=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= ////// //// ////// ////// ** // // // // // // ** * ///// // // // // ** * * // // ////// ////// ////// ** * // // // // // // ** ** *** **** * *** *** // // // // // // ** * ** * * * * * * * * * ///// // // ////// ////// ****** **** * * * **** * * * **** * firstname.lastname@example.org FAQ V1.4 ** =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO ----------------- This entire FAQ was written by Lee Rolfing a.k.a. Arleas and all material contained within is copyright 2000 by Lee Rolfing, unless otherwise noted. This FAQ may not be distributed without the prior written consent of the author and may not be used in any game magazines, strategy guides, or in any other publication unless you want to give me a job. This FAQ is authorized to be posted by www.gamefaqs.com and vgstratagies.about.com. If you wish to contact me about this FAQ, my email address is at the top of this file. TABLE OF CONTENTS ----------------- INTRODUCTION CHANGES SECTION 1: Tutorial mode 1.1: Casting 1.2: Reeling and hooking 1.3: Lure features 1.4: Rod actions 1.5: Boat movement and Depth finder 1.6: Bass ecology 1.7: Final exam 1.8: Rewards for the tests SECTION 2: Getting started SECTION 3: Game modes 3.1: Free Fishing 3.1.1: Lake environment 3.2: Tournament mode SECTION 4: Casting tips 4.1: Overhand cast 4.2: Sidehand cast 4.3: Pitching cast 4.4: Skipping cast SECTION 5: Tackle box tips 5.1: Rods 5.1.1: Spinning rods 5.1.2: Bait rods 5.2: Reels 5.3: Lures 5.3.1: Soft lures 5.3.2: Rigs 5.3.3: Hard lures SECTION 6: Fish types and Lake information 6.1.1: Lunker lake specifics 6.1.2: Crystal lake specifics 6.1.3: Alpine lake Specifics 6.1.4: Mirror lake specifics 6.2: Fish information SECTION 7: General tips 7.1: Landing tips 7.2: Gameshark code SECTION 8: Frequently asked questions SECTION 9: Resources and acknowledgements INTRODUCTION ------------ This is my first attempt at writing a FAQ for gamefaqs.com. I noticed nobody seemed to have written one for this game and I decided I would take a shot at it. It is one of the best fishing games I have ever played, and it's the closest you can get to a real fishing experience without leaving the house. CHANGES ------- V1.4 Added in the Frequently asked questions and updated some information. V1.3 Corrected spelling errors and other mistakes V1.2 Expanded the section on the lakes to include points of interest. V1.1 Made a Table of Contents V1.0 Completed the rest of the text. V0.8 wrote most of the text for each section V0.2 Polished up the outline a little to help organization. V0.1 Mostly deciding on the outline for the FAQ. SECTION 1: The Tutorial mode ---------------------------- First off, I'd like to say that this is probably the most important mode if you are just starting out. Even if you have read the manual, or if you consider yourself to be a professional fisherman, the tutorial does a lot to explain what the game expects from you. Some of their techniques may differ from real life fishing, so it never hurts to learn what the game will respond to best. Your teacher is a woman who has a really bad sense of humor. In general you don't have to wait for her to finish "talking" since all she does is gesture and move her mouth. You can speed things up a bit by pressing X to skip to the next block of text. I've broken the list down by the lessons the teacher offers. 1.1 Casting ----------- Here is where you learn the basic controls for the game. It doesn't matter if you are using the fishing controller that came with the game or a standard controller, since the game will detect which one you are using and modify the lessons to display the correct information. I suggest using the fishing controller since it offers the most realistic "feel" for the game. You start out in the "Agetec Fishing School" with your teacher sitting in front of you with a screen behind her to display the information she is going over. The four types of casting available are: Overhand, Sidehand, Pitching, and Skipping. After she explains the pro's and con's of each method of casting you will go on to get some practice and then take the test. Take the time to practice each type of casting since you will be expected to have a certain amount of control over where your lure lands in the test. The important things to pay attention to here are when to use each casting method, and how to use "thumbing" to complete the casting. During practice and the tests the teacher will control the boat while on the practice lake (Bass Lake) with the exception of Lesson 5. All you have to worry about is following the on screen instructions. For practice she will ask you to try each casting method 5 times. Use this time to practice not only the process of casting, but also to practice putting the lure where you want it. With the fishing controller, the harder you swing the controller during casting, the farther it will go, up to a point. Likewise, the lighter you swing it, the less distance you will get out of the casting, down to a minimum. The range varies with each type of casting, but it's important to note that a certain amount of force is needed to get the controller to recognize it as a legitimate cast, and the maximum force needed to register as the longest distance is generally no more than a hard snap of the wrist. Swinging the controller in wide arcs isn't going to help. The standard controller/Dual shock controller use a meter system with a cursor to determine how accurate you were in casting. You control the distance by positioning a marker where you want the lure to land. While this seems like it would be much more accurate than the fishing controller (and it can be) it requires much more skill to use accurately. If you don't stop the meter in the red area, your shot will go either left or right of the spot you marked, and the power will be off too. After you've finished the practice, you'll be given the option to practice again or go right to the test. The test itself consists of a yellow target circle that you must land the lure in within a given time limit. It's not too hard to complete, but a few are a little tricky due to the wind. Each successful cast gives you 10 points for a total of 100 points, and you only need 70 to pass. As long as you have time remaining, you can take as many tries at hitting the target as you need. Don't be alarmed if you see the word "FAIL" pop up. It just means that particular attempt failed, not that you failed that part of the test. However, if time runs out before you land the lure in the circle, you will not get any points for that part of the test. The first few can be done with just about any casting method (though some are easier than others) but the last 3 tests are done with the skipping cast only. A lot of practice is needed here to get it just right. 