BASSIN'S BLACK BASS WITH HANK PARKER: Walkthrough And FAQ --------------------------------------------------------- Written by KurasuSoratobu (firstname.lastname@example.org) Present version: 1.8 INDEX ------- Copyright Info Introduction Why the FAQ? A) FAQ A1) ........ Controls A2) ........ Menus and What They Mean A3) ........ The Basics A4) ........ The Lures A5) ........ The Fish A6) ........ The Lakes B) WALKTHROUGH B1) ........ Green Valley B2) ........ Onyx B3) ........ Bronze B4) ........ Blue Stone B5) ........ What Now? Update Info Still To Come Requests Thanks To... COPYRIGHT INFO -------------- Bassin's Black Bass With Hank Parker: Walkthrough And FAQ, copyright 2006-2012 Kurasu Soratobu. This file may not be published in part, or without this Copyright, without explicit permission from the author. Bassin's Black Bass, Super Black Bass 2, etc. are all rights of Starfish and Hot B. Hank Parker is copyright to himself. If someone wants to post this FAQ to their site, please get in touch with me at email@example.com and ask. I am more than happy to let people post this elsewhere, so long as I can get the full credit for it, and can be aware of where it's going for my own personal knowledge. Make certain the words 'Black Bass', 'Walkthrough', or 'FAQ' show up in the title header, so I know not to file it under spam. If it is filed under spam, it is deleted immediately. Any corrections, additions, suggestions, and whatever can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are wanting to speak with me directly, then depending on which IM service you use I am AIM: KurasuSoratobu, MSN: Kurasu@hotmail.com, Yahoo: kurasu, and @KurasuSoratobu on Twitter. I can't promise I'll be uber-chatty, though I'm always willing to answer questions! INTRODUCTION -------------- HotB is a game company who is known for creating many innovative games around the concept of, well... fishing. Of all of these games they have created, arguably the best of the best of them is Super Black Bass 2, known to the people of the US as 'Bassin's Black Bass With Hank Parker'. The game is filled with detail, from exquisite sound effects to graphic quality that while it may not stand up to some of the games of today, helped push the envelope of the SNES 'back in the day'. The animation is fairly smooth, and even the game's AI is well-programmed, giving different 'personalities' for the various types of fish, whether they're just swimming around, biting (or not biting) at lures, or fighting once you have them on the hook. The basic concept for the game is a simple one: you are a fisherman in a number of fishing tournaments. The object of the game is, naturally, to catch the biggest haul of bass in the tournament, thus displaying your superiority over all the others. Go far enough, and you'll be taking on Hank Parker, world famous fisherman, in a battle to the dea-... er, the weigh-in. Beat him, and you'll be the next world-class fisherman. How exciting! ... well, maybe not, but surprisingly fun, even so. WHY THE FAQ? ------------ For the longest time in this game, I found myself painfully stuck on the third level, thanks to the helper leaving after the second one. Muddling my way through the levels, I often wished that there was a walkthrough that suggested which of the lures worked best in which areas. Well, now there is one. In addition, this walkthrough and FAQ will help those people who are caught just like I was. It won't guarantee you the big fish (after all, you're still the one who has to locate them and reel them in), but at least it will give you good instructions for how to get those fish to actually bite and on which lures. +=+=+=+=+=+ + A) FAQ + +=+=+=+=+=+ A1) CONTROLS ------------ In boating screen: Left/right: Boat turns clockwise/counterclockwise A Button: Boat goes forward; also accept menu B Button: Boat goes backward; also cancel menu X button: Menu Y button: Accept Menu Choice L/R buttons: Nothing Casting Mode: Left/Right: Angle cast left/right; while reeling, pull lure to the left/right Up/down: shorten/lengthen cast Any direction: (when fish is biting) Hook fish A Button: Cast; Reel in; Accept menu choice B Button: Cancel menu; Thumb line (ALWAYS do this when casting, or the reel may tangle). A+B: Reel in quickly X Button: Menu Y Button: Accept menu choice Start: Pause Select: Overview of location/weather L/R buttons: Nothing Fish Hooked: Left/Right: Moves the fish left and right (or tries to, anyhow) Up/down: Lowers the rod/pulls it up. A Button: Reels in. B Button: Thumbs the line. A+B: Cuts the line (BE CAREFUL YOU DON'T DO THIS OR FISH AND LURE ARE LOST) X/Y/L/R: Nothing. Start: Pause A2) MENUS AND WHAT THEY MEAN ---------------------------- At the beginning: 'Start Game' and 'View Record'. START GAME: Just what it sounds like. VIEW RECORD: Here you can see the records for the fish caught in the various lakes and the like. 'Official Record' shows the record weigh-ins for the four tournaments, and the official weights of the heaviest largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. These will be from Hank Parker, if you've not been able to beat his weights. 'Unofficial Record' shows the largest fish caught of all different types, and their estimated weight. Again: these will all belong to Hank Parker unless you've beat him. Not an important part of the game, but a challenge, even so. If in boating mode, X brings up the menu for 'Cast', 'Catch', 'Info', 'Quit'. In addition, in the lower left hand corner, it will show you what area in the lake you're 'parked' at. CAST: What it sounds like: you go into casting mode. CATCH: Brings you into your live well. From here, you can either choose the 'whole well', to get an idea of how heavy your catch is, or 'one fish', where you can select a single fish in your well and pull up the photo and data of that fish. These are only estimated weights; when they are properly weighed-in, this can go up or down, so don't let it catch you off-guard if your catch is heavier (or lighter!) than the estimated weight said. INFO: The event update. It tells you where people are on the scoreboard, whether they have moved up or down in the last period of time, and the total estimated weight they have caught in that time. QUIT: Quit out of the game. If in casting mode, X brings up the menu for 'Move', 'Lure', 'Mark'. MOVE: Brings you out of casting mode and back into boating mode. LURE: Brings you into your tackle box to change the lures. MARK: Creates a 'mark' on the screen that can be used to inspect the area. The control pad moves it around, giving you a look at the casting range. Press 'X' to set the mark down and know how far you need to cast, or 'A' to cancel the use of the mark. A3) THE BASICS -------------- Every one of the tournaments starts at 7 in the morning and goes until 4:30 in the afternoon. Your live well can only hold five fish. Fortunately, culling fish from it is automatic, so you don't have to worry too much about that. Just keep track of the approximate weight in it. Once you have started the game, take your boat out onto the water and go investigating. As you move around, your fish finder will