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Fishing is a skill and practice is the best way to get better.
The mechanics of fishing in FFXI are to type /fish into the command bar while you are at a fishing spot and have a fishing rod and bait or lure equipped. Casting the bait or lure into the water will not guarantee you a fish will hook the line. Certain fish are only found in certain areas and will only go after a select few types of bait and normally each fish has a specific preference it will go after more than anything else.
Once something has hooked your line you have to fight the fishes stamina until it's weak enough to reel in. The fish's stamina bar is located just above your own in the bottom right of the game screen.the way to fight the fish is to watch the rod movements. when the rod moves to the right, use the character's movement key in the opposite direction and vice versa for when the rod is to the left. If the rod is standing straight up in the air, don't be pushing any buttons at all. Once the catches stamina reaches empty hit your enter key to reel the thing in. At this point the thing on the line will be identified as either an item or a fish or in some cases a monster with will automatically aggro you and set claimed by you. It's necessary to defeat any monsters you fish up as they will interrupt any further casts you make if they hit you while alive.
Several resources exist to assist you in fishing so I would check out the FFXI wikipedia as well as Kida's Fishing Database for further information.
Shiva.chimera 21:22, 2 May 2009 (UTC)