For those of you who enjoy the simpler things in life when taking a little downtime from questing and skyshard-hunting, The Elder Scrolls Online has added the option to fish!
Unlike previous iterations of the once-single-player-only series, catching fish in ESO is no longer like picking flowers (as in Skyrim) or a hack-and-slash duel to the death (as in Oblivion with the slaughterfish). Now it is an actual activity you can participate in with your friends in a bid to catch the biggest, rarest fish.
While fishing now requires the use of a fishing pole and a little patience, you won't need gold to get them - the moment you create your character, he or she is already equipped with a starter fishing pole.
Why would you want to fish?
The first reason is because it is simple, cheap, and an easy way to earn gold. While you can purchase bait from shops, this can get expensive really quickly since even the cheapest baits cost about 15 gold each. The free way takes a little more legwork, but it's a heck of a lot more fun! Killing small animals and insects, as well as harvesting plants can supply you with all the starting bait you will need.
The second reason is that fishing in ESO is a complimentary skill - you don't actually need to do it in order to craft, but it goes a long way in benefiting your ability to do so. The fish you catch can be used when mixing potions in Alchemy or cooking recipes in Provisioning.
There are rare fish and special achievements associated with fishing, and every time you catch one you will gain experience and increase your proficiency in fish - which then allows you to catch fish faster and easier, with better rewards. You may also find rare and special fishing poles as you progress through your game which are much better than the starter pole.
Furthermore, this is an activity you can do either on your own or with a friend. In fact, rather than scaring the fish away, fishing with friends ups both your chances of catching rare fish!
Where can I find bait for free?
Before you can fish, you will need to choose the right kind of bait. Luckily, these are not hard to find at all, and you will have plenty of opportunities to find these little critters on and in between your questing adventures. Here are some of the easiest ones to find!
1)Guts can be harvested by killing small animals like rats, frogs, chickens, guar, and small ocean minnows.
2)Crawlers can be harvested by killing spiders.
3)Insect parts and insects can be harvested from insects like butterflies and torch bugs. (Note: simply walk up to these and press 'E', you do not need to attack them.)
4)Shad bait can be found in foul water (e.g. sewers, swamps).
5)Worms can be gathered while you are harvesting plants (e.g. jute).
How do I fish?
While there are bodies of water everywhere, you will only be able to fish where you see splashing and rippling spots in the water. When you mouse your cursor over these, a prompt to press 'E' will appear.
Doing so will open up a wheel with all the different types of bait you have available - much handier than rifling through your inventory lists. Choose the appropriate bait type and your character will automatically attach and cast it into the water.
The option to 'reel in' will appear. Watch the floater carefully, if it dips under the water, use that prompt and reel in your catch! Every time you cast you will have the chance to change your bait type.