As with everything else concerning fishing in WoW, El'x Extreme Anglin' is your best buddy and a fantastic source of information on where to find fish, drop rates, information on pool spawns, and Fishing achievements.
Accomplished Angler is a very work- and time-intensive meta-achievement, so I've taken the liberty of splitting this guide up. The first set of achievements you'll need:
Grand Master Fisherman
Sorry, folks, there's no real way to shorten this one; you've just got to keep fishing. One of the nice things about the profession is that you can level it anywhere -- the only penalty to leveling it in an area with higher "fishing skill" than you currently have is the amount of junk you'll catch versus actual fish. But on your way to Grand Master, you'll have put a lot of work in towards:
No way to cheese this one either, but fortunately it counts objects as fish too. If you're starting from scratch, the best way to do it might be to combine 1000 Fish with the following achievement, angling for a fish from a low-level area:
One That Didn't Get Away
Regrettably, this achievement is wholly a matter of luck -- or, more commonly, agonized grinding. All of the fish listed for the achievement have very, very low drop rates (think 0.1% or less -- about what you would expect while grinding one of the whelpling pets), and it's not unusual for players to spend hours trying to land a single catch. To put this in perspective, I've caught well in excess of 3,000 items right now trying to get both the Dark Herring and the Sea Turtle and have nothing to show for it. That's why, if you're starting to level Fishing from scratch, I recommend combining this achievement with the leveling process. You only need to catch one of the following for the achievement, and they can be found in the following locations:
- 103 Pound Mightfish: Any part of the ocean in Azshara.
- 15 Pound Mud Snapper: This can be found in any of the ponds located in level 5-10 areas -- Stillwhisper Pond in Eversong, Crystal Lake next to Goldshire, and Stonebull Lake surrounding Bloodhoof Village. If it's an inland pool of water in any of the starting towns, you'll have a shot at catching it there.
- 22 Pound Lobster: Bay of Storms in Azshara -- so, yes, you do have a shot at catching either this or the 103 Pound Mightfish if you fish in Azshara.
- 29 Pound Salmon: This can be caught in inland pools of water located in level 50-60 areas (e.g. Winterspring, Eastern Plaguelands).
- 32 Pound Catfish: This can be caught from any inland pool in 10-20 areas or dungeons like Wailing Caverns or the Deadmines.
- 52 Pound Redgill: Anywhere you can catch ordinary Redgill.
- 68 Pound Grouper: Anywhere you can catch ordinary Grouper.
- Dark Herring: The fact that this can be used as a weapon cracks me up. You can fish it up from Fangtooth Herring schools in Howling Fjord, or any inland waters in Grizzly Hills.
- Rockhide Strongfish: Can be caught (very rarely) from Tastyfish schools during the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza each Sunday.
- Steelscale Crushfish: The ocean in Hillsbrad Foothills.
- You can sell the Fangtooth Herrings: This is more lucrative if you're a chef and can cook Spicy Fried Herring.
- You can sell the Pygmy Suckerfish: Alchemists use these to make Pygmy Oil, which is both a reagent for several recipes and a fun little item on its own.
- Fishing from pools gives you a shot at the Sea Turtle mount: And, of course, the Turtles All the Way Down achievement, although it's not part of the "Salty" meta.
The Fishing Diplomat
Ugh. It was once possible for Alliance to coast through this achievement by fishing in a phased version of Orgrimmar during the Fate, Up Against Your Will quest in the aftermath of the Wrath Gate battle. Blizzard eighty-sixed that at some point in 2009, so now both Alliance and Horde will need to scurry into the enemy cities to yank a fish out of the waters.
Horde has this a lot easier than their Alliance counterparts, because fishing in Stormwind's harbor counts. Swim up along the coast until you're in Stormwind territory, hop a nearby rock (or use an Elixir of Water Walking), cast, yank a fish out -- and there's your achievement.
For Alliance, fishing in Orgrimmar is more troublesome. The two pools of water in Orgrimmar are in the Valley of Spirits and the Valley of Honor. If all you're after is just that one fish as quickly as possible, your best bet is to ride through the western entrance into the city to the Valley of Spirits and yank a quick fish from the water there. Bear in mind that Horde players port into Orgrimmar from the troll huts in the southeastern end of the Valley, so your timing here may suck for reasons that have nothing to do with you.
Fish Don't Leave Footprints
This one should happen quickly enough once you start fishing from pools anywhere out in the world; the Weather-Beaten Journal that teaches you how to Find Fish drops from crates fished up from "schools" of fish or (more commonly) wreckage pools. You won't find any of these pools in capital cities or 5-10 zones, but you will start seeing them pop up in world zones after that.
You can and should combine the above achievement with --
The crates that drop the Journal teaching the Find Fish school are much more likely to drop from the wreckage pools you'll need for this achievement than an ordinary school of fish. As a gloss on where you can find the following pools:
- Bloodsail Wreckage: Hunt along the southern and eastern coast in Stranglethorn Vale.
- Floating Wreckage: Hunt along the coastlines in Feralas, Azshara, and Tanaris.
- Schooner Wreckage: Hunt along the coastlines in the Hillsbrad Foothills, Wetlands, and the Stonetalon Mountains. "But there aren't any coasts in Stonetalon," you point out. So how'd Schooner Wreckage get there? The world may never know. Just check the central pond and the stream running through the Venture Company's logging operation.
- Steam Pump Flotsam: This one's easy -- all of the Steam Pump Flotsam schools spawn around the lakes in Zangarmarsh.
- Waterlogged Wreckage: The Stranglethorn Vale river, Faldir's Cove in the Arathi Highlands, the eastern coast of Dustwallow Marsh, Desolace, and the coast of Lordamere Lake in the Alterac Mountains.