occasionally make a distinctive 'pong' noise, warning you that you've come across an area where there's fish. Once that's happened, park your boat, press 'X' to bring up the menu, and then enter casting mode. In casting mode, you can now see your boat, your fisherman, and the lake itself. The best thing you can do is to scout the area before casting: hit 'X', and bring up 'mark'. Once you have that, use the control pad to move it across the screen, checking out every inch of the area. Up one side and down the other is usually good enough to be able to see everything. Doing this, you will be able to see the fish in the water, and if you know what they look like from the surface, you can get a look at what types they are, in addition to the sizes. Once you're through with the mark, you can either dispel it by hitting 'B', or hit 'A' and get an idea of how far you have to cast to reach it. Putting it right on top (or at least near) a fish you want to catch, for instance, is a good idea. Then, cast away! Make certain before the lure lands, though, that you hit the 'B' button to thumb your line and keep it from tangling. After you're in the water, it's time to reel back in, using whatever technique that you most feel like using. Using your lure, you can eventually, hopefully get some interest in the fish that you're coaxing along. When this happens, the fish will begin to swim faster, usually circling around your bait and swimming at a level that's equivalent to the bait. The fish does *not* light up, flash, or make any other sort of 'unusual shade' when it is chasing your bait; this is simply an illusion caused by how deep or shallow the lure is. If the lure is deep, the fish will dive down, turning darker. If the lure is shallow, the fish will rise up and the color will thus lighten. Once the fish bites, there will be a slight vibration in the line and a 'splashing' sound effect. In addition, you can usually see them grab the lure in their mouth. As soon as this happens, push the control pad quickly in any direction to hook the fish and begin the fight. This is where the skill at reeling, releasing, thumbing, and timing come in handy. You must reel the fish right up to the boat, where your character will eventually be able to reach down and pick the fish out of the water, presenting it for the camera. At that point, the happenings are automatic: if the fish is not a bass, it's thrown back. If it is a bass, the approximate weight is compared to those in the live well. If it's heavier, in it goes. If it's lighter, back into the pond. BE CAREFUL. Once you've hooked a fish in an area, there's a chance that the local fish will stop biting, frightened by the commotion. So do your best to hook the 'important' fish first before going for the others, or you may find yourself with a crappie in hand, and a lunker bass that's ignoring everything you throw at it. Reeling in your fish is an art form all in itself. At times, it will be as simple as holding down the 'B' button and bringing your fish in. However, this is only for small, weak fish. Most of the time, there are various tricks that you must keep in mind when reeling in your fish. First off, make certain that you keep listening to your game. A high-pitched 'alarm' will go off if your line is in danger of snapping as you reel it in. When this happens, there are two things you can do. One: you can let off reeling completely for a moment until the fish finishes fighting, and two: you can push your control pad *up*, thus letting some slack into the line. The advantage of the slack is that you won't lose as much ground with reeling the fish in. The disadvantage is that there is still a possibility that the fish will manage to thrash its way free. In addition to breaking the line, keep an eye on your lure. It will sometimes start to shake or vibrate. The harder it is shaking, the looser it is in your fish's mouth. If this becomes loose enough, the fish can slip off the hook. Counteract this by pressing *down* on the control pad to pull your rod up, thus re-hooking the fish more firmly. There are three main ways that fish will try to ditch your lure. Most fish can only use way 1. That is to swim in fast, tight circles, which will increase the strain on the line. Secondly, there is jumping and head shaking, which are only used by the bass. Head shaking is when the fish breaks the surface of the water and thrashes to and fro. When this happens, there is often a very sharp increase in the tension on the line. This can mean a line-break very quickly or suddenly, so if your fish starts head shaking, *immediately* let off your reeling in and let the fish thrash. It will usually tire itself a great deal when it does this, making the retrieval easier. However, something else that head shaking does is loosen the lure. Be prepared to pull back on your rod as soon as the fish stops thrashing. The jumping is when they break the surface of the water and actually jump to the left or right. This can also cause considerable increase on the tension, and if the fish does it at an inopportune moment, it can also get them around a rock or stump and make them much harder to reel in. Tron (TronNotPron) suggests a method of reeling which, while not perfect, I have found to work fairly well with the larger fish: "I was at bluestone lake and I hooked a lunker. You know how the meter shoots high and starts beating right away when you catch one. So I wanted to keep the tension on the line high but not snap the line so I preceded to rapidly tap the 'A' button. To make I was putting up at least a little bit of a fight. When doing so the energy of the fish start to drop of quite quickly. Within 10 seconds it was already down to orange." Rapidly tapping the 'A' button will indeed keep your line at least mostly safe, and will begin to tire the fish out. While it doesn't work every time, it is often a good way to begin tiring a fish out before the long, hard fight. As an interesting extra detail, occasionally you'll reel in a fish that's slightly different than the normal fish. It might be darker, speckled, lighter, or something similar. When you catch these, your fishing buddy will generally make some sort of comment about an 'unusual fish' or how 'it will bring you luck'. As far as I've seen, these fish don't give you any bonuses or anything. It's just another degree of detail that this game holds. At any point, you may return to the docks and go to 'weigh-in'. However, once you have chosen this option, you're no longer able to fish any more; you must make-do with whatever you happen to have in your live well. You also must make it back before the time is up, at 16:30 (that's 4:30 for those who'd rather not use the military time). Every minute you are late to weigh-in, a penalty-pound is taken off your catch. And if you are too late (20 minutes late), then you must forfeit the weigh-in completely. Better luck next time. A4) THE LURES ------------- All the lures come in your choice of 'bright' and 'natural', including the secret lures if and when you can find them. There are times that the shade of the bait really does matter, as well, depending on