1.2 Reeling and Hooking ----------------------- This lesson focuses on various methods of reeling in lures to make the lure more attractive to the fish. This lesson is fairly important so pay attention. It covers everything after the cast except how to land the bass. After a brief discussion of one technique in reeling and how to tell if the fish is biting, you will go on to practice. Again, its important you take time to practice until you're fairly comfortable with this process. For the practice session, pay attention to the picture of your controller at the right side of the screen. It'll go over the proper method to follow. First you'll cast and reel in 5 times, then you'll be told to try it again 5 more times only a few more tips will be given. After that, you'll have to try to hook the fish. All you have to do is watch the on-screen directions and you should be fine. Whether or not you hook a fish the lesson will continue. You get to practice the Stop & go technique, the falling technique, and how to hook fish by reeling in. In the test, you will be required to use certain lures with certain techniques to hook a fish. If you don't hook a fish within the time limit you get no points for that section. Once again 70 is needed to pass. The test is a little more tricky this time than before, but passing should be no problem at all. Just follow directions and remember to hook the fish the way they tell you, otherwise it won't count. 1.3 Lure features ----------------- This lesson deals with chosing the right lure for a given situation. It's very informative and should be a big help, unless you know it all already. The lesson covers hard vs. soft lures, topwater plugs, the various types of rigs used with the soft lures, and all the techniques and situations which each one is best suited for. A very useful section indeed. Practice for this lesson differs from the others. You get to visit the "Virtual Aquarium" to see how each type of lure moves underwater. You have the option of chosing which lure you'd like to see, and then you are given control over reeling it in to see how it moves underwater. For the test on this section, you will be given the lake conditions and you will have to choose from a list of three choices which is best for the situation, then within the time limit you have to hook a fish. This is very tricky so don't be discouraged if you fail the first time through. Also, there may be more than one "answer" for the given situation, but there is always one that works best. As usual, 70 is needed to pass this test. 1.4 Rod actions --------------- This lesson covers some techniques to use while reeling in the lure to help attract the fish. Each technique works better with some lures than others. Rod action also covers moving the rod while trying to land a fish. While it's possible to catch fish in this game with no rod actions whatsoever, you will find that it's a lot easier if you mix some rod action in from time to time to help attract the fish. This section alone can help you out considerably in the game. The main types of rod actions are: Jerking, shaking, twitching, bottom bumping, and the lift & fall technique. After hearing the descriptions of each type, you are offered the chance to return to the virtual aquarium where you can see what each looks like underwater. To help keep things interesting, you are also asked to identify the lures used in the demonstration. This lesson also covers the different types of rods and the pros and cons of each type, as well as the effects and function of the drag setting on the reel. After all this explanation, you get to go once again to Bass Lake to practice. This time it's extremely important to watch the controller pictured at the right side of your screen. After casting, reel when the picture shows the reel moving, and move the analog stick in the directions shown by the arrows when they show up. If you do it right, the name of the technique will flash at the bottom left of your screen. Also, you are much more likely to get a strike in the practice mode this way. In some cases, you are given a demonstration to watch so you'll know what you need to do. Before you go on to the test, you should be fairly good at performing the various techniques. After practicing each technique 5 times (which can be a little tedious) you are given practice on landing the bass. 5 attempts on landing small bass, 5 attempts on medium sized bass (more likely to fight), and 5 attempts to land a bass that will jump out of the water. For the test, you have to choose a lure to hook a fish in the first four tests, and the last six tests you will be given a choice of lures to fit a given condition, and then you'll have to land a bass. Each test has a fairly short time limit, but if you use the appropriate method, you are guaranteed to hook a fish. This test is a bit tricky, but provided you spent enough time in practice, you should have no trouble. 1.5 Boat control and depth finder --------------------------------- This lesson covers the basic boat controls as well as how to effectively use the depth finder. While the boat controls themselves are fairly simple, learning to use the depth finder makes fishing a bit easier. The main points you want to pay special attention to is learning identify the various underwater structures in the game. Not only is it on the test, but knowing what those little bumps on the display means can help you find a good fishing spot without having to rely on locating a fish. I won't go over all the information in this lesson, mostly because there really isn't a good way to show you in a text file what the game can show you in the tutorial. Pay attention to the various structures and what they look like on the depth finder. It's not easy to identify each object, but once you get the hang of it, certain objects will be recognizable (such as tree branches and stumps). Supposedly, if you hook a fish near an underwater structure, it will show up on the replay. So far I have yet to see anything other than rocks, sand and weeds. This could be another incentive to look for these objects in the game. The practice session for this lesson isn't really practice. You get to drive the boat around in both gas and electric motor modes, and the controls are so simple it doesn't really take much skill. The game fails to mention this in the tutorial but the L1 and R1 buttons will move the boat sideways, which is useful for when you want to adjust your position without changing your orientation. After you're done driving the boat, the teacher will take over again to do a drive-by of a few objects to show you better what it looks like when you drive the boat over one. This is probably the most useful part of this lesson as it shows you in detail what each object looks like as you drive the boat over it. Later, you practice driving the boat some more, and placing marker buoys. The test for this lesson consists of driving the boat around the lake and collecting flags (by running over them) for the first part. The