishing and level 35 Strength. It gives Fishing XP and Strength XP only unlike the Barbarian Rod method.

There are only 3 types of Fish can be caught using Bare hands; Tuna, Swordfish, and Shark. Each one of them has its required Strength and Fishing levels. This type of Barbarian Fishing can only be done in fishing spots with the “Harpoon” option as its mainly used to replace the Harpoon.

Fish Level Level XP XP
Tuna 55 35 80 8
Swordfish 70 50 100 10
Shark 96 76 110 11

Note that both of the Barbarian Fishing ways above may require you to complete some other Tasks during the Barbarian Training.

Aerial Fishing

Lake Molch Island, Old School Runescape
Lake Molch Island, Old School Runescape

It is another type of Fishing that gives you XP in both Fishing and Hunter Skills by catching Fish at Lake Molch Island. It requires you to have a level 35 Hunter and level 43 Fishing.

To be able to start fishing this way, you need to have a Cormorant’s glove equipped to be able to send the Cormorant to the fishing spots in Lake Molch by clicking on them.

Aerial Fishing, Old School Runescape
Aerial Fishing, Old School Runescape

The Cormorant’s glove and the Cormorant itself can be obtained for free from Alry the Angler at Lake Molch.

Bait is needed to perform this type of Fishing and the main Bait used is King worms which can be found on the island. You can only catch specific species this way which is shown in the table below.

Creatures Level XP Level XP Level XP
Bluegill 43 11.5 35 16.5 1 3.5
Common tench 56 40 51 45 1 10
Mottled eel 73 65 68 90 1 20
Greater siren 91 100 87 130 1 25

These fish species cannot be cooked but using a Knife to cut them will produce Fish chunks which can be used as a Bait instead of King worms.

Fishing in Lake Molch has a chance of finding Molch pearls which can be used to get some fishing items from Alry the Angler’s Angling Accessories but the most important item to obtain this way is the Angler’s outfit.

What’s Fishing Guild?

Fishing Guild, Location, Old School Runescape
Fishing Guild, Location, Old School Runescape

The Fishing Guild is a place where you get an invisible Fishing boost of level 7. This place can only be accessed once you reach level 68 or higher. The boost won’t allow you to catch Fish that require a higher level than your actual Fishing Level.

The place is known to be a good spot for Fishing and storing your Fish instead of dropping it due to the close distance to the bank.

The Fishing Contest Quest

Catching Minrows, Old School Runescape
Catching Minrows, Old School Runescape

Fishing Contest is a Fishing quest that allows you to catch Minnows in the Fishing Guild at level 82 Fishing upon completion. Players usually complete it for this specific reason only because catching Minnows can be a not bad way to make money off Fishing.

This quest is a short and easy P2P quest, so it is advised to complete it if needed, however, you won’t need it to follow our guide.

Fish Species, Level Requirements & XP

The table below shows all the Fish species in the game, and everything you need to know about them.

Additionally, you can check how you can use the Fish you catch in order to level / make money with your Cooking skill.

Fish Level XP Level XP Caught With Heals
Shrimp 1 10 1 30 Net 3
Sardine 5 20 1 40 Bait 4
Karambwanji 5 5 N/A N/A Net N/A
Herring 10 30 5 50 Bait 5
Anchovies 15 40 1 30 Net 1
Mackerel 16 20 10 60 Big Net 6
Trout 20 50 15 70 Fly 7
Cod 23 45 18 75 Big Net 7
Pike 25 60 20 80 Bait 8
Slimy eel 28 65 28 95 Bait 6-10
Salmon 30 70 25 90 Fly 9
Frog spawn 33 75 N/A N/A Net 3-6
Tuna 35 80 30 100 Harpoon 10
Rainbow fish 38 80 35 110 Stripy fly fishing 11
Cave eel 38 80 38 115 Bait 7-11
Lobster 40 90 40 120 Cage 12
Bluegill 43 11 1 3 Cormorant N/A
Bass 46 100 43 130 Big Net 13
Leaping trout 48 60 1 10 Heavy rod N/A
Swordfish 50 100 45 140 Harpoon 14
Lava eel 53 60 53 30 Bait 11
Common tench 56 40 1 10 Cormorant N/A
Leaping salmon 58 70 1 10 Heavy rod N/A
Monkfish 62 120 62 150 Net 16
Karambwan 65 50 30 190 Vessel 18
Leaping sturgeon 70 80 1 15 Heavy rod N/A
Mottled eel 73 65 1 20 Cormorant N/A
Shark 76 110 80 210 Harpoon 20
Sea turtle 79 38 82 212 Fishing Trawler 21
Infernal eel 80 95 N/A N/A Bait N/A
Manta ray 81 46 91 216 Fishing Trawler 22
Minnow 82 26 N/A N/A Net N/A
Anglerfish 82 123 84 230 Sandworms 3-22
Dark crab 85 130 90 215 Cage 22
Sacred eel 87 105 72 108-124 Bait N/A
Greater siren 91 100 1 25 Cormorant N/A

Fishing Gear & Useful Equipment

Some items are needed to be able to catch Fish or to do it more efficiently, most of these items are purchased from the Fishing shops.