the time of day or the fish that you're after. Spinner Game description: One of the classic bass lures. While in the water the blade reflects and creates noise. Swing the rod while you're reeling. You start the game with this lure. I tend to call it a 'generic' lure, because there's not really any particular place that it's good for. If you're having trouble, give it a try, but don't expect too much. The game is fairly accurate with how to use it, though: swinging the rod while reeling in little jerks is the best way to use it. Swisher Game description: Float lure a.k.a. propeller bait. The propeller splashes and lures in the big bass. Take up the line in small increments. This lure is one of those lures that tends to only be useful in very limited areas. Many of the fish prefer to swim deeper than this lure goes, and show very little interest in being coaxed up to grab on to the lure. However, in shallower waters, it may just be worth it to give this lure a try. Minnow Game description: Dives and imitates a small baitfish. This lure wobbles like a struggling fish. Reel in slowly while swinging the rod. This is a very commonly-used lure in a lot of the various and sundry 'open water' areas. While the crankbait tends to be better for really deep places, the minnow comes in extremely handy as well. Plus, it's one of the favorite baits of pike and walleye, if you happen to want to go for them. Don't let this one get broken off if you can help it! Crankbait Game description: The most popular sink lure. A lip makes them dive. Their shape creates a rumble. Alternate reeling and stopping (sink and float). Like the minnow, this is an excellent lure for open water. Particularly the open water areas that are deep and rocky or gravelly. I find that using it in a side-to-side short-tug on your rod as well as float-sinking it works fairly well to catch the fish's attention as well. Jig-And-Pork Game description: Lures the lunkers with pork flavor. Use fluid motions and let it glide to the bottom. One of the nice things about this lure is that it's almost weedless. The hook won't get snagged in the weeds, and glides easily through them and reeds. I have to disagree with the 'lunkers' comment, though many of the fairly good-sized fish will follow it willingly, so long as they're hiding among the weeds. Plastic Worm Game description: Resembles a real worm with a hook. Glides through the weeds. Good for most conditions. Make it wiggle and jiggle like a real worm. Good for most conditions? And *how*. This completely weedless lure is absolutely spectacular in the deep water weeds, and in many other conditions as well. I tend to lean either toward this or the grub: if things aren't biting on anything else, they'll tend to show interest in either of those two. Much like the minnow, make sure not to lose this one. Let it go to the bottom (or close to it) and reel in short bursts, twitching the rod. About one second bursts in reeling works fine for it. Frog Game description: Floats like a frog dangling its legs. This lure slides through the weeds and the lily pads. Make it swim left and right, and make the legs dance. One word: lily pads. ... wait. That's two words. Anyhow, that's what the frog is good for. The lily pads. Unfortunately, it's not good for anywhere else, really. Very limited use... but you can pretty much coax out whatever you want in that limited use, so it's worth it. Spinnerbait Game description: A metal blade with a jig. The metal blade reflects and creates noise. Swing the rod while reeling. This is another weedless lure, made for coaxing the fish out from the weedier areas of the game. Unlike the basic spinner, this one's got a specific area that it was made for, and that seems to help the fish get more easily coaxed to it. When you either reject your guide, or he leaves naturally, he'll leave you with four other lures. The description of these four follows: Grub Game description: Soft plastic with a hooked tail. It's weedless! The hook is hidden by the body. This squirming lure is good for small bass. Once you get this lure, you've got a very, *very* valuable piece of anti-fish weaponry. The description says 'small bass', but it couldn't be further from the truth: the big'uns enjoy it just as much as the small. Use it like a worm, and they'll be practically leaping into the boat. My #1 favorite lure of the game! Pencilbait Game description: Thin surface lure. Imitates a weak fish near the surface. Swing the rod while reeling. Generally, I find that this bait has limited usefulness. It comes in handy in the rocky areas, to coax fish into biting near the surface, but for the most part, they seem to prefer baits that dive and surface. To that end, this one tends to go unused in my tackle box. Noisy Bait Game description: Two wings create a turbulent splash. This noisy lure attracts the lunkers. Much the same as with the pencil bait, most of the fish prefer their food to be further down in the water than the surface. That being said, if a fish seems to be reticent about biting other baitfish lures, give this one a try. The noisy splashing can agitate a bite out of them at times. Tubebait Game description: Looks like a soft squid tube. A long and slender tube that is weedless. Flip it in the weeds or in the shallow water. Although for weedless things, I usually prefer the worm or grub, this comes in handy as well. Especially for the larger bass that are being fussy about their food. Try the wormies first, but don't be afraid to experiment with this one if they don't work. Reel and stop, reel and stop. The game also has four 'hidden lures'. These are lures that are hidden in each of the four major lakes. You must go to the place they happen to be and select 'cast'. If the lure is there, you will receive it before you go to the casting screen. If you don't, then you either already have the lure or are in the wrong place. These lures follow: Vibrating Lure Game description: Imitates a noisy baitfish. A noisy, lipless slant head that bass love. Use when the bass are feeding on baitfish. This is one of the hidden lures; find it at Green Valley Lake, at coordinates 41 12 (which is underneath the trees). This lure is a handy thing to have when the fish are being stubborn about biting on your crankbait; a lot of the time if they're ignoring the one baitfish lure, this can stimulate them into biting nicely. Crayfish Game description: Lobster like sink lure. Great for hauling in the lunkers. This lure is probably one of the most valuable 'extra lures'. Twitch-walk it across the gravel bottoms to make bass go for it like crazy. It can be located at the rocks at Onyx River, at coordinates 58 10 (in the upper right-hand corner of the rocks). Buzzbait Game description: Float lure with a blade and a jig. Buzzes when it moves through the water. Good for shallow water bass. Although the game says it's a 'float lure', it works pretty much like the Spinnerbait does, including the fact that it sinks unless you're reeling it in. Good for using in weedless areas, and it seems to get a good reaction, as the game says, in shallow water. Reel it in sweeping motions like a