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Fishing is the action of catching fish from bodies of water. The mechanics of fishing changed greatly in Tale 5, and fish now give fish meat or rotten fish, fish oil, scales, and occasionally fish roe.

How to fish

Equipment and skills

To catch fish, you need three things:

  1. Fly Fishing skill;
  2. A Fishing Rod in your inventory;
  3. One or more Lures in inventory.


Before you can catch any fish, you must first select a lure from those that you are carrying. To do this, bring up your own menu, select "Skills...", "Use Lure...", the type of insect, and then the level of lure.

This type of lure will be used for all subsequent fishing attempts. If you no longer carry any lures of that type, a popup will tell you that you need to use a lure.

You may also want to increase your speed statistic while fishing, as some fish can only be reliably caught with up to 28 speed.

Making the casts


You can then fish by standing near water and clicking on the fish action icon in the top-left of your window. Fishing takes about 14 seconds, and the results will be shown in your Main channel. If you caught a fish, you will also see a flyaway message. You can fish again immediately after getting the results of the previous cast.

The results

Whether you catch a fish or not, there is a chance of losing your lure. Fresh lures (made with Fly Tying 1) have a very high chance of loss, while Hardened lures (requiring Fly Tying 4) may last for hundreds of casts.

There are 5 possible outcomes from each cast:

  • You didn't catch anything. Try different lures and locations. This means that your cast was unsuccessful, and you should try again.
  • No fish bit. Try different lures and locations. There are no fish of sufficient size to be caught by you, due to fishing out the types that are available at this time. This applies per-avatar, not by location.
  • You almost caught an unusual fish, but you were not quick enough. Your speed was not high enough to catch this type of fish. If it is almost enough, you may catch them on future casts.
  • You almost caught an odd fish, but you were too late recognizing the bite. Your Fly Fishing skill was not high enough. You can only catch that type of fish by increasing your skill, though enormous amounts of fishing.
  • You almost caught a strange fish, but your rod was too clumbsy. You may need a better fishing rod, though there are currently none in existence. You may succeed on future attempts.
  • Caught a <size> deben <fish type>. You caught a fish! Note that fish have a bulk of 20 debens each, so it is easy to become overloaded.

Fish Products

To get useful products (meat, oil, roe, and scales) from a fish, it must be filleted. The best way to do this is at a kitchen using its menu → Skills → Fillet Fish, but with filleting skill you can also do it on the spot. See the Filleting page for more information.

The longer you wait before filleting, the fewer debens of products you will receive. If you fillet the fish on the spot, you will also receive fewer debens of product though higher filleting skill will reduce the loss. If you wait two hours, you will get only Rotten Fish, though this does have uses and can even be cooked in a meal. (Eww!)

Fishing Better

Much research has been conducted on how fishing works, and consequently how to catch the largest fish of the types you want. For an in-depth look at current research, see Fishing Theory.

A Quick Guide

There are 7 common fish types which can generally be caught all day and year-round: abdju, carp, catfish, chromis, perch, phagrus, and tilapia. All other fish are uncommon, and only show up in specific game months, and during specific times of day. Up-to-date tables for which fish are known to be available in this game month, and which times and lures to use, can be found in Fishing Tables.

Each fish type have one of more best lures, with other lures catching consistently smaller or no fish of that type. Time of day also matters, almost imperceptibly for common fish and a great deal for uncommon fish.

A second factor is that every catch of a fish reduces the size of future catches for that avatar, and other successful casts (any result but "you didn't catch anything") increase it back toward the maximum.

To catch the maximum fish of a given type of fish every time, you need to space them out to 1 in 10 casts. One strategy that gives a large amount of fish is to switch between the best lures for 3 uncommon fish, and two other lures that between them give all 7 common fish. Then you can fish up one of each of 3 types of uncommon fish, followed by one of each common fish to reset the reduction. Following this strategy, you should always get close to maximum fish sizes and never see a "no fish bit" message.