Take up cooking & fishing as soon as you can. Check here for locations to start in. http://www.capsu.org/wow/skill_and_location.html
Level up to at least 50-75 fishing skill in the beginning locations, before trying to fish in one of the capitol cities for better drops of fish. You can level from 1-375 in capitol cities, since leveling is ONLY based on successful catches, but it wouldn’t be worth it. I prefer getting most of my skillups from fishing in the Blackmouth/Firefin/Wreckage pools that I find, so I feel like I’m accomplishing something while I’m fishing, with the chance of getting loot from the occasional chest. Fish are also the best source of cooking mats to skill up, because they rarely require spices or additional mats. Why skill up cooking? Most of the recipes that you can make with meat that drops off beasts will give you a +2/+4/+6/+8/+10/+XX Stamina & Spirit buff for 15 minutes. I like any edge that a buff gives me, and free health is nice. The higher recipes can also have other bonuses, instead of Stamina.
Fishing will pay off as well. Even in early areas like the Ratchett coastline, you can run up and down the coast in the Oily Blackmouth Pools/Wreckage Pools and get a lot of Oily Blackmouth fish, which sell well on the AH to Alchemists. You also have the chance to get unlocked lockboxes, which contain BOLTS of cloth, varying types of leather, mana/health potions, and silver. Stranglekelp is also a frequent drop. I used to sneak down to Tanaris with my lvl 25 Hunter and fish down the coastline from Steamwheedle port (needs 225 fishing skill + lure to prevent getaways), finding Oily Blackmouth/Firefin/Stonescale Eel/Wreckage pools. Those pools will often yield Mithril lockboxes, which gave me BOLTS of mageweave and runecloth, thick and rugged leather, recipes, silver, and lvl 44 weapons (which I would disenchant). This was way before I could kill humanoids that dropped mageweave and runecloth, and it was relatively safe because the turtles don’t attack you. Just watch out for enemy players and the Bloodsail Buccaneers.
Looking forward to making a lvl 19 twink for the battlegrounds? Be aware that most twinks have the +12 stamina/+5 fishing boots and +15 stamina/+5 fishing hat from the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza (insert link from the fishing page). Skill up your fishing to 150, equip a +100 lure, use a Strong Fishing pole (+5 fishing), and you’ll be good to fish in Stranglethorn. I’d recommend setting your hearthstone in Booty Bay the night before, and swimming out to Yo’jamba????? Island before logging out for the night. The fishing contest is 2-4 pm every Sunday, SERVER time. On Demon soul, that means 11 am to 1 pm California time. I hate getting up early on weekends, but it’s worth it for the bonuses to a twink. You also have a slim chance of winning the contest, with a choice of a fishing pole you can’t use before level 50, or a trinket that turns you into a fish, much like a Druid’s Aqua form.