Angler’s outfit

Angler's Outfit, Old School Runescape
Angler’s Outfit, Old School Runescape

It is a Fishing outfit that gives a Fishing boost of 2.5% XP when equipped during any Fishing activity.

This outfit is obtained through Aerial fishing by collecting 100 Molch pearls to buy it from Alry the Angler’s Angling Accessories at Lake Molch.

It can also be obtained from the Fishing Trawler minigame where you have a chance of 1/8 to find a piece of the outfit in the trawler net after completing the minigame.

 

 

Small & Big Fishing Nets

Net Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape
Net Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape

These Nets are required to catch different Fish species, especially at the low Fishing levels. The Big Nets are used to catch various Fish species and both of the nets are used in the seas. The two nets can only be used on a fishing spot with a “net” option such as these near the Lumbridge Swamp. Both of them Nets are obtained from the fishing shops.

Only some specific Fish species can be caught this way such as Shrimps.

Fishing Bait

Fishing Bait Shop, Old School Runescape
Fishing Bait Shop, Old School Runescape

Bait is needed for some Fishing equipment and it can be bought from the fishing shops or obtained through killing some monsters such as Zombies.

There are different types of Bait, each one of them is shown in the table below along with its required Fishing level.

Fish Level
Sardine 5
Herring 10
Pike 25
Slimy eel 28
Cave eel 38
Lava eel 53
Infernal eel 80
Sacred eel 87

Note that the Infernal eels and Lava eels cannot be bought from a fishing shop and they require starting the Heroes’ Quest to get Oily Fishing Rod to be able to catch them. Ice gloves are also required while the Firecape is required for catching Infernal eels only.

The Firecape is used for accessing the inner city of Mor Ul Rek where you can catch Infernal eels, while the Ice gloves should be equipped to catch both types of the eels.

The Lava eels are only found in the lava rivers in Taverley Dungeon or in the Wilderness Lava Maze.

Normal Fishing Rods

Bait Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape
Bait Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape

These Fishing Rods are used to catch Fish in rivers and seas. They can only be used in fishing spots that have a “bait” option and bait is needed with the Fishing rod to be able to catch Fish. Only some specific Fish species can be caught this way such as Sardines

Fly Fishing Rods

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Fly Fishing Rods are used to catch Fish species in the rivers. You need Feathers to be able to use the Fly Fishing Rod which can be bought from some fishing shops such as Fishing Guild Shops or by killing monsters such as Chickens.

They can only be used in fishing spots that have a “lure” option like these in Barbarian Village. Only some specific Fish species can be caught this way such as Trouts.

Harpoons

Harpoon Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape
Harpoon Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape

Harpoons are used for Catching Fish in the seas and there is no bait needed. They can only be used in fishing spots that have a “Harpoon” option. Only some Fish species can be caught using a Harpoon such as Sharks.

Harpoons can be bought from some fishing shops just like the other Fishing equipment.

There are four types of Harpoons aside from the normal one. All of them will save an inventory slot while equipped, unlike the normal Harpoon.

Barb-tail Harpoon

It is obtained from trapping a barb-tailed kebbit which requires level 33 Hunter. Unlike the normal Harpoon, Barb-tail Harpoon can be equipped which saves one inventory slot.

Dragon Harpoon

This Harpoon is obtained by killing Wyrms and requires level 61 Fishing to use and level 60 Attack to be equipped. It also gives a 20% faster catch rate than the normal Harpoon.

The Harpoon Special Attack consumes 100% and boosts the Fishing level by 3.

Infernal Harpoon

It is an advanced version of the Dragon Harpoon which can be made by using a Smouldering stone on a Dragon Harpoon. The Smouldering stone can be obtained by killing Cerberus or Hellhounds. To do that, you need level 85 Cooking and level 75 Fishing.

The Smouldering stone charges the Harpoon with 5,000 charges and can be recharged by using another Smouldering stone or a Dragon Harpoon.

