Deviate Fish are unusual because they are one of the few items that make something popular with those at maximum level, but can be caught and cooked by those at level 10 or 15.
Deviate Fish can be eaten raw, giving one of the following "effects" (from nachers): Additional Spirit (+5 for 30 minutes) or health (an instant heal or rejuvenation over time), reductions in Stamina and Strength for 2 minutes, 30 seconds of sleep, or random dancing and waving ("Party Time", for 2 minutes). They sell best when cooked as Savory Deviate Delight. When eaten, the cooked fish turn you into either a pirate or ninja for an hour. In addition to the curious visual change, both the pirate and ninja forms cannot be turned into sheep, frogs, turtles or any other creature those traditional mages decide upon (immune to polymorph effects - from Swiftlady). The ninja form doesn't alter the loot your party gains when in dungeons.
Stacks of twenty Savory Deviate Delight normally sell for several gold, making them one of the best sources of income at low level. The Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight is required to cook the fish. This recipe drops from monsters in the Northern Barrens. Before the Cataclysm the recipe was very rare. It is now commonly found by members of the Horde, but is rarely found by Alliance because the Northern Barrens is a Horde zone.
Deviate Fish can only be caught in the Northern Barrens, specifically:
- Open water in the three oases found inland in the Northern Barrens - The Forgotten Pools, Lushwater Oasis and The Stagnant Oasis (map of oases shown right).
- Open water in The Wailing Caverns - both in the tunnel to the dungeon, and in the dungeon itself.
- Pools called "School of Deviate Fish", found in the three oasis.
Even those who have just started fishing will be able to catch Deviate Fish. The Northern Barrens' oases require 100 fishing skill to fish open water without catching junk (see The Role of Skill (Revised)). The Wailing Caverns requires 75 skill.
The Northern Barrens is a Horde area, so is safe for Horde and unsafe for low-level Alliance where the factions are at war ((PvP servers)). The monsters around the oasis are about level 15, so very low level fishermen and women may still struggle. The Wailing Caverns (dungeon) are full of "elite" monsters just below level 20. Depending on class, entering the Wailing Caverns alone below level 30 will be hard. For higher-level fishermen and women, the dungeon can be a lot safer than fishing at the oasis, because you cannot be attacked by others.
Open Water Fishing
Data gathered from sources such as the Book of Thott is unreliable because the main areas Deviate Fish are caught in also contain Schools of Deviate Fish. As described below, pools are far more likely to yield a Deviate Fish than open water. We do not know what proportion of catches are from pools, and what are from open water.
I have fished for Deviate Fish across a number of different locations, and for each of the four "standard" times of day (see Variation by Time for an explanation of why time of day might be important). I primarily fished in the Lushwater Oasis and in the Screaming Gully (which is inside the Wailing Caverns dungeon ((instanced area))). I also fished in the Caverns of Mist (immediately outside the entrance to the dungeon part of the Wailing Caverns), and at The Stagnant Oasis.
The table below summarises catches. Over 2000 fish were caught during 14 hours of fishing. "Other" includes Deviate Scale, Lesser Healing Potion, Lesser Mana Potion, 17-32 Pound Catfish, and Bloated Mud Snapper.
|Fish||Number of Catches||Percentage of All Catches|
|Raw Brilliant Smallfish||271||13%|
|Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish||323||16%|
|Raw Longjaw Mud Snapper||816||40%|
Overall, 29% of the catch from open water are Deviate Fish. Only Deviate Fish have any real value at high level, so the catches of other items are not particularly important.
The most common myth is that the catch rate is higher inside the Wailing Caverns than outside in the Northern Barrens. The table below compares the Screaming Gully (which is the first water found inside the Wailing Caverns dungeon) with catches from areas outside of the dungeon (primarily the Lushwater Oasis).
|Location||Number of Catches (All Fish)||Percentage of Catches that were Deviate Fish|
|Screaming Gully (Dungeon)||661||30%|
The difference between locations is just 1%. Since the dungeon catch is small (only 661 catches), it is impossible to conclude the dungeon part of the Wailing Caverns has a higher catch rate: Most likely the catch rates are the same.