second part will consist of finding a certain underwater object, and marking it with a marker buoy. This is a fairly easy test, but you may have trouble locating some objects with the depth finder. However, the location of these objects never changes so if you need to take the test again, sooner or later you'll figure out where everything is. 1.6 Bass ecology --------------- This lesson is pretty straightforward. First you'll listen to the teacher describe the habits of fish during various times of the year, and since you can't really practice this, you go directly from the lesson to the test. The test is in the form of a multiple choice quiz. It's very easy, and even if you don't score a passing grade, you can just take it over until you get the whole thing right. This time a score of 80 (out of 20 questions) is needed to pass, but there should be no excuse for not making a 100 on this test. 1.7 Final exam -------------- There really is no lesson in this section. The teacher just goes over what's expected for the final exam and then you take the test. Unlike any previous tests, you must pass all 4 parts of this final exam to pass. This test runs a lot like the tournaments however so while it's a little intimidating, it's not that hard. For each section, you are given a season (time of year), fairly generous time limit, # of fish to catch and weight requirement. If they tell you to catch 5 fish totalling 8 lbs, you must catch five fish, even if the first one you catch weighs 8 lbs. It's fairly simple. The live-well can only hold five fish but you are always able to exchange fish in the live-well for a fish you've just caught if is better. While this is a long test, it's good practice for what the tournaments are like. 1.8 Rewards for the tests ------------------------- Provided you make over a certain score, you are given the option of chosing a different 'life jacket' for your fisherman. Also, if you scored at least 530 points total out of a possible 700 (the minimum score to pass all the tests and the final exam) you get a 3rd reel to choose from in your tackle-box. The special reel is a bait reel with better drag settings on it. Should you happen to score a perfect 700, you get to choose from 4 different types of life-jackets. If you REALLY want the coolest life-jacket, don't try the final exam until you've scored 100 points on all the other sections. Once you finish the final exam, the teacher gives you your prizes based on your total score at that point (provided you passed the final exam). It really isn't worth the hassle though since the life-jacket is just there for looks. It doesn't affect gameplay at all. It's just there for boasting rights. SECTION 2: Getting Started -------------------------- This FAQ will assume from here on out that you are familiar with the controls of the game as well as everything mentioned in the tutorial mode. >From the first menu, you are given the choices of start, continue or options. Start is to begin a new game only, Continue is to continue from a saved game and options allow you to adjust the time scale, turn the vibration feature off, and other things. While you are able to change the time scale here, I have not noticed it making any difference during a tournament. Also, while you can save up to three separate files without taking up additional card space, I would suggest organizing your save files like this: 1st slot = Your original game save with the tutorial completed; playing the free fishing mode from this file is a good idea. 2nd slot = Tournament games saved between tournaments only. 3rd slot = Any game saved in the middle of a tournament (including between 2 day tournaments). The reason for this is due to the way the game handles tournaments. If you save constantly in the same slot and wind up losing a tournament, you are forced to go back and start a new game in order to start over. This can be frustrating if you happen to have gotten good scores in the tutorial mode since any rewards you earned will be lost when you start a new game. The good news is, as long as you start a new game and save over an old one, your old records will still be there. Records are lost if you ever delete the save game from the memory card manager screen. You should also note that the only way to save your record fish during a tournament is to save the game before the tournament is over. The reason for this is that you have to tell the game to load from a save file before it'll let you save the game again. If you forgot to save your game to save your record fish, you lost them. SECTION 3: Game modes --------------------- Once you've completed the tutorial and earned any rewards for high scores, you are ready to go on to the real game. Of course, you could have gone straight to the game if you are impatient, but I found the game much more enjoyable once I had been through the tutorial mode. 3.1 Free fishing mode --------------------- This is the mode you would choose if all you want to do is fish, without the hassle of having a time limit imposed or having to compete against others for the big fish. After selecting which save file you will load from, you will be asked to choose from the four lakes. Each lake has its own music (If you left it turned on in the option screen) and different scenery as well as types of fish it is stocked with. After choosing your lake, you will be asked to either set up the lake environment, or let the computer randomly decide these factors. If you are just starting out, it's best to choose to set up the lake yourself since the computer can pick some really difficult fishing situations at random. 3.1.1 Lake Environment ---------------------- The first option you are given is Pressure. This determines how difficult the overall fishing will be. The higher the pressure, the more wary the fish are of your lures and the less likely they will be to take the bait. If you're just starting out, choose Low, or none. Medium and High will provide you with a challenge later on. The next option is season. The season affects how the bass will react as well as where they will be hiding. I haven't confirmed it yet, but I also believe the season has an effect on the average size of the fish. You can choose which month as well as the beginning, middle or end of the month. I would pick anything between the end of March (month 3) to the beginning of October (Month 10). Keep in mind that season has an effect on how the weather progresses over the course of the day. You can control most of the weather conditions, but some things (like water temperature) are left to the computer based on what season you are in. Next is the weather for Yesterday, and then the weather for today. This affects how fish are going to react as well. If you are in the middle of a cooling trend in summer time, the fish are more likely to be active than they would be in the middle of a warming trend. In general, this could be set