The Infernal Harpoon has the same catch rate boost of a Dragon Harpoon in addition to a chance of 1/3 to automatically cook the Raw fish to gain half the Cooking XP that you would normally gain by doing it manually. However, the Fish will be completely consumed.

It has the same Special Attack of a Dragon Harpoon

Crystal Harpoon

This Harpoon requires the completion of Song of the Elves Quest and level 71 Fishing to use, also level 50 Agility and level 70 Attack are required to wield the Harpoon.

This Harpoon has a 35% faster catch rate than the normal Harpoon, and it has 10,000 charges once created.

It can be created through the Singing bowl as you combine a Dragon Harpoon, a Crystal Tool Seed, and 120 Crystal shards. to do that you need to have level 76 Crafting and Smithing.

Recharging the Harpoon requires Crystal shards, each Crystal shard gives 100 charges to the Harpoon.

It has the same Special Attack of an Infernal Harpoon.

Lobster Cages

Cage Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape
Cage Fishing Spot, Old School Runescape

Lobster cages are only used for catching Lobsters in the sea where you can find a fishing spot with the “Cage” option.

Karambwan Vessels

Karambwan Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape
Karambwan Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape

It is used for catching Karambwans on the northern coast of Karamja (near DKP Fairy Ring), and it is obtained by completing Tai Bwo Wannai Trio Quest. After completing the Quest, the Karambwan vessels become purchasable from Tiadeche in Tai Bwo Wannai Village.

The Vessels must be charged with karambwanji first which can be caught at level 5 Fishing using a small fishing net in the lake located south of Tai Bwo Wannai Village. You can also buy them from Tiadeche in Tai Bwo Wannai Village.

Tiadeche NPC, Old School Runescape
Tiadeche NPC, Old School Runescape

Rada’s blessing

A reward from completing the different Kourend & Kebos Diaries. It gives an extra catch chance which increased as you obtain a higher Rada’s blessing from the more difficult Diaries.

Fishing Training – Level 1-99

Leveling Fishing is very straightforward, and quite cheap compared to the rest of OSRS skills.

I’ll show you how to get from level 1 to 99, in just 3 steps:

Fishing Level 1-20

Shrimps Fishing, Old School Runescape
Shrimps Fishing, Old School Runescape

Catch Shrimps (10 XP / Fish) & Anchovies (40 XP / Fish).
Required items: Small Fishing Net

At level 1 you should be catching Shrimps which are found in the fishing spots that have the “Net” option. You can find these spots in many places, such as the eastern water of Lumbridge Swamp. To do that, you will need a Small Fishing Net in your inventory.

Once you real level 15 Fishing, you will automatically begin to catch Anchovies since they are caught the same way as Shrimps.

You should drop the caught Fish instead of depositing them once you have a full inventory to get better XP/Hour ratio.

Fishing Level 20-58

Fly Fishing, Old School Runescape
Fly Fishing, Old School Runescape

Fly Fishing (20~40K XP / Hour).
Required Items: Fly Fishing Rod & Feathers

Fly Fishing is your best choice once you reach level 20 Fishing. To do that you will need a Fly Fishing Rod in addition to Feathers which are used as a bait. You can obtain Feathers by killing Chickens or by buying them from some NPCs such as Gerrant’s Fishy Business in Port Sarim.

Fly Fishing Rod can be used in the fishing spots that have the “Lure” option only. These spots can be found around the map such as the spot west of the River Lum near the Barbarian Village.

At level 20, you begin with catching Trouts, each Trout gives you 50 XP.

You will begin to catch Salmons once you reach level 30, each Salmon gives 70 XP. Rainbow Fish (80 XP each) can be caught at level 38 but they require using Stripy feather which can be obtained by hunting Tropical wagtail at level 19 Hunter.

It is also advised to drop the Fish instead of banking it, in order to gain XP more efficiently.

Fishing Level 58-99

"Heavy

XP/Hour: 30~65K
Required Items: Barbarian Fishing Rod & Feathers/Bait

The best way to train Fishing in OSRS, is probably Barbarian Fishing, since you also gain Strength XP and Agility XP at the same time. You can only do that at Otto’s Grotto or Mount Quidamortem while having a Barbarian Fishing Rod in your inventory.

To be able to do that, you have to finish the Fishing part of the Barbarian Training. You can check OSRS Fishing 101 above to learn more about how this works.

Keep in mind that you still need a bait either a normal fishing bait or Feathers.

