Fishin' Holes, Lines N' Poles, Worms They Stole, Etc.
by Cindy Vanous, Sierra Web editor
So you pack up your electronic tackle box, throw a few virtual brews in the
simulation boat, and head off for some primo bass fishing. As you motor out to
your double-super-secret fishing spot, cyber-dragonflies buzz lazily by, and
you hear an e-fish leap and splash in the distance. It's sunny and warm,
without so much as a cloud in the sky, and the water is clear enough to see 15
feet down. Ahhhhhh. Nothing could possibly ruin such a perfect day.
Unless, of course, you don't catch a darn thing! So, to spare you that truly
unpleasant experience, I'll just give you some of the tricks which catapulted
me into first place in the tournament, and made me a bass-fishing legend in my
own PC. (Well, not all of my tricks, mind you, because when Trophy Bass 2
comes out, complete with network and modem play, I don't want you to take that
tournament title away from me!)
Well, the first trick is to actually find the fish. I'm going to assume that
you're in tournament mode here, since if you were just in "let's go out and
catch any old thing that happens to be sitting in the lake" mode, you wouldn't
be reading this. I mean, how tough is it to catch those bluegills or catfish?
Only about as tough as catching trouble when you get home three hours late.
It's bass we're after, my friend, and those bass don't particularly want to
spend the day blowing bubbles at the bottom of your lukewarm, boring live
well, so they won't make it easy for you.
First off, don't head too far away from the launch site, since wasting time
means throwing away the opportunity to spend that time at the end of the day
trying to catch just one more fish (maybe a tournament-busting leviathan that
other fishermen only dream of!). I try to stay within about 20 minutes of the
boat ramp. Also, don't fish too close to shore. Hugging the shoreline is a
great way to catch crappies and catfish, but generally the biggest bass you'd
catch there would comfortably fit in your hat, with room left over. And a
12-ounce smallmouth rarely wins tournaments. Instead, try the mid-depth area,
between 20 and 40 feet deep, and away from the shore and the docks.
Now, this may be considered cheating, but it works for me. Go to your
navigation map view, and motor around your chosen fishing spot. As soon as
your fish finder goes off, stop the boat immediately and go to the close-up,
"go fish!" view. When you switch views like this, the game will generate all
of the fish in the general vicinity, and it places them at the surface! They
quickly sink to the appropriate depths, and disappear into the murk. But for
just a few seconds, their positions will be apparent. The instant you see the
outline of a nice big bass, set your casting spot near it, so you'll know
where you need to cast your line.
When you do cast, choose a spot just above and to the side of the fish's
position. This way, you can drag it right across his beady-eyed, gaping-jawed,
tiny-brained head, and hopefully attract his attention. Keep in mind that the
current is going to pull your hook, sometimes quite quickly, so a few practice
casts will probably be in order to figure out where you need to drop your line
and drag it right across the fish. Another interesting thing to note is that
the position of the hook doesn't seem to change until you start to reel in the
line, so you may want to let it sink to the fish's depth before you start
reeling in. Otherwise, the current might drag it past him while it's still 10
feet over his head and way out of reach.
This of course brings us to the question of bait. Since Trophy Bass (wisely)
does not include my favorite fish-catching item, otherwise known as the "lit
dynamite" lure, we're reduced to more conventional and legal fishing
alternatives. So, what do those big lunkers want for supper? Personally, I
experimented with about 15 different lures before I found my "lucky lure".
I've had my best luck with a medium crawfish, set for "wacky". I also use a
6.5-foot medium casting rod, with 20-pound test line. The color on the lure
varies. I use pumpkin/orange if the water is clouded, purple/red if it's
muddy, and pumpkin/blue for relatively clear water. If the water is muddy or
clouded, I've also found that it's best to reel in your line very slowly, to
give the fish a better chance to actually see the bait.
So that's it! I'm certainly not going to guarantee that these tricks will win
you the tournament, but they may give you a better chance at bringing home the
trophy. And if you do catch that deep-water leviathan, whether he be a
25-pound largemouth or a 50-pound channel cat, I expect to be invited to the
barbeque! Good luck!