Winter Squid cannot be caught during the summer: It is a seasonal fish. It can only be caught between the September and March equinoxes: Start of 23 September to the end of 19 March. I have confirmed the precise time of the "autumn" change - midnight at the start of 23 September.
((The date and time of the earth's equinox changes very slightly each year. In 2006 it occurred at 04:03 UTC on 23 September - see Wikipedia. The change of Azeroth's seasons are therefore only approximately the same as those on earth. How approximate is not clear: There are reports from North American realms of changes at other times, such as 06:00. However these could be attributed to people fishing for Winter Squid in zones where they can never be caught between 00:00 and 06:00 - see below.))
Locations and Variation by Time
In the Variation by Time topic we showed how Raw Summer Bass are more likely to be caught at Feathermoon Stronghold between 12:00 and 18:00, and never caught between 00:00 and 06:00. Winter Squid replaces Summer Bass during the winter. We might expect Winter Squid to vary in similar ways.
Variation by time means that data from sources such as Thott is misleading: We do not know what time of day catches were recorded.
There were five zones where Winter Squid can be caught from the ocean:
These locations are the same for Stonescale Eel, except Winter Squid can only be caught from the open sea, not pools. In the Catching Stonescale Eels topic we found that only one of these locations was dramatically different from the other four - the Bay of Storms area of Azshara.
A Quick Test
Catch rates are prone to a lot of variation within the standard 6-hour time bands. Even when fishing for three hours or more, the overall averages may still be skewed. However, sometimes sufficiently dramatic changes can still be found when comparing shorter periods.
I fished for at least 90 minutes in each of the 6-hour time bands that catch rates vary by. I fished at Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas and the Bay of Storms in Azshara. The percentage of all catches that were Winter Squid are shown in the tables below.
|Total Catches (all fish)||143||220||352||271|
|Percentage of Catch Winter Squid||0%||9%||12%||11%|
|Total Catches (all fish)||225||197||231||204|
|Percentage of Catch Winter Squid||8%||13%||33%||14%|
Both locations show similar patterns, with 12:00-18:00 being the best time, and 00:00-06:00 being the worst. However, Azshara has a consistently higher catch rate. And a much higher catch rate 12:00-18:00 - a third of all catches.
Since 12:00-18:00 is the best time to catch Winter Squid at the two locations tested, I have also fished at two other locations during this time:
The percentage of all catches that were Winter Squid are shown in the table below.
|Total Catches (all fish)||231||352||214||293|
|Percentage of Catch Winter Squid||33%||12%||13%||13%|
Both The Hinterlands and Tanaris are similar to Feralas.
The best place to catch Winter Squid is the Bay of Storms area of Azshara, particularly between 12:00 and 18:00, when about a third of catches will be Winter Squid. This conclusion is not based on large number of catches. However we recorded more than twice as many catches in Azshara than other areas - it is highly likely the Bay of Storms area is the best.
You will also catch other potentially "useful" fish here, such as Stonescale Eel and Large Raw Mightfish. The only disadvantage of the location is the skill required to fish there: 330 to cast a line, 425 to fish without anything getting away.
- Variation by Time - Explores how catch rates for fish vary by time of day.
- Valuable Fish - Details the most valuable fish, and how to catch them.
- Cataclysm Old Azeroth Changes - Describes how the Cataclysm changes the waters of Old Azeroth.