At level 58, you will be catching both Leaping trouts and Leaping Salmons. Once you reach level 70, you will begin to catch Leaping sturgeons all the way until level 99.

It is advised to drop the Fish to gain more XP per Hour instead of banking them.

Please check the table in the Barbarian Fishing section to learn more information regarding the XP gained for catching each of the three species.

Alternative Methods to Level Fishing

If you are looking to make something more from your fishing training, in terms of money & XP, then use these 2 methods after level 62:

AFK Leveling – Catching Monkfish

Monkfish Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape
Monkfish Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape

Required level: 62
Required Items: Small Fishing Net & Completion of Swan Song Quest
XP/Hour: 15~30K

You can begin to catch Monkfish at level 62 Fishing with 120 XP gained for each Fish. To do that you need to complete Swan Song Quest as well as having a Small Fishing Net and a fishing spot with the “Net” option. The only fishing spot that gives Monkfish is located in Piscatoris Fishing Colony.

It is advised to choose the fishing spots close to a bank such as these at the southeastern shore in Catherby since you can make decent money by selling the Raw Monkfish to the Grand Exchange.

This method is very good to be AFK while making some decent money in addition to the Fishing XP even if it is a low XP rate.

Multi-Skill Training – Aerial Fishing

Aerial Fishing Activity, Old School Runescape
Aerial Fishing Activity, Old School Runescape

Recommended level: 73 Fishing & 65 Hunter
Required Items: Cormorant’s glove & Cormorant
XP/HR: 60K Fishing & 40~60K Hunter

Generally, you can start Aerial Fishing at level 35 Hunter and 43 Fishing, but its recommended to do it at level 73 Fishing and level 65 Hunter as it can be more efficient. Aerial Fishing is a very good way to train 2 skills at the same time in general.

You can start Aerial Fishing at Lake Molch and to know more information about Aerial Fishing, check the Introduction to Noob section above. Note that this method is very click-intensive.

Fishing Money Making

I guess one of the main reasons you picked up fishing training, is to make some OSRS gold!

There are 2 methods that I’ll suggest you to follow, one on the AFK side, and one on the optimal side!

AFK Money Making – Catching Anglerfish

Anglerfish Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape
Anglerfish Fishing Spot Location, Old School Runescape

Required level: 82
Recommended level: 90+
Required items: Normal Fishing Rod & Bait (Sandworms) & 100% Piscarilius favour
XP/Hour: 15K
GP/Hour: 200K

Anglerfish can only be caught at the “Bait” fishing spots in Port Piscarilius which require 100% favor to use. The bait used there is Sandworms which can be bought from Tynan’s Fishing Supplies in Port Piscarilius. Each Anglerfish gives 120 Fishing XP.

This method gives pretty slow XP with a kinda decent GP per Hour, but it is fairly AFK, which is a bonus for a lot of people. It is recommended to use this method only if you have to be AFK for a while, otherwise it’s a pretty bad method.

High GP / Hour – Catching Sacred Eels

Sacred Eels Fishing Spots Location, Old School Runescape
Sacred Eels Fishing Spots Location, Old School Runescape

Required level: 87 Fishing & 72 Cooking
Recommended level: 90+ Fishing & 90+ Cooking
Required Items: Normal Fishing Rod, Bait & Knife & Partial Completion of Regicide Quest
GP/Hour: 300K+
XP/Hour: 20K

Sacred eels are caught at Zul-Andra village’s “Bait” fishing spots which can only be accessed once partially complete the Regicide Quest (until reaching Tyras Camp). You will also need to speak to High Priestess Zul-Harcinqa there before catching any Sacred eels.

The XP gained here is not that great but the main target here is making money as you can use a Knife on the Sacred eels to gain 3~9 Zulrah’s Scales for each Sacred eel. Doing that will grant you Cooking XP in addition to the regular Fishing XP you get by catching the Sacred eels (105 Fishing XP).

The amount of Zulrah Scales gained for each Sacred eel is highly depending on your Cooking level. That’s why it is highly recommended to use this method with a Cooking level of 90 or higher. By doing that you can earn up to more than 300K GP per Hour in addition to the XP.

So.. Is Fishing Worth It?

You should only be focusing on reaching level 99 Fishing as fast as possible instead of making money since it is not the best skill to make money.

Making money is just an option if you wanna be AFK while training this skill.

Rimuru
Rimuru
Petroleum engineer that hates his career. Playing various genres of games for 5~8 hours/day. Ambitious, perfectionist and always looking for areas of improvement. Currently learning various stuff & playing OSRS.

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