The Fishing side quest is a short side quest that becomes available after you have completed the events at the Draklor Laboratory and reached Balfonheim Port for the first time. Additionally, you will need to have completed the Desert Patient (and Lost Cactoid) side quests:
Gathering items for Dantro’s wife and completing the Lost Cactoid side quest to gain access to the North Bank Village from the South Bank Village.
Travel to the South Bank Village by warping to the Dalmasca Estersand. Speak to Ruksel who can be found standing out on one of the piers near the beach. He will explain to you that he does not have a rod for fishing and will ask you if you have any ideas.
Warp back to Balfonheim Port and head to the Chivany Breakwater area. Look for an NPC named Fishing Enthusiast and speak to him. The first time you speak to him he will talk about ships from Archades and Bhujerba. Speak to him again and he will ask if you have business with him. Ask him about the Fishing Rod and he will tell you about it, explaining that it is a particularly rare rod and he will tell you that it is unlikely that you will obtain one.
Walk towards the Aerodrome but do not leave Chivany Breakwater. Turn around once you reach the entrance to the Aerodrome and head back to where the Fishing Enthusiast was sitting. He will be gone and a fishing rod will be found leaning up against the side of the building. Examine it to obtain the Muramata fishing rod and then head back to South Bank Village.
Speak to Ruksel again to initiate the Fishing mini-game. The controls are fairly straightforward – the object of the game is to press the buttons that appear on the screen in order to “catch the fish”. If the string of buttons reach the edge of the screen before you enter them correctly or if you press the wrong button the ‘fish’ will get away.
You can catch up to six fish during each trip and you need to successfully catch all six in order to reach new areas in which to fish.
This is the starting area. You will catch Common Fish here and the rewards for achieving a perfect score are either 100 gil, a Hi-Potion or a Water Stone.
You can reach this area if you achieve five perfect scores while fishing at the Downstream location. You can catch both Common Fish and Delicious Fish here and the rewards for achieving a perfect score include Fish Scales, 100 gil and Water Magicite.
You can reach this area if you achieve five perfect scores while fishing at the Midstream location. Both Common Fish and Delicious Fish can be caught here and the rewards for a perfect score can be either a Fish Scale, a Turtle Shell, a Frogspawn or a Cactoid Compact (once). You can only obtain the Cactoid Compact after you have obtained the Matamune (details below).
You will need to have obtained the Matamune rod after having found the Cactoid Compact. You can obtain Delicious Fish and the Nebra Succulent in this location. Rewards for perfect scores include Hi-Potions, Adamantites and a Cactoid Commendation.
Den of the River
You will need to have obtained the Cactoid Commendation. You can catch Nebra Succulent and King of Nebra fish here and the rewards for a perfect score include Adamantites and Scarletites. You can also receive the Lu Shang’s Badge after catching 9 King of Nebra fish.
While fishing, you may obtain an empty bottle that turns out to be a colored bottle, either the Blue Bottle, Black Bottle, Green Bottle, Red Bottle or Yellow Bottle. Each bottle provides a clue to a specific location as outlined below.
|Blue||Truth lies just beyond falsehood, CDZCKZMCRANZS||The clue is the letter before each of the ones listed. C becomes B, D becomes E, etc. resulting in DEADLANDS BOAT.
Travel to the Echoes of the Past area of the Nabreus Deadlands to find the item which is an X-Potion.
|Black||Easy as a, b, c so count yourself lucky. 19-12-21-9-3-5-7-1-20-5-18-1-20-19||The numbers correspond to letters of the alphabet. It decodes to SLUICE GATE RATS.
Travel to the Central Control area of the Garamsythe Waterway and follow the rats on the ground to find the treasure (which sparkles on the ground); an Elixir.
|Green||Skip on stones to far bank’s shore, by skipping stones return once more. SSADLNIAKLADHAUETDNREA||The location can be found by skipping every second letter and then starting again from the end when your reach it and coming back. This results in SALIKA HUT NEAR DEADLANDS.
Head to the Piebald Path area of the Salikawood to find a faint glow on the ground. The item is a Hastega Mote.
|Red||Foothills rise in mountains’ shadow. nhIiQsTUrEe||The capitalized letters form one word while the lower case words form the other. The clue is QUIET shrine.
Travel to the Babbling Vale area of the Mosphoran Highwaste to find the treasure near the corner of one of the shrines. The item is a Holy Mote.
|Yellow||Dragons stir among the eaters of the wind. 1 2 - - 5 – 7 – 9 -||The “eaters of the wind” refers to Windmills which can be found in the Cerobi Steppes. Travel there and activate Windmills 1, 2, 5, 7 and 9 while deactivating the other 5 windmills. The final will give you the prize (a Hi-Ether).|
You will receive the following clues as you locate each of the treasures:
The first five words can be used to determine the order – it goes River, Forest, Fire, Ash, Darkness. The second letters can be used to determine the location as follows:
The final letters make up the last word, but oddly enough, one letter is missing:
Therefore, the final clue reads “underground bridge to nowhere”. Travel to the Barheim Passage and head to the Zeviah Span using the West Annex. Gilgamesh will appear and will provide you with the Matamune fishing rod.