to random, but keep in mind that rain tends to make the fish more active (in yesterday's weather). I will update this section more as I learn the specifics of how this affects the fishing. Wind direction and speed is subject to change over the course of the day, and is probably affected by the season. In general the wind direction you choose will probably not change much, but the speed will vary over time. Setting it to as high as it gets (9.9mph) will result in high winds for the first hour or so at least though. Wind speed and direction affects which part of the lake will cool first. The more wind, the more the water temperature will vary in different parts. Water Temperature is also a big factor in how the fish will be biting that day. The optimum temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees F, but this will vary over the course of the day due to season, weather, and wind conditions. If the temperature appears in red, it means that the water temperature is too warm or too cold for that season. It's possible to set it too high or too low intentionally, but it's not likely to stay that way, and may have an adverse reaction on the fish. Water quality affects how well the fish can see the lures, as well as how well they'll be able to see the fishing line. In general, the more cloudy the water is, the thicker the line you will be able to use, and the brighter the lures you will want to use. Keep in mind that using a line that is too thick or a lure too bright will result in the pressure level going up. Start time just affects at what time you start the game, and depending on the season may start you out in darkness. You can always advance the time forward once you start the game if you want to. I believe 6pm is the end time no matter what time you start the game. Time elapsed affects how fast time will pass compared to real time. While it might seem to be ideal to set it to 1x time, this can make the fishing "Too real" for some people. This means that if you find that you are spending too much time waiting for a fish to bite, you should use the time compression. This can not be changed once you start the game. In general, 4x works fairly well. At this rate, one game hour passes for every 15 minutes of real time. After selecting "end setup" you are asked to confirm and then taken to the tackle box screen. (see section 5 for tips on which lures to choose) If at any time you want to end the current game and save your records you can return your boat to the "Weigh in" spot marked on the map. Otherwise, you can save your records by saving the game while still out on the lake. 3.2 Tournament mode ------------------- After selecting this mode, you are taken immediately to your "Private Room" where you can make changes to your tackle box, enter the tournament, see the lake data for the event, or save the game. You should first check the lake data to see the conditions, and then change your tackle box based on that information. The most important things to consider are: the season, today's weather, water temperature and water quality. If it's cloudy or if the water is murky, you should favor brighter lure colors over the totally natural colors. Don't go too bright, but pick a brighter shade depending on how dark it will be. Also, be aware of the pressure level, and if it is especially high, you should take care to use the lighter strengths of fishing line. After you enter the tournament, the rankings list will be updated every two game hours, so you can press start and keep an eye on how you are doing. Each tournament has its own requirements to allow you to qualify for the next one. Fail to qualify and you are treated to a game over screen. Qualify according to the requirements and you go straight to your Private room to prepare for the next tournament. Be advised that some tournaments are split up into two days with the combined total of your live well figuring into your final score. SECTION 4: Casting Tips ----------------------- There are only four casting methods available in this game, but what more do you need? Assuming you have practiced with the tutorial mode, this shouldn't be a major problem. However, I have discovered a few tips to help you decide which method to use. 4.1 Overhand cast ----------------- This is the easiest method of casting to use. It gives you the most distance on your casting, but it is greatly affected by the wind causing some difficulty on windy days. In general, use this casting method any place you have ample room to cast, and where you have no overhead obstacles in your way. Keep in mind that the lure makes a lot of noise when it hits the water, so if you repeatedly use this cast in the same area, the pressure level will rise. 4.2 Sidehand cast ----------------- This method of casting is only useful in situations where the overhand method is impractical. If the wind is severely affecting your accuracy, or if there is an obstacle in the way, this method works well. It doesn't give as much range however, and makes almost as much noise as the overhand cast when the lure hits the water. As mentioned in 4.1, repeated casts to the same area can cause the pressure level to rise. 4.3 Pitching cast ----------------- This is the casting method I most prefer when I want to pinpoint the bass. It has a very short range, but this is useful for those times when you locate a lot of fish in one general area, and don't wish to drop a buoy and move the boat. It also helps to reduce the pressure since it makes very little noise when the lure hits the water. The best use for this casting method is when you hear the fish alarm on the depth finder. You can position yourself more accurately to take advantage of knowing exactly where the fish are. 4.4 Skipping cast ----------------- This casting method gives slightly more distance than the pitching cast, but it is best used for putting your lure underneath obstacles such as piers, tree overhangs, or any other tight spot where you would risk getting your line stuck. The direction the lure skips off in is affected by the direction of the waves, which in turn is affected by the wind direction. Some skill is required to use this to put the lure exactly where you want it. SECTION 5: Tackle box tips -------------------------- When you go to change the tackle box, you will first notice that you have 10 preset configurations. You can change any of these to match various situations you might encounter. 5.1 Rods -------- The type of rod you choose will have an affect on the strength of line you can use, the weight of the lure you can use, as well as how fast the tension meter will rise with a fighting fish on the line. Rods are broken down into two groups with reels to match. Each rod has a minimum and maximum suggested lure weight and line strength. While it is possible to go over or below these limits, you may find your fishing performance reduced greatly. 