spinnerbait if you're going to use it. It can be located at coordinates 42 47 at Bronze Lake, due south of the marina in the timber. Backtail Jig Game description: Sink lure with a tail. The hook is covered by a plume or a tail. Good for crappie, bluegill, and small bass. Much like the grub, this one's mislabeled. Larger bass than 'small' tend to be interested in the Backtail, if you can find the right areas for it. I've had the most luck playing with it around areas a weedless lure is needed, like weed beds, lily pads, sunken weed beds, and occasionally in the timber. This lure is at 12 56, at the eastern edge of the West dump. A5) THE FISH ------------ Largemouth Bass Lakes: All Appearance: Anywhere from small to large; rounded at the head, tapering down in shape to the bottom. Usually somewhat 'chunkier' than most fish, except for Catfish. This is the main fish that you'll be hunting for in the game. Obviously, since the game is named after them. Of the three bass that you can catch in this game, they are on average the largest, and thus the most desirable of the bunch. When they fight, expect a lot of activity; bass are the only fish in the game that can jump out of the water and headshake. And believe me: largemouth bass will do a *lot* of it. Smallmouth Bass Lakes: Green Valley, Onyx, Bronze Appearance: Same as Largemouth Bass While not as large as the truly lunker largemouth, smallmouth bass are big enough that they'll enter your scorecard often, particularly in the first level where the biggest fish seem to be smallmouths. Surprisingly, smallmouth bass are even more 'jumpy' than their largemouth counterparts, I find. They'll leave the water more often and with more energy. Fortunately, this tends to wear them out fairly quick, and you can reel them in with fairly little difficulty. Spotted Bass Lakes: Onyx, Blue Stone Appearance: Same as Largemouth Bass. The most annoying thing about spotted bass, IMO, is that they look exactly like all the other bass. This means if you're on the final lake, and you're trying to catch only the lunkers to be able to beat the game, you may find yourself missing the trophy spotted bass that was drifting along in the weeds. This makes them hard to get the 'record fish' for. As for fighting, they tend to be energetic fighters, with less jumping and headshaking than the other bass, but lots of 'water-swirling'. Bluegill Lakes: Onyx, Bronze Appearance: Very narrow in profile, with a little more 'depth' to them than a walleye (when they tilt sidelong, they look wider). Bluegill are good for nothing, really, aside from getting on the scoreboard. They're small, they're not strong fighters, and they're just about everywhere. Catch them only if you feel like trying to get on the scoreboard for 'biggest fish'. Crappie Lakes: Green Valley, Onyx, Blue Stone Appearance: Same as Bluegill, though much smaller. These tiny little fish aren't much good for anything except getting on your 'scoreboard'. However, they're a pain in the rear because of their habit of snapping at just about any bait or lure that passes near them, thus scaring away bigger fish while they're thrashing to escape. Fortunately, they're easy to bring in. Walleye Lakes: Green Valley, Onyx, Bronze Appearance: Similar to bass, though not quite as chunky. When walleye fight, they tend to do it in fits and bursts. Expect the fish to fight hard and wear itself out early, then possibly to go pretty well berserk as it makes an attempt to get away right at your boat. They make fairly good practice in trying to catch bass. Plus, they look enough like bass that catching one or two accidentally isn't a surprise. Northern Pike Lakes: Green Valley, Bronze Appearance: Extremely long and lean. Pike are some of the largest fish that the game has to offer, aside from the bass. Even in the very beginning lake, there are some particularly huge pike drifting around, possibly at 15-20 pounds! They tend to swim in circles when they're fighting, and are very active at trying to get away. Plus, with their size and strength, they're a real challenge to bring in. I highly suggest trying to catch these if you have the time; it's good practice for the big bass later in the game. Catfish Lakes: Onyx, Bronze, Blue Stone Appearance: Very rounded and chunky. Barbels are usually fairly visible. These fellows are bottom-feeders, and usually won't touch a lure unless it's right on or near the bottom. They are brute-force fighters, tending to just swim in one direction and try to haul your line away. Also, they tend to be large. Not usually good practice for catching anything, though if you're looking to fill up your records, they might be worth trying to get. A6) THE LAKES ------------ This is just the basic information about the various areas. If you want more information than is given here, check out the longer descriptions of each lake/tournament in 'Walkthrough'. This is just a general overview, for those people who just want to know the areas that they're going to be fishing in. Green Valley Lake Tournament: Local Amateur Areas: Open Water, Marina, Buoys, Weeds, Reeds, Trees, Lily Pads Fish: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Walleye, Northern Pike Approximate weight: 25lbs This is your first area. Here, you'll have plenty of chances to get a feel for how to fish and what to look for in the areas. It's not too hard to get the winning weight, so long as you make certain to catch every bass that it's possible to catch. So take your time, get a feel for how the lures work and how to use the fish finder to pinpoint your fishing spots, especially those that are in the open water. After all, there may be big fish down there that can pad your weight out to help you win effortlessly. Also, take along John the fishing guide when he offers: he gives excellent suggestions for this area. Suggestions that you should keep in mind for later areas. Onyx River Tournament: Amateur Bass Championship Areas: Open Water, Marina, Trees, Rocks, Reeds, Buoys, Piles Fish: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish Approximate weight: 40lbs In the Onyx River area, the different fishing spots are still visible and available to go poking around even without the help of a fish finder. Also, this is the second (and last) time you can take John with you: I suggest doing it. His help is as effective as always, even if you *do* read through my FAQ while you're going through the fishing. Just remember: small fish won't get you your weight here. You'll need to catch at least 40 pounds of fish to make a dent. In other words, you may want to focus only on casting toward the mid-sized fish that you see and ignore most of the smaller bass. However, three large-sizes and two small bass (5-6 pounds worth) can still get you ranked here, so if you don't feel like limiting yourself *that* much, then feel free to spend the time going for the minis as well. Bronze Tournament: Pro Bass Tournament Areas: Open Water, Marina, Timber, Dam, Buoys, Dump Fish: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Catfish, Walleye, Bluegill, Northern Pike Approximate weight: 45lbs Now we're getting into some serious