ihobo Critical FAQ on 'Sega Bass Fishing' (Dreamcast)
Guild of Thieves

ihobo Critical FAQ on 'Sega Bass Fishing' (Dreamcast)

Do not read beyond this point unless you are already an experienced Sega Bass Fishing player, or you have essentially no self-control. The information up to and including Question 56 of this CFAQ may be considered Spoilers.

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41. What's the biggest bass you can catch?
42. Where are the best hotspots on Lake Paradise?
43. What's a tetrapod?
44. Do the sluices being raised in the Inlet affect fishing?
45. Where are the best hotspots on Lake Crystaldew?
46. How do I catch fish at noon in the Original mode?
47. Which are the best basic lures?
48. What are the best ways to use the basic lures?
49. Which are the best special lures?
50. What are the best ways to use the special lures?
51. What's a good weight of fish to catch in a day at Lake Paradise?
52. What's a good weight of fish to catch in a day at Lake Crystaldew?
53. How do I complete Arcade Mode on one credit?
54. What do I have to do to win each tournament?
55. Is there an easy way to win all the tournaments?
56. Are there any secrets in Sega Bass Fishing?

End of Spoilers


41. What's the biggest bass you can catch?

Generally speaking, the largest bass you can catch is around 21-22 lbs.

Although we can't prove it, rumours of a 23 lb. bass being caught by the ihobo team have circulated, but the tricky save problems mean we can't prove or deny this at this time.

The largest verified bass we've seen has been exactly 22 lbs.


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42. Where are the best hotspots on Lake Paradise?

The following are the best hotspots the ihobo team has found on Lake Paradise (in Arcade and Original mode), along with the best conditions and lures to use:

  • Cape

    The are several hotspots at the cape, chiefly:

    1. Either side of the pylon-structure to the left of the area.
      Lures: grub, deep crank
    2. Just right of the above are some trees in the water, which are also good for fish.
      Lures: grub, deep crank, popper
    3. The shallow, shaded areas under the tree to the left, and under the tree to the right of the area, are good when the weather is bright.
      Lures: suspend minnow, popper, deep crank
    4. The shaded area directly in front of where you start can be really good, and it's often worth a cast. If it comes back dry, go elsewhere.
      Lures: suspend minnow, deep crank, popper

    Bass Composition: Good-sized fish, with a few Huge fish
    Time of Day: Morning or evening are best, although noon fishing can yield results.
    Weather: Good in most conditions, especially cloudy or raining

  • Lodge

    There are a few hotspots at the Lodge, chiefly:

    1. Just fractionally right of where you start is a great spot. In the dead centre of the wooden pontoon area, just to the right of the central support pillar, there is a large pile of logs on the bottom. Pull a deep crank through here to attract the attention of every fish nearby, or use a suspend minnow to target a specific fish.
      Lures: deep crank, suspend minnow
    2. Along the side of either pontoon in the centre (to the right and left of where you start). Big fish like to shelter under the pontoons.
      Lures: deep crank, popper
    3. The third wooden lodge support from the left can be fruitful (at the point where the nearest wall ends), but if there isn't a big fish when you cast the first time, look elsewhere. Reeling in will bring you over some concrete blocks on the bottom of the lake, which are good when a hard lure is pulled across it, but a suspend minnow can also be effective.
      Lures: deep crank, suspend minnow

    Bass Composition: Mostly small and medium fish, with pockets of Huge fish
    Time of Day: Unlike other locations, noon can be reasonably effective at the lodge, especially if the weather is inclement - but prepare for a love-hate relationship with the Lodge at noon. Morning and evening are the best times, as ever.
    Weather: Good when cloudy or raining, but acceptable in fine weather.

  • Palace

    In the Arcade mode, the fish here are the largest found in the game. However, this is not the case in Original mode: there can be good-sized fish, but they are usually few and far between. Beware the time it takes to move from one side of the Palace to the other - you must know where you are going and go straight there.

    1. Go to the right, until you see part of a collapsed wall sticking up out of the water, creating a slightly shaded underwater hollow (there is a treasure chest in the water here). Cast as close to the middle of the interior of this corner wall as you can. Dragging lures can be pulled across the treasure chest where fish will snap them up.
      Lures: suspend minnow, straight worm
    2. If this area comes up short, go further to the right until you reach the bridge. Cast anywhere under the first arch of the bridge, and you will find a trench of deep water that is sometimes home to big or huge bass. You will need lures that go deep to catch them, though, although a surface lure has a chance of attracting attention.
      Lures: deep crank, vibration
    3. Just to the left of the area described in (a) above can also yield results, although it can be tricky to land fish here, not least of all because a bug in the bass AI sometimes causes them to get stuck in the wall, in which case they cannot easily be caught.
      Lures: suspend minnow, deep crank

