A fisherman can make a good amount of silver from the bountiful waters of Black Desert. There are plenty of areas to fish, inland and in the sea. There are also a variety of fish to discover in both fresh water and salt water. Fish have a variety of uses including cooking, alchemy and trading, provided the fish is rare enough.
To fish, you must first obtain a Fishing Rod. You can get one from a Fisher merchant (some Otters at water sources sell them), a Material Vendor or as quest rewards. You can also craft one via Workers in a tool workshop or buy one in the Marketplace.
You can fish from any body of water as long as it's not shallow. Whenever you equip a fishing rod near a suitable water source it will show you the abundance of fish. If there are visible schools of fish they usually bite quickly. If the resources are exhausted, they will bite only rarely. Fish resources can be exhausted from a region due to popularity, so it's best to fish in different areas from time to time. As time progresses and your skill gets better you will find it easier to catch rarer fish. While fishing you gain EXP for your fishing skill as well as your overall level. A higher fishing skill will give a chance to not use rod durability upon cast.
Fish, as in real life, will spoil if enough time has passed (usually 24h) and will become unusable. Their value will gradually decrease over time till they expire. To allow fish to last longer you must dry them out. A dried fish will have much less value than a fresh one, but will not expire. The higher your processing skill, the more dried fish you will obtain (but the maximum is 3). Since you can use fish in cooking and one fresh fish equals 2 dried white ones as ingredient, that means that drying increases your yield. Another advantage is that dried fish stack while fresh ones don't. Dried fish can be converted into trade goods on a fishing workbench as well.
Besides using fish for cooking it can be sold for money to Trade Managers like trade goods or sold for higher profits to the Imperial Fishing NPC (see below). Remember that dried fish cannot be sold like this; only fresh fish.
Note: you can obtain dried fish from workers sent to Fish Drying Yards, the fish subnodes. Drying them yourself takes time and is generally seen as a waste of time.
After equipping a fishing rod of your choice, approach a body of water and press the space bar to begin fishing. Once a fish has taken the bait you have to hit the space bar while the moving indicator is in the blue range. If you're successful you will next need to correctly enter a sequence of the "WASD" keys in the order shown within a limited timeframe to successfully catch the fish. Depending on the rarity of the fish, some may have longer sequence than others.
When you hook a fish and do not manually catch them, you will begin to Auto Fish. This is great when you have to leave for a little bit, but still wish to make some extra money. The type of fish and speed at which you fish will depend on your current stats.
You do not need to enter the command as you progress auto fishing. Not everything you catch will be useful, so if you're worried about your inventory space you can always click the ‘throw away useless items caught during auto-fishing’ tick box to put you at ease. As of the 10th of October 2018 all white quality fish has been updated to green and all types of fish are caught even with the 'throw away useless items'.
Every cycle of auto fishing usually has a time limit of 3 minutes.
If you press "P" to access your Profile (now called My Information) and look at the right side of the information given in the Battle Stats tab you'll see that there are various categories with a range from zero to five levels.
One of these is Fishing. As the little explanation that appears if you hover the name indicates, increasing these levels will cut down your Fishing time (bite time between each fish). It can only go up to 5. Any more levels you stack will not increase your Fishing speed.
There's a multitude of rods to choose from. Each have their own fishing skill level requirement and durability.
Balenos, Calpheon, Epheria and Mediah fishing rods can be enhanced up to +10. Enhancing will increase their efficiency and increase their max durability by 5. They have no safe enhancement level and can degrade past +7, so it is recommended to force after this stage.
The Calpheon and Mediah rods increase their chances +1% per enhancement level. For example a Calpheon Fishing Rod +10 will have +11% chance to catch Big Fish.
Fishing floats are equipped in the Secondary Weapon slot and give an increased chance to catch Big or Rare Fish. They can be enhanced up to +10.
Other Fishing Equipment
You can use bait (Cooking or quest reward) to increase the speed of fish biting. Fishing clothes will increase your fishing skill and stop monsters (except scout types) from attacking you while fishing or squatting. Boats and rafts can be used to fish away from the coast, extend your inventory and be equipped with items that increase the chance for certain fish types.
Different locations provide different fish. If an area is "exhausted" it is very unlikely to catch any fish but one will usually instead catch useless (sell) loot or items like Silver Keys or Ancient Relic Crystal Shards. Check the following page for a complete list of all fish species that can be caught in the different locations of the game.
A lot of time you will receive items that are not any living water creature but bycatch. Sometimes this is sell loot but sometimes those are quite valuable (keys for treasure chests, Ancient Relic Shards to make combine into scrolls for boss mobs etc.). Even the Bycatch that is marked as sell-loot can be useful since quests require it sometimes.
There are quite a few fishing quests which either tell you to fish and bring certain fish or turtle or such - or items which contaminate lakes and oceans.
- Holio (West of Heidel): Fertilzer Sack, Washed-Up Laundry, Tattered Boots
- Baggio (stream near Western Guard Camp): Broken Hooks and Broken Bottles
- There is a daily quest from the NPC near the Western Guard Camp bridge for a hook but she takes tattered nets.
- Jiro (on the bridge close to Bradie Fortress): asks you to bring him 5 tattered boots - if you have finished the quest "special fish" and the Apprentice Fisher uniform in your inventory.
There are seven Imperial Fishing Delivery NPCs, one in each territory of the continent. They buy certain amounts of blue and yellow quality fish. They will buy fish at 250% of the value regardless of their age, as long as they are not expired. For yellow quality fish, they yield Shiny Calpheon Fishing Seal, which can be exchanged for special items.
Since they only accept a certain amount of each type, they might refuse to buy yours, especially if the fish is local. In that case, you can travel to the next one, wait 3 hours for the reset, or switch channels.