5.1.1 Spinning rods ------------------- These rods are typically light and flexible. Spinning rods are better suited to casting light lures than heavier ones. They range from ultra-light action (0.04-0.24 oz lures) up to Medium-heavy action (0.14-0.74 oz lures). The heavier the action, the faster the tension meter will rise when you are fighting a fish, and the less likely the rod will flex/more likely the line will break when at full tension. 5.1.2 Bait rods --------------- These are more sturdy rods with stiffer action than spinning rods typically. They are better suited to heavy lures or conditions where you are likely to encounter the really big fish. They range from Medium-light action (0.14-0.25 oz lures) all the way to ultra-heavy action (0.35-1.4 oz lures) 5.2 Reels --------- This is the easiest decision to make. If it's a bait rod, use a bait reel, and if it's a spinning rod, use a spinning reel. The only other option is if you bothered to earn the special bait reel from the tutorial mode. In that case, the special bait reel has slightly better drag settings. In general, spinning reels have better drag settings than bait reels. All this means is, you are less likely to break a line under normal conditions using a spinning rod and reel. Don't underestimate the drag settings. Using a 4lb test line, I was able to land a 10.85lb carp thanks to the drag settings on a spinning reel. 5.3 Lures --------- Lures are broken down into two types, hard and soft, with soft lures giving the most natural movement underwater. Hard lures are sometimes the most effective however. Each lure comes in an assortment of colors ranging from totally natural, to highly appealing. The higher the appeal rating of a lure, the more likely it is to cause the pressure level to rise. 5.3.1 Soft lures ---------------- Straight worm (0.07 oz): This is a lightweight lure that can be combined with just about any rig you like. It's most effective with the no sinker rig, but works well with the splitshot or undershot rigs as well. Paddle-tail worm (0.1 oz): This soft lure is usually seen with the Texas Rig, but works fairly well with most other types of rigs as well. Curly-tail worm (0.07 oz): The curly tail waves underwater to attract fish. Best used with the splitshot or undershot rigs. Single-tail grub (0.1 oz): Another lure that can be combined with most rigs. This lure also has a curly tail, but has a thicker body. Twin-tail grub (0.1 oz): This lure has two curly tails to appeal to fish twice as much. Crawfish (0.1 oz): This is a lure made to resemble a crawdad (crayfish to you yankees). It tends to float a bit on its own so some kind of sinker is needed in order for it to be useful. Tubeworm (0.1 oz): The game states this is good to use with the falling technique, but I've seen it work in many different ways. This lure as well needs a sinker of some sort to keep it from floating on the surface. A splitshot rig will do just fine. Rubber jig 1/2 oz or 1/4 oz (0.5 or 0.25 oz): This is best used for the bottom bumping technique or the lift and fall. I have found this lure to be highly successful given the right conditions. It works best between 6 and 16 feet of water while using the bottom bumping technique. It isn't recommended for the shallow depths since bottom bumping is hard to do in less than 6 feet of water. This lure is combined with either the pork rind, crawfish, or grub trailers. 5.3.2 Rigs ---------- The various soft lures have different motions underwater depending on the type of sinker rig attached. Remembering what each rig does is much better than trying to decide one soft lure for a certain occasion. No sinker rig (0.03 oz): adds very little weight to a lure. This rig allows for the most fluid, natural movement. It can be a bit slow to sink to the bottom, but when the fish are slow to bite, this is a good choice. Splitshot rig (0.1 oz): a rig with a weight attached, but some distance from the hook. It allows for fairly natural, fluid movement, but sinks faster than the no-sinker rig. Carolina rig (0.25 oz): A rig with two weights and a bead attached. The bead moves up and down between the two weights making a clicking sound to help attract the bass. It sinks rather quickly and is best suited for shallow to mid-depth fishing. Texas Rig (0.25 oz): much like the Carolina rig, this has only one weight attached however, and has a fairly long leader between the weight and the hook. Small motions with the rod don't affect the lure much, but jerking or twitching will cause the lure to wiggle. Shaking is not as effective however. Undershot rig (0.1 oz): this is much like the splitshot rig, only the weight is underneath the hook. This allows the weight to drag the bottom while keeping the lure a few inches above the bottom of the lake. Use this whenever fish are near the bottom. Jighead rig (0.18 oz): The hook and weight are combined. Any slight rod motion causes the lure to wiggle. This is probably the best rig to use when you want to fish at the bottom of the lake. Bottom bumping, lift and fall, shaking, and twitching all work pretty well with this type of rig. 5.3.3 Hard lures ---------------- Popper (0.25 oz): This lure floats on the water's surface and makes a plopping sound when reeled in. It works best with the stop and go technique. Pencil Bait (0.42 oz): this stick bait just floats on the surface of the water. Reeling it in with the stop and go technique, little by little, or using rod action works pretty well. Swisher (0.5 oz): this is basically just pencil bait with a propeller on the back end of it. Use the stop and go technique to attract the fish with this lure. Buzz bait (0.35 oz): the propeller makes this lure rise as you reel it in. It works best when the propeller makes a splashing sound on the water's surface. Since it sinks if you don't reel it in, it's best to reel this one in at a fairly constant pace, slowing down at times to give the fish a chance for a reaction bite. Vibrating lure (0.63 oz): the body of this lure vibrates back and forth as it is reeled in, thus mimicking a small fish, and also making some noise to attract the bass. Most of the time, I find other types of fish will leave this lure and the buzz bait alone, since the bass are the ones primarily attracted to the sounds they make. Floating minnow (0.28 oz): This is a good shallow water lure. It acts like a small skinny version of the vibrating lure, but this one floats to the surface if you stop reeling it in. Suspended minnow (0.32 oz): This lure is identical to the floating minnow, but it rises to the surface VERY slowly. It's best used in cold waters when the bass are not as active. Shad minnow (0.35 oz): This is really a type of crank bait. It's made to look like a small fish, and also floats to the surface when you stop reeling. If you aren't having any luck with anything else, give this one a try. Shallow/medium/Deep crank (0.28/0.42/0.49 oz): Much like the shad minnow, these lures dive when you reel them in, and float to the surface when you stop. The medium and deep crank baits dive faster than the shallow one. The stop and Go technique works here. Spinner bait Colorado/Willow leaf (0.53 oz): these are by far the best lures I have. it's almost impossible to fish these lures incorrectly. The Colorado type is best for the falling technique or lift and fall, while the willow leaf type is best for the swimming technique (or a very slow jerking technique). Both of these are almost guaranteed to get a strike...though not always from a bass. Metal jig (0.8 oz): a very heavy lure that doesn't work too well (at least in my experience). It supposedly works best in deep waters with the lift and fall technique...but it's not as easy to catch a fish using this lure. SECTION 6: Fish types and information ------------------------------------- Bass landing has many different types of fish you can catch. 