Fishy business

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 December, 1995, 12:00am

Trophy Bass for PC CD-Roms HAVE you ever considered going fishing . . . on your computer? Well, here's a game that's bound to get you hooked.

Trophy Bass is as good as simulated bass fishing gets, and that's pretty good. You can choose to fish on any one of five lakes with a myriad of equipment options that are bound to make even the pros green with envy.

This game requires patience, as fishing ought to, but strangely enough - considering you're sitting behind a computer - you'll find yourself relaxing, which is essentially the attraction of a quiet day's fishing. But when you strike, it'll have you on the edge of your seat, trying to keep the fish hooked.

You can choose from a seemingly unlimited combination of rods, lures, casting techniques, reel-in speeds, water temperatures, seasons and times of day.

There's an encyclopedia of fishing know-how which is accessible at any point during your fishing foray to help you decide, for example, what rod or lure to use in certain weather conditions. Tips are on hand from pro fishermen such as Kevin Van Dam and the million-dollar prize winner Larry Nixon, which include text and video clips. These prove extremely helpful when the fish just aren't biting, even though they're visible swimming lazily just below the surface.

At the outset, options include 'Quick Fish', 'Fishing Trip', 'Tournament' or 'Career.' And there are easy, medium and difficult modes. Choosing 'Fishing Trip' will throw up the five lake alternatives.

Opt for High Rock Lake, for example, and up comes a topographical map of the lake. There is a toggle between this map and an actual map. The topographical map is important, as bass generally hang out in the shallows, although this also depends on the time of day, water temperature and a host of other influences.

You are on a boat which must now be steered to the location of your choice. Your boat has a depth sounder, fish finder, compass and forward and reverse throttle - realistic stuff. Once at your location, the computer builds a 'virtual lake' giving you all the inclement conditions, which you are able to adjust.

Now you can get down to the serious business of doing some actual fishing. If you don't feel up to going through all the motions, you can just opt for a 'Quick Fish', which takes you directly to this stage.

Firstly, select a rod. There are 20 bass rods to choose from, ranging from light to heavy action with six to 30 pound test lines. Choose from dozens of lures, then pick your casting technique - over hand, side arm, pitch, flip or two-handed. With the mouse, find the spot where you want to land your cast, hit the cast button, and hey, presto, you are fishing.

The most important rule of fishing is not to let the big one get away. If and when you get a strike, the fish will certainly put up quite a fight and may get off the hook, leaving you only with tall, but entertaining, tales.

Trophy Bass provides endless fun, and the tips you manage to pick up will definitely help you out when you get to do the real thing. Tight lines! Trophy Bass works with Windows 3.1 and 95. Minimum requirements are: 486/DX 66; 8MB RAM; 2X CD-ROM drive and a mouse.