fishing. A great many of the really good fishing spots here are completely underwater, making you have to hunt for them with the fish finder, rather than seeing them with your eyes or reading them on the screen when you stop. In addition, the weight needed is now high enough that you should completely ignore the small bass and only cast if you see one that's mid-sized or better. Also, you no longer have the option of having your helper along with you, making this area even more difficult; the fish may well be even pickier than they were before. Blue Stone Tournament: Bassin' World Championship Areas: Open Water, Marina, Bridge, Dump, Lily Pads, Buoys, Piles Fish: Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill Approximate weight: 60lbs Here you are: the final level. It's time to focus on finding and getting those ultimate lunker fish. Like with Bronze, the small fish can be pretty much ignored. However, you'll find that you want to give only passing thought to a lot of the mid-sized fish as well, if you want to have a high enough score to be able to make it to the top 1, since the only way to win is to get #1. There's no second and third place here. Use all the skills you've learned before and go for the gold! +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + B) WALKTHROUGH + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ I go through these areas assuming that you have only the 'basic' lures, rather than the secret ones. If you do have the secrets, check out in their listings just what sort of area I suggest using them in. You may find that they work better than what I *have* suggested here. However, I figure by suggesting the 'common' lures, it's easy to ensure that everyone has a chance to catch the fish rather than only those with specific, hidden lures. B1) GREEN VALLEY LAKE --------------------- This is the lake, obviously, that you will start at. Taking a trip around, you'll notice that there are an enormous number of areas to check out. Almost all of the various places will be quite visible to the naked eye, and should be investigated thoroughly. Check an area out, stop where the fish-finder pongs, fish it through, then move on to the next area. This is a pattern that you'll get used to with all the lakes; it's especially important here because while there's the possibility of a few medium-size bass (usually smallmouth) hiding out there to really pad your score out, much more often you'll find yourself circling the pond again and again, trying to catch those elusive 'big enough' small fish to be able to pad your weight to where it needs to be. Fortunately with a 'needed score' of only 25lbs, all you need to do is make sure you catch fish whose minimum estimated size is 5 pounds. It's time consuming, but not that difficult. MARINA: This is the first place that you'll come to, as it's right where you start off. Most of the time, your fish-finder will pong as you're going right along here. Don't be afraid to stop here and do a little fishing on this level; the fish here are primarily small, but for this lake, small-size fish are all you need to get a high score, and they may be heavy enough to get that number. Good lures for this area are the minnow and the crankbait; reel them in with slightly jerky button-presses and move the pad slightly from side to side as you do so. However, be very careful: you don't have a lot of casting distance, and it is possible to crack your lure on the marina, thus losing you that lure for the rest of the level! In other words, undercasting is better than overcasting here. Fish you'll find commonly here are bass (always small), crappie, walleye, and the occasional pike. OPEN WATER: Every now and again, your fish finder will go off in the open water even if there's nothing there to hold the fish. When that happens, it's usually worth it to stop off and investigate the area with the marker, but don't get your hopes up; more often than not, it's one of the other fish of the game as opposed to bass. Still, there are the rare times it's bass. For those times, the diving Crankbait is probably the best one to catch their attention, though the minnow can coax them up as well at times. OPEN WATER (SUNKEN WEEDS): Just off the southeast edge of the bottom marina, as well as wide of some of the floating weed beds scattered throughout the lake, there are patches of weeds that don't show up on the surface, but that appear as an echo on your fish finder. These weed beds are some of the best areas to find those elusive 'lunker-size' fish in this lake; you can catch smallmouth that are over ten pounds in here, if you're lucky! That's almost half your score in one single fish! Generally, the best lure for this area is a worm or grub, if you have them, though the jig and pork bait can coax the fish out at times as well. Bass are quite common here, as are walleye. OPEN WATER (GRAVEL): In some areas, the fish finder will pong in the open water, generally coasting around the weed patches or near the shore. In some cases, it's just open water (see above). In others, there is a gravel bottom that the fish like to feed from. While finding fish in purely open water is almost impossible, finding them on the gravel bottom is much easier. Like open water, a minnow or crankbait are the best. Also, like the deep water weeds, there are occasionally 'lunker bass' that are found in this area (if not as commonly as the weeds); be prepared for a fight. Bass, crappie, and walleye tend to be the common 'hanging fish' here. BUOYS: These brilliant orange floats are a visible place to check around, though they aren't usually one of the best fishing spots of the game. Generally, you won't get a lot of fish-finder noise in this area unless it's particularly late in the day, or cloudy. Therefore, while it's a valid place to cast, skirt the edges of them and don't worry too much about squeezing in to check every single location. You'll find mostly crappie in these areas, though the occasional small bass shows up as well. LILY PADS: You'll never find these beneath the water's surface; they are always floating right on top, in plain view of the boat. They are mostly in the southern area of the pond, though there's some patches to the east, too. Usually, skimming across them will get the fish finder going no matter what the weather; the bass really like clinging to this area. Don't bother with any of the other lures: just pull out the ol' frog and use it. Cast it out, and reel it in in small increments, occasionally tapping 'down' on the control pad to make it 'hop'. You'll soon have the bass going crazy over it. There's also crappie in this area, but for once, the bass are the most common fish here. You can easily find two or three of them in one 'cast'. REEDS: There are patches of reeds all over the eastern edge of the pond. I'm not too fond of fishing in these areas, mind, because it's so easy to crack your lure against them. That and the fact that you generally only find small fish in this area make it not so appealing. However as said before, those 'small fish' are often large enough to rank in this game, so they're worth at least trying