14 different types to be exact (4 types of bass, 10 other types). Each lake is stocked with certain fish types. 6.1 Lake information -------------------- Each lake's special features are listed with any hazards marked by an asterisk. In future updates, this section will expand to list the best places to fish and best weather conditions to fish in. Since most every lake has piers, boat docks and bridges, I left these out of the 'points of interest' but they can be good places to try fishing as well. I tried to focus on the unique features of each lake. 6.1.1 Lunker lake specifics --------------------------- The first lake in the real game, and the first lake most of us fish on; Lunker lake has many interesting features and is quite deep in the middle. Since no fish are below 49 ft. in the game, you should only look to the deeper waters if the season is cold and the fish are hibernating in deeper waters. Fish types: Largemouth bass, Spotted bass, Florida bass, Rainbow trout, Blue gill, Catfish, Snake Head, Carp, Lake Biwa Trout, Silver Carp Special points of interest: Shrine gate, Sluice Tower, dead trees, two islands with tree overhangs, fish nursery (netted area), various lake inlets, dam/floodgate. The Japanese looking shrine gate at the northern end of the lake provides some fairly deep water to fish in. The most notable thing here is that the posts attract insects which in turn attracts bass. There are two sluice towers (they look like metal cages protruding out of the water) which also attract bass. *Line tangling hazard. Just north of the pagoda is an area of dead trees near the shore. It attracts insects and fish much the way any poles do. The water here is also fairly deep. *Line tangling hazard. The two islands in the center of the NE section of the lake provide good places to fish during hot seasons, and nearby rocks to fish near in cold seasons. A very good place to start out. The Fish nursery is at the easternmost point on the lake map. It consists mostly of a long stretch of netting with poles in spots to hold it up. While you can fish inside the netted area, you won't be able to land the fish no matter what bites the line. This pretty much applies to any time your fishing line has gone OVER an obstacle. It's safest to just fish around the nursery and take care that any fish you hook don't get off the line by wrapping the line around an obstacle. *Mild line tangling hazard. All along the southern part of the lake are various inlets (Places where water enters the lake from other sources). This is prime real estate for fishing since smaller 'bait fish' get washed down the inlet to the lake where the bass are usually waiting to gobble them up. If you want to fish IN the inlet, you'll likely need to use the sidehand or skipping cast here. The southernmost tip of the lake has the dam/floodgate. Fishing around here can be very good due to the depth of the water. This varies mostly according to season. It's worth a look if you've tried fishing in the other places. 6.1.2 Crystal lake specifics ---------------------------- The only lake containing smallmouth bass. There's not a whole lot of interesting places to fish, but it's a very wide-open lake with plenty of good fishing opportunities. Fish types: Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Blue gill, Carp Special points of interest: Island with tree overhangs, areas set off by warning pylons The island with the tree overhangs is much like Lunker lake, and in addition, there are several places along the shore where trees overhang the lake as well. There are two areas set off by pylons that you can fish in. One in the north and one in the north east part of the lake. The one in the NE is the more interesting of the two. Since you can't drive the boat over these sections you will have to take your chances on finding fish here. However, these can be places where the really BIG bass will be hiding. Definitely worth a look 6.1.3 Alpine lake specifics --------------------------- While there are few special points of interest for this lake, there are also few places you can tangle up your line in an obstacle. This would be a good hassle-free fishing lake under most any condition. Fish types: Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, brown trout, Cherry Trout, Blue gill, Catfish, Carp Special points of interest: Areas marked off by pylons, Sluice tower, tree overhangs on shore, shallow bay with lily pads The areas marked off by pylons in the Eastern part of the lake are not far from where you start. The area is reletively small so it's barely worth noting, but there's always the chance that the fishing here will be good. The sluice tower is in the southernmost tip of the lake. Unlike the other sluice towers, this one appears to be on concrete blocks. It might be worth fishing around this obstacle, but as always, be careful. *Line tangling hazard Along the shore are more tree overhangs. Always worth checking out if the water temperature is at or above 70 degrees F. In the northwest part of the lake is a shallow bay (3 feet deep) which has some lily pads to fish in. In warm weather this can be a good spot to stake out as the fish are looking for food in shallow water. 