The proportion of the catch that are Deviate Fish does vary in any one hour, between about 25% and 35%. This makes it difficult to prove there are no variations by time in place. As described in the Variation by Time topic, catch rates for some fish vary based on four time periods. The table below summarises the catch of Deviate Fish for each of these four periods.
|Time of Day||Number of Catches (All Fish)||Percentage of Catches that were Deviate Fish|
At first glance there seems to be a slightly better catch rate during daylight hours. But the actual number of catches is very small in some cases, and certainly not enough to confirm variation by a few percentage points. So, again, it is highly likely that there is no variation by time of day: On average all times, like locations, will give the same catch rate for Deviate Fish.
Pools containing Deviate Fish can be found in the three Oases in Northern Barrens. These pools are called School of Deviate Fish. For an introduction to pool fishing, please read the Pools and Schools chapter.
There are four possible pool spawning locations in each of the smaller oasis (Forgotten Pools and Stagnant Oasis) and 8-9 in the Lushwater Oasis. I have not found any pools in The Wailing Caverns or approaches to The Wailing Caverns. All the pools are in a linked set. There will never be more than four pools visible anywhere in the set, which means you may not always find a pool in each lake. Similarly, do not expect to be able to fish pools in just one oasis indefinitely.
Once you fish a pool empty, a replacement pool immediately appears somewhere else in the set. There is no other apparent limit on how these pools appear: For example, no minimum time between a pool location being fished and a new pool being able to appear at that location. The set only contains Deviate Pools, so there is no need to be concerned about fishing other pool types (see Pool Spawning for more details on why this isn't the case for all pool types). All this means that in spite of the low number of pool locations, you should be able to fish them indefinitely, and always be able to find a School of Deviate Fish.
20-25 pools can be fished each hour, depending on how fast you can travel between Oasis. This assumes nobody else is fishing them. In practice, Schools of Deviate Fish are very commonly fished, which will reduce the number of pools you can fish.
Based on a sample of 54 pools, the average number of catches per pool was 4.1, with a range from 2 to 6. 89% of catches from pools were Deviate Fish - an average of 3.6 Deviate Fish per pool. Other items caught include Tightly Sealed Trunk, Rumsey Rum Light, and 1-3 Stranglekelp.
Best Deviate Fish Catch Method
29% of fish caught in open water were Deviate Fish. Assuming 150 fish can be caught each hour, that's about 44 Deviate Fish per hour. There was no reliable evidence of any major variation between locations or times of day. It doesn't matter whether you fish in the oasis or in the Wailing Caverns, or in the morning or evening - the results will be similar.
Each pool yields an average of 3.6 Deviate Fish. Assuming 20 pools can be fished an hour, that gives a total of 72 Deviate Fish per hour. Pools also give marginally better bonus catches (trunk and Stranglekelp, compared to a high proportion of "vendor fish" from open water fishing).
So the best catch rate is clearly from pool fishing. But as normal, our conclusion is not that simple. Pool fishing may not be attractive if:
- The fisherman or woman is unmounted: You'll spend a lot longer travelling between each oasis searching for pools, and at low level will have to fight monsters around the pools before you can fish.
- Other people are actively fishing pools, which will reduce the number you can find and fish dramatically.
- You are a member of the Alliance where the factions are at war ((PvP servers)) - the Northern Barrens can be dangerous at any level, and it may be a lot safer to enter the dungeon part of the Wailing Caverns and fish there.
- Pools and Schools - Describes how to fish pools such as schools or floating debris, where to find pools, and how to efficiently fish them.
- Pool Appearance - Examines how pools of fish appear, and suggests some basic rules and timings.
- Valuable Fish - Details the most valuable fish, and how to catch them.
Comments about Catching Deviate Fish
Below are readers' comments about "Catching Deviate Fish":
Dossku, June 2011:
Hi all, jut thought I would offer a tip. The two lakes in front of Wailing Caverns ( one large one small ) seems to always have at least one School in it. This can help increase your productivity and profits.