to catch for most. The jig and pork is the absolute best in here: it's weedless, thus making the breakage and snagging less likely, and the bass will snap at it quite eagerly. However, a spinnerbait can sometimes coax them out as well in this area. Remember: when casting, prepare to angle the cast with your control pad. You might need to in order to get it around the reeds. Bass and crappie both like this area a lot, although you normally won't find anything larger than them. WEEDS: All around the surface of the pond are large weed mats. Unlike the deep water weeds, these tend to hold only smaller bass on this level. However, as said before (broken record!) smaller fish are all you need to be able to pass. Therefore, taking a little time and casting among the weeds is good practice, as well as good fish-catching. The best lures for these weeds is the spinnerbait or the porkbait. The grub also works well if you're playing an already finished game, and want to break out some of those other lures. Pretty much any of the Green Valley fish can be found in this area, from crappie, to both large and smallmouth bass (though smallmouth seem more common), to walleye and pike. TREES: All along the edges of the shore, particularly to the eastern edge, are areas of trees. These trees are a good place to check out for fish as well. Just coast along under the branches and wait for the fish finder to 'pong'. The best lure to use in this area is the swisher. Cast it out so it either lands just in the branches or just below them, and reel it in bit by bit, twitching it as you do. This makes it move like a bug and drives the local bass mad. Generally you'll find bass and crappie beneath the trees, though some really large pike have been known to hang out under there as well. B2) ONYX RIVER -------------- Onyx River is the second location in the game. Like Green Valley Lake, it is filled with visible locations to go fishing in. Many of which, however, tend to hold small fish as opposed to the big fish. For that reason, you'll learn to rely on your fish finder a lot more than you did in Green Valley: open water holds quite a few big bass that you'll want to catch. Make certain to take the time and hunt out the crayfish lure in the rocks, as well. It's one of the best hidden lures there is, IMO. This is also one of the first areas that you'll find fish pulling a 'follow'. In other words, they'll pretty much follow your lure right up to the boat without ever touching it. If this happens, try changing the lure just slightly: turning it from bright to natural usually works, or changing to a similar lure, like minnow/crankbait or worm/grub. If they still only follow, you may want to consider not wasting the time and moving on to the next fish; unless the fish is particularly large, you may just be wasting time. After all, with an approximate 40lb score, the size of the fish you'll need has gone up considerably! But fill your boat full of mid-sized fish, and that'll pull you through. MARINA: Like Green Valley, you can fish at the marina here if the fish finder goes off. However, unlike Green Valley, it's not usually worth the time to do so. There are never any fish above 'size-small' here, and though you can occasionally catch one that's 5-6 pounds, it's probably more worthwhile to bypass it completely and go for the bigger fish further out. If you do decide to cast here, use the same lures as you did in Green Valley. Small bass and crappie are the common fish in this area. BUOYS: Again like Green Valley. However, you will occasionally be able to find larger fish here as well. So if the fish finder goes off in the area, be sure to check it out. The same lures are used here: minnows and crankbaits. Also, the same sort of fish can generally be found here: largemouth bass, crappie, and the occasional bluegill. OPEN WATER: There are still plenty of areas where there is absolutely nothing below you but water, water, and more water, and yet a fish may show up for no apparent reason. Keep an eye on your fish finder to locate these, and use a crankbait or minnow to coax them into biting. Just about any type of fish can be found like this, with bass being one of the rarest. OPEN WATER (GRAVEL BOTTOM): In a place with as many erosion-made rocks as this one, it's not a surprise that there are several places that the bottom is gravelly. Treat these the same as you do any other open water: a crankbait or a minnow to coax the fish out and make them bite. If they seem reticent about biting at it, try with a natural colored one instead of the bright; sometimes the larger fish can get a bit picky. OPEN WATER (WEEDS): Around the rocks in particular there are large patches of underwater weeds. Much like the ones in Green Valley, these are excellent feeding grounds for large bass. Just work the area with a worm or a crankbait. Bass (especially spotted bass) and bluegills are quite common in this area. REEDS: I highly discourage people from fishing in the reeds in this area, no matter what the fisherman says at the very beginning. For one thing, it's very very rare that they'll hold particularly big fish. For another thing, even when they do, it's too easy to have your lure strike against them. There's a *lot* better areas to fish at than this; trust me. If you do actually decide to try it, you'll find mostly small bass, bluegills, and crappie. ROCKS: Above and below water, the entire area of the northeast corner is littered with rocks. These rocks are an excellent fish-holder, and it's well worth it to come back here several times to check for large bass. However, be careful: casting out into the rocks is dangerous. It's quite possible to strike a rock and crack your lure when you do so, thus destroying it for the entire period. Good lures in this area are the minnow and the crankbait, with me leaning toward the minnow since the lure doesn't need to dive so deeply (much of the water here is shallow). Make certain to check the casting area with your trigger first. Don't cast unless you know there's something to cast for, and use the control pad to try and get the lure to avoid breaking on rocks. Also, when you reel in, be prepared to do lots of pressing on the control pad; it's easy for fish to get 'stuck' behind rocks and work themselves free. Bass are very easy to find around here; take full advantage of that. WEEDS: Like Green Valley, this place has a few surface-floating mats of weeds around. While I usually prefer the deep water weeds for finding the big fish, there will sometimes be good-sized spotted bass in these patches of weeds, making them worthwhile to investigate. As with all weedy areas, use a weedless lure: a spinnerbait works best, though they're attracted to pork baits and worms as well. Look for mostly spotted bass in here, though a few largemouth, bluegills, catfish, and crappie tend to 'hang around' as well. TREES: There are several trees on Onyx River's banks that overhang the water. These attract bass to feed underneath them as well. Use the swisher trick, though some of the larger bass may not be fooled. If not, try with a minnow; you can usually coax them to bite that