6.1.4 Mirror lake specifics --------------------------- This lake is the most obstacle-ridden lake in the game. Poles, tall weeds, fish nurseries, tetrapods, all seemingly conspiring to take your fish from you at the last moment. In general it is the most shallow of all the lakes, which can make finding fish a problem in the wrong season. Fish types: Largemouth bass, Spotted Bass, Florida Bass, Blue Gill, Catfish, Snake Head, Carp, Silver Carp, Big Head Carp Special points of interest: tetrapods along the shore, various inlets, fish nurseries, areas set off by poles, tree overhang, area bordered by tall grass/weeds. The tetrapods are the concrete wave barriers set up along shore. These oddly shaped obstacles provide lots of hiding places for bass, and lots of opportunities to get your lure stuck. While fishing here can be good, it's very likely you will lose your fish when the line or the lure gets hung up. *Line tangling hazard and lure hazard. Along the shore in various places (too numerous to mention) are inlets where water enters the lake from other sources. These can be great fishing spots. You won't be able to cast too far under these openings, but it should be good enough just fishing near the openings. In a few places in the center of the lake map are square 'fish nurseries'. As before, you can cast your line into these, but you won't be able to get your fish out, so don't waste your time. However, around these nurseries are several tree stumps and branches. These are excellent places to stake out. If you've practiced identifying the underwater objects with the depth finder, you may wish to mark the spots with buoys so you can move your boat back and cast at the right spot. In the extreme north east part of the lake, is a fairly large area set off by poles (preventing you from driving the boat up there). While you can find some really BIG fish here from time to time, the poles present the greatest hazard to your line here. Expert fishermen will find this a challenge. Another area set off by poles is in the Southeast part of the lake. This one has even more poles to get in your way. *Major line tangling hazard. Not far from the poles in the NE section of the lake is a small tree overhanging the lake. It's just about the only shade on the whole lake (except hiding under boats and such). I have almost caught the biggest fish of my life there (the one that got away). The bottom of the lake has some branches or something that tends to get some lures hung up though. In the southernmost tip of the lake is an area completely surrounded by tall weeds. This can be a good place to check for fish, but the water here is fairly shallow. 6.2 Fish information -------------------- Blue Gills: Of all the kinds of non-bass fish, Blue gills are the most common. There may be times when you catch 3 or 4 of these in a row before you see another bass. Largemouth Bass: The most common of the types of bass you can catch. These range in size from puny up to whopper/lunker size. Smallmouth Bass: Not small by any means, they are generally not as large as the largemouth bass though. Smallmouth bass are only found in Crystal lake. They usually live under big rocks and near boulders. Smallmouth bass are the strongest fighters of all the bass. Spotted Bass: A type of bass that prefers colder waters. Generally larger than Smallmouth bass but not as large as Largemouth Bass. They can usually be found in deep cold water. Florida Bass: A subspecies of largemouth bass. They are reported to be much smarter than their cousins. They are fairly large on average as well. Catfish: These aren't your American variety catfish. The asian variety grow to be very long and fairly big. However, because this is primarily a nocturnal fish, it's rare to catch one. They prefer murky water around 16 feet deep. You may catch a catfish in the same general area as a snake head. They have similar preferences for conditions. Snake head: This strange looking fish originated from Korea and according to the game they like water at about 10 ft. and like to swim near lily pads. I have noticed them in other places however but I've only caught two of these, and one of those times was during the tutorial. Brown trout: a type of trout that likes cold, muddy water. So far I've only caught two of these and the largest I've caught was 7.71lbs. Rainbow trout: Like all trout, they prefer colder waters, but they do better in warmer waters than other trout. A lot more common than the other varieties. In fact, I had one string of "bad luck" during a tournament where I caught 6 of them in a row. The largest so far at 4.29 lbs Cherry trout: a smaller variety of trout. Very difficult to catch as they tend to be nervous and uninterested in their surroundings. Carp: While not very easy to catch, these fish will put a scare into you when you finally hook one. They are fairly large on average and the biggest one reported at 5ft long and 77lbs (Yowza!) Lake Biwa Trout: Another small variety of trout that isn't too common. While tending to be small on average, I have caught one at 5.28 lbs. Bighead carp: an extremely rare fish. Consider yourself lucky if you ever see this fish. Silver carp: another rare fish. I finally managed to catch one (after owning the game for more than 6 months!). SECTION 7: General tips ---------------------------------- You can easily tell if you've got a bass on the line if it jumps out of the water. It seems that only bass will jump to try to free themselves. While some bass can be reeled in without ever having them jump out of the water, you can almost bet that the bigger bass will jump at least once. If you are having to struggle with a fish and he doesn't jump out of the water, chances are it's a carp or something else. If you watch the picture of the lure while you're fighting your fish, you can tell if he's getting ready to jump by the depth of the lure. If it's at 0.3 ft, chances are he's about to jump. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to lower your rod (or raise it). If you're playing a tournament and you seem to be having no luck, don't give up. I have made most of my big gains in total fish weight in the last hour of a tournament. Also, if you're playing a tournament or free fishing at medium or higher pressure, don't stay in one spot for too long. Cast a few times, then move the boat about 30 feet or so. If you found a good fishing site and don't want to forget about it, put a buoy there and come back about an hour or two later. Sometimes, if you get a hook off you can leave the lure in the same general area and hook the same fish twice. This is more unlikely to happen the higher the pressure level is set though. Learn to effectively use the depth finder. If you can find tree stumps and branches underwater, you can greatly increase your chances of finding fish. Also, take note of any area where you see a lot of small 'bait fish'. One or two little dots doesn't mean much, but if you find a whole bunch in one spot, chances are bass are lurking nearby. In general, you should set the drag fairly low. A setting of 2 is just about right. If you notice that the tension on the line is low (the bar is green) you can bump it up a notch. The optimal tension is between the halfway and 3/4 mark on the tension meter. This helps to wear down the fish, and gives you just enough breathing room to lower the drag if he should suddenly get strong on you and try to make a run for it. The total length of your fishing line only amounts to about 295 ft so if the fish has run the line out that far, decrease the drag. If the fish takes the line out to 295 ft there will be no more margin for error and the only thing holding that fish on the line is the strength of the line you are using. For example, if I am using an 8lb test line, and the fish weighs more than about 6 1/2 to 7lbs, chances are he will be able to break the line before I will be able to reel him in. Any other tips and suggestions are welcome. Email me at email@example.com and I'll be happy to include it in the next revision. 7.1 Landing tips ---------------- Take extra care when fishing around obstacles like poles or other things that fish can swim through and tangle up your line. I have lost several fish due to this. The fish would swim by an obstacle and get the line hung up on something, and then either the fish would get off the hook leaving my line stuck, or the fish would be stuck too. When the fish takes the line out around a pole, ignore what James says about which direction to move the rod. Essentially, if the fish swims to the right and a pole is in the way (bending the line) move your rod in the same direction. James will be really annoying and will say "Rod left! rod Left!" but if you move the rod left, chances are good that you will lose the fish that way. If there is more than one pole, the fish can really tangle up your line this way. If you hook the fish very close to the boat, be EXTRA cautious when landing him. If the fish jumps that close to the boat, he will probably get off the hook. It's safer to let him run the line out a bit and tire himself out first. Also, if you're using the Fishing controller, it's pointless to try to reel in while you hear the loud clicking noise. The loud clicking noise is to indicate that the fish is dragging your line out from the reel. In some cases, trying to reel at this time can cause the tension to go too high. Maintain a slow reeling pace to keep the tension steady, but if you have to reel too much to keep a good tension on the line, just increase the drag. Likewise, if you can't reel at all without danger of breaking the line, decrease the drag. If you have a particularly big fish on the line and he keeps running your line out to the maximum length (295 ft.) then try this: Pull the rod up, and as you slowly release it, reel in the slack. Doing this can sometimes slowly inch the fish towards you, and at the least can return some margin for error with the drag settings again. If you notice the fish running the line out past 250 ft you should attempt this to keep him from getting it out to the maximum length. 7.2 Gameshark codes ------------------- I have only included one code, because I feel that it's the only code you might need. Other codes can be found by checking the Gameshark Code Creator's club (GCCC) or the Interact Gameshark website. Perfect score in Tutorial tests: 800C343A 0064 Note that this does not work on the test about Bass ecology. However, that test is quite easy to ace. You will still have to go through all parts of the test for the score to be registered. The exception to this is the final exam. You can fail one section on purpose (by weighing in before the time is up) and that test will end, but will still give you a 100 for that section. This code was made with a V3.0 gameshark. I'm not sure if it will work properly on older versions. I'd highly recommend that you NOT use this code on your first time through. Try to finish the tests on your own to see how well you do and THEN come back and shark it :) SECTION 8: Frequently Asked Questions ------------------------------------- Since this IS an FAQ, I am compiling a list of the most frequently asked questions with the answers (hopefully). If you have any questions, my email address is at the top and bottom of this file. If I use your question, I'll give you credit in the last section. Question: Have you ever caught a (insert fish type here)? Answer: I've caught at least one of every kind of fish so far, except the big head carp. Some fish are just not as common in these lakes as others, so don't be discouraged if you haven't filled up the record books with all the fish types. Question: How do you catch a (insert fish type here)? Answer: It varies with the type of fish. I'm still unsure if there is any special requirement to catching a certain type of fish. I've listed just about every possible requirement I know of here. I would be interested in hearing about any special techniques anyone might have for finding a certain type of fish. Question: What do I need for carp/catfish (or other fish type)? Is there a specific part on a map? Answer: I think the trick is to have the settings just right for the type of fish you want.. in other words, if you're after trout, go for cold water temperatures...if you're after catfish, they prefer murky water... I don't know exactly what types of water the snakehead prefers...but I think cold and murky is a good place to start...(cold meaning between 40 and 50 degrees). For Carp, I think they generally prefer the shady areas of the lake... try fishing near the trees and see if that helps. Also, be prepared for a fight. They won't jump out of the water, but the smallest carp I've ever caught is equal to the weight of some of the largest bass I've ever caught...(about 6-8lbs)...I'm hopefully going to compile a list of the best places to fish, the best lures to use and the best time of year to find them etc. Also, if you're looking for catfish, they tend to stay near the bottom of the lake, around 8-10ft deep. I've only caught three of them so far so i'm still unsure if there's anything I did that attracted them. Each fish type has their own habits. If I have found any particular area to be good for catching a certain type of fish, it's probably already in the FAQ. If it's not and you have a tip, email me and I'll be glad to give you credit for the tip. Question: Are there any fish out in the middle? Answer: There ARE fish in the middle of the lake, just none below 49 feet deep. Generally they are close to shore, but it really depends on season. Check the Tutorial section on Bass Ecology for more information. Also, if you're looking for some good places to fish, look for inlets (Places where your boat can't go but water can), floodgates, Under tree overhangs (in summertime especially) and around the tetrapods in Mirror lake...but watch that you don't lose your lure when fishing around obstacles. SECTION 9: Acknowledgements, credits, and resources used. --------------------------------------------------------- Thanks go out to Agetec and Ascii for producing a wonderfully realistic fishing game and controller. I have used some information from the manual and game to make this FAQ but so far, that is it for the credits section. Thanks also to Gameshark and Interact for making it so easy to create your own codes. Thanks go to Fathead194@aol.com for asking some very good questions in Email, and giving me a reason to update this FAQ some more and polish it up a bit. If you feel I could improve on this FAQ in any way, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to put your suggestion in the next revision.