way. Mainly small fish hide beneath the trees, in particular crappie and bluegills, but as said before, bass can be found and caught here. PILES: An old bridge used to cross the lake up near the northwest edge. Now all that's left are several old piles sticking out of the water. As with many of the 'rough terrain' areas, this is a hazardous place to cast. Be very, very careful of where the lure is going, if you can, and make sure to look with the marker to see if there's anything worth casting for before you do. Oftentimes, there isn't. At least, nothing big enough to worry about. If something is, a minnow will usually coax them out from around the piles. Just be sure to reel around the edges, and be prepared when you're reeling the fish in: they can and will often get caught behind the pilings, making you work the control pad to get them free. Various types of bass and crappie tend to be found in this area. B3) BRONZE LAKE --------------- The first lake where you no longer even have the option of getting some help with your fishing. Also, there are several areas that the game just doesn't tell you how to fish; you'll find that all the old tricks might not work for coaxing the fish out of their 'holes'. Luckily, however, you have me to help you out with this! Remember: the fish finder will be your best friend here, as most of the really good bass-holding places that you can fish at are underwater. With a 45lb score needed, don't stop at just picking up a boatful of middle fish. Make certain that your estimated weight is at least that before you risk it. In other words, make certain your fish average out to 8lb a'piece. This is also the first place that Hank Parker is entered in. Let's blow him away! MARINA: Two words: don't bother. You'll never find any fish above small size down here. It's OK if you want to try and catch a few crappie or bluegill, but the bass aren't worth the time. Just coast right on by without stopping. OPEN WATER: If the fish finder goes off, stop and take a peek around. Whip out the ol' crankbait if you see a big bass, though it's not all that likely. Lather, rinse, repeat. OPEN WATER (TIMBER): Around the timber areas, there are places where the wood is sunk into the water. These are actually better to fish at than the timber. For one thing, you don't have to worry as much about your lure getting caught. For another thing, you can see the fish better here. The best bait to use here is a worm, usually natural shade since a lot of the fish are getting more wily and paranoid. Just toss it out and twitch-squirm it back toward the boat, and you should coax the fish into biting it. Be careful not to get snagged, though with the worm's weedlessness, it's almost impossible. Good-sized bass like to hang out here, as well as bluegills and walleye. OPEN WATER (OLD BRIDGE): About mid-way through the lake, running from east to west, there are sections of wood and brick (at least that's what they look like) that are pieces of an old bridge beneath the water. These are good for holding large bass, and passing by them several times is usually a good idea to get the most out of them. While crankbaits occasionally work in here, I find the best bait to use is the grub. There's certainly no bias of fish-size about this; the big ones will take it as easily as the small ones will. Look for mostly bass in this area. OPEN WATER (ROCKS): Along the upper walls of the reservoir, there are sections where ridges and sections of rock lay beneath the surface, invisible except by the fish finder. These are much like the gravel sections of earlier lakes: use a crankbait or minnow to coax the bass to bite. TIMBER: At the southeastern and southwestern edge of the lake, there are two areas of drowned trees, flooded when the lake/reservoir was filled in. Much like Onyx River's pilings, this place is one big area of 'annoyance'. There's too many areas that you can crack your lure if you cast here. Pretty much any way you go, you're risking the lure. In addition, it's very rare that you'll find a fish worth catching in here; mostly what you find are small-sized bass. Probably better if you skirt the edges to check out the sunken timber. A lot easier on your lure, too. DAM: All the way along the southern part of the lake is the dam. This is a fairly good place to take a look around now and then for good-sized fish that are hanging out in the trash and buoys nearby. Be careful, though: the dam is another one of those places where if you cast too hard, you can slam your lure into it and bye-bye lure. Use the usual 'baitfish combo' to draw them out: minnows or crankbaits. You can find all the types of bass here. BOUYS: While there aren't as many buoys here, there still are a few, and you can still find a few fish hanging around them at times. If the fish finder goes off, give it a check. And like all the other buoys, a basic crankbait or minnow does the trick for catching them. However, a more common fish to be in the area here is northern pike. DUMP: In the northeastern corner, there is a dump tucked away in an inlet. This place is filled with all sorts of debris, making it difficult to get a good look at the fish here. Be careful: catfish like to hang around here, and they can be easily mistaken for bass if they're hidden beneath the junk. Crankbaits and worms both seem to work quite well here, though I've been able to coax a bite out with grubs occasionally as well. As mentioned above, catfish are very, very fond of this place, and can be found here on a very regular basis. Even more regularly than the bass. B4) BLUE STONE LAKE ------------------- This lake has tons and tons of places to go fishing at. You simply have to be able to locate them. Several of them are pretty well-hidden under the water and sequestered away in corners and along edges. Don't let this fool you, though: your fish finder, as always, will be your guide in this. Pay close attention to where it leads you and hunt around for only the biggest of the fish for the most part. They're what's going to get you the top spot. Bringing them in is extremely difficult, however. They are very wary, having a habit of being extremely picky with lures and colors (go with natural where you can). Be very, very patient when you're reeling in those huge fish, because they will break your line (or your rod!) if they get the chance. When you hook one of these monster bass, reel slowly, in tiny increments. When you hear that 'line-break' chime, let off quickly, then return as soon as it has settled. Try your best not to give them a chance to rest. If they go head-shaking to shake the lure loose, tap 'down' to make sure it stays in, then work on reeling them little by little again once they've stopped it. It takes a lot of patience, but they'll generally get there! Fish of all sorts can be found here; play around a bit if you want, but don't forget there's a time limit. For the first time, you may be sweating it! And with an approximate weight of 60lbs needed (remember: there's no second or third place, so you've *got* to be the top fisherman), you'll have to bring in a minimum average of 12 pounds per fish. Take your time, catch your fish, and go nearly to the buzzer if you have to. Once you've got it, though, congratulations! You've just beat the game! MARINA: Same as above: don't even bother. Everything is going to be too small here. Pretend it doesn't exist and just walk... er, motor on by. OPEN WATER: If the fish finder goes off, check it out. Some of the biggest, baddest lunkers occasionally like to hover in mid-water. If they're there, tease their tastebuds with your crankbait. OPEN WATER (WEEDS): Once again, there are areas in the water (scattered throughout the lake) where there is a sunken bed of weeds. These tend to be good fish-attracters, gathering almost every type of fish, including those gigantic bass that you'll need to be hunting down. Like with other sunken weed beds, a worm or grub works best down here. Pretty much any of the local fish population can be found here, from bass, to crappie, to catfish. OPEN WATER (SUNKEN TIMBER): There are a few areas where trees have been sunk into the water, primarily around the northern edge of the lake. These areas are much like the sunken timber areas in Bronze: they are a fairly good, safe place to cast for various types of fish. A grub or a worm works the best, though some of the big, finicky fish can be coaxed to bite with a crankbait. These areas are good for finding bass and catfish. OPEN WATER (JUNKYARD): Beneath the water south of the western bridge is an area where there are old, crunched-up cars. Much like the other aquatic material, this is a fish-holder. Give the grub or crankbait a try on any fish that happen to be sunk under here. You can generally find mid-sized largemouth here. BRIDGE: It's pretty obvious where the bridge is; it's that big object in the middle of the lake, shading over it. This is an incredibly prolific fish-holder. The monster bass love the shade and the pilings. Try to line your boat up with the pilings so they appear on the screen when you cast (at the north end of the casting area), rather than just open water; you'll find that you'll tend to find more fish and much bigger ones that way. This is where I find about 90% of my really big bass, with the rest spread out through the various other spots. The typical minnow and crankbait combo work well here. In addition to bass, crappie and catfish like to hang out underneath the bridge as well. LILY PADS: Just like the spots in Green Valley, the lily pads are extremely easy to see and find. And also like in Green Valley, they are an excellent place to find all sorts and sizes of bass. True lunkers aren't found here as often as mid-sized bass, but they'll rear their head as well; definitely worth the check. Break out the frog and toss it in if you see one that's the right size. BOUYS: These are the same sort of buoys you can find anywhere else. Baitfish lures, mostly small fish that hang here, read the info in the other lakes for the details. DUMP: Yay! Another dump! This one even larger than the one in Bronze. Rooting through this dump is still the same as above, however: carefully scan it to see if you can spot the fish you're looking for, employ worm or crankbait, and coax the fish up and preferably into the boat. And like Bronze, this place tends to attract catfish like nobody's business, as well as the bass you're probably mainly hunting. PILES: Right near the dump, there's a bunch of old piles. Much like the piles in Onyx, these are difficult to cast around without losing your lure. Another good place to make certain that there's something you want to cast at, rather than risk your lure in this place. In fact, you probably don't want to bother with fishing in here unless there's a full-sized lunker: getting the lure in and the fish out is often more trouble than it's worth for anything but a giant bass. B5) WHAT NOW? ------------- Now that you've finished the game, what is there for you to do? Why, go back through it again! Yes, although the game says that you can fish anywhere you want, I've not found a way to do that; you just head right back around to the start and go through it all again. And though the game talks about a 'monster black bass', there's no secret lake for you to go and check out to try and catch it. A bit of a gyp, I thought, but you still have the thrill of knowing that you're the best of the best, and the chance to go through it all over again (with all the lures that you'd found before) to prove it to your adoring public. UPDATE INFO ------------ 02/26/2006 - Version 1.0 - First version of the FAQ. - Happy birthday to me! 03/10/2006 - Version 1.5 - Some minor corrections in the text; mostly spellchecking - One or two fish added to certain lakes - Reformatted; I have a line-counter now - Added an interesting little detail to 'the basics': unusual fish 06/26/2006 - Version 1.6 - Crayfish lure added 01/29/2007 - Version 1.7 - Buzzbait and Backtail jig added. That's all the hidden lures! - Added tips for the actual reeling-in of fish - Some very minor editing elsewhere; you'll probably barely notice 02/04/2007 - Version 1.7.1 - Email change! 03/27/2007 - Version 1.7.2 - Added IM info for people wanting to talk directly. 07/19/2011 - Version 1.8 - Copyright updated - Slight formatting adjustments to match my other FAQs - Twitter added to IMs and ICQ removed; haven't had it in years - Added Tron's method for tiring out fish into the 'basics' section 02/02/2012 - Still version 1.8 - Copyright updated STILL TO COME ------------- NOTHING, at the moment. This may change, but for now, I'm satisfied with how this is. Unless I can get some of the below 'requests'. REQUESTS -------- Things I would love to get from people. -- ASCII maps of the various lakes. I have no ASCII ability of my own, but giving people an idea of what's where with an actual map would be extremely valuable. -- Any fishing places, fish locations, or the like that I'm missing. If the fishing spot's one I haven't noted down, be sure to tell me which lake it's in and the general location of it so I can scout it out on my own game. Especially if it's a different 'open water' location than the ones I have down. -- Various questions, requests, suggestions, kudos, whatever else you feel like offering to me; I love getting mail! Who knows? Maybe your question or suggestion will have information that needs to be added to a later version of the Walkthrough. -- An ASCII header of some sort. Not that it's important, of course, but they're pretty. :) THANKS TO... ----------- GameFAQs and CjayC: for giving me a place to put this FAQ down. HotB: For creating the best fishing game I have ever had the pleasure of playing. Tron: For the location of the Crayfish lure. Thanks! 07/19/2011: Another thanks, this time for the tactics of how to tire a big fish out before you reel it in! Always good to get some extra assistance. Fire Controlman 2nd Class Renke: For the location of both Buzzbait and Backtail Jig. A salute to you and the other Navymen while I'm at it! Always Rise To The Occasion! Larisa, Travis Michell, and Ivan Geschwindter: For also mentioning the location of the above two lures. Renke may have been first, but thank you for your contribution as well!