    Bass Composition (Arcade): Many fish, all huge
    Bass Composition (Original): Often empty, but occasionally single or small groups of huge fish.
    Time of Day: Morning or evening only
    Weather: Cloudy or raining is essential

  • Inlet

    There is usually only one huge fish in the inlet in Arcade mode, but in Original there may be several, especially if it is not too bright:

    1. Any of the rows of tetrapods (concrete blocks with four prongs - they look a little like jacks) either side of the sluices are great places to find big fish, lurking amidst the tetrapods themselves. They are marked on the surface by buoys.
      Lures: vibration, deep crank, anything that sinks
    2. If all else fails, to the far left (by the pipe outlet) or the far right (by the boat) occasionally has a big bass.
      Lures: suspend minnow, deep crank

    Bass Composition: Predominantly medium sized fish, with some huge fish
    Time of Day: Morning and evening are the best times by far.
    Weather: Okay when cloudy or raining, but reasonably poor when it's fine

ihobo comments: the Lake Paradise locations are well balanced, and every location has a role, even if some are better than others. This level of balance was essential for the arcade, but fits well into an Original session.

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43. What's a tetrapod?

Tetrapods are concrete blocks made of four prongs that meet in the centre. They are an essential sea defence, helping to prevent coastal erosion. They can be found in the game at the Inlet, either side of the huge sluices.


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44. Do the sluices being raised in the Inlet affect fishing?

Not especially.


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45. Where are the best hotspots on Lake Crystaldew?

The following are the best hotspots the ihobo team has found on Lake Crystaldew (in Original mode), along with the best conditions and lures to use:

  • Falls

    Once you can fish at the Falls, you will only need to go to other areas at noon or if it is fine. There is only one hotspot:

    1. To the far right (near where the deer is). In the hollow to the right there is a tree sticking up in roughly the centre. Cast here. It will be a long cast, taking a lot of time to land a fish, but under the right conditions this is categorically the best hotspot in the entire game. You will see more huge fish than you've ever seen at this point, and if you don't see dozens, immediately leave - it takes so long to reel in at the Falls that if there aren't droves of monster bass you should definitely go elsewhere. You have enough time to catch about 4 fish per session, giving you one hour game time to catch each.
      Lures: buzz bait, popper, deep crank, vibration

    Bass Composition: Hordes of monster fish, or none at all
    Time of Day: Morning and evening are the only times worth coming, unless it's cloudy, in which case you have a chance at noon.
    Weather: Only worth coming when it's cloudy or raining - if it's fine there'll be nothing for you here.

  • Reeds

    Most anglers fall in love with the reeds in the morning or evening:

    1. To the right of where you start is a bridge between the two reed beds. In the shallows in front of this bridge is grand central for average sized bass - drop the popper in and watch them fight it out! It's a short cast, and you can land fish in no time at all - easily 30 lbs. of fish in a good session. If you don't have the popper, the pencil bait or deep crank will do fine.
      Lures: popper, buzz bait
    2. The place where you start (to the left of the bridge, where there are sticks coming out of the water) is a good place to fish if pickings are poor.
      Lures: grub, popper, suspend minnow (if there's a big one amongst small fish)
    3. There are small clumps of reeds in the open water either side of where you start - the one listed in (b) and another one on the other side of the bridge to the right. If you are desperate, you can pull a rubber jig through these reeds for results.
      Lures: rubber jig

    Bass Composition: Hordes and hordes of small and medium fish, with the occasional huge fish
    Time of Day: Fish are here all day, but they are here in hordes in the morning and evening
    Weather: The weather is less important than the time of day, although fine is still worse than cloudy or raining.

  • Cave or Bridge

    Abandon hope all ye who enter here...

    If you are forced to fish at the Cave or the Bridge, you should be resigned to slim pickings, and a long, long reeling time. There are no hotspots, but there are a couple of tepid spots (to the left and right of the bridge support to the far left on the Bridge; left of the deep trench in front of the cave entrance in the Cave area, for example). Scout with the rubber jig in either location, because everything else takes far too long to sink to the bottom. Vibration and deep crank are good choices for the Cave, the Bridge is almost a total waste of your valuable fishing time.

    If you know of any great hotspots at the Cave or the Bridge, please email us at research@ihobo.com.

    Bass Composition: Fish are hard to find, and rarely huge
    Time of Day: Makes little difference, although there may be more fish at the bridge if it is fine
    Weather: Makes little difference, although there may be more fish at the bridge in fine weather

ihobo comments: it is a shame that the balance on Lake Crystaldew is so heavily biased towards the Reeds and especially the Falls (once you have mastered the hotspot at the Falls, you will rapidly lose interest in fishing anywhere else).

It is difficult to know if the breakdown in game balance could have been repaired at the design level without seeing the original design documents, but ideally the Bridge and the Cave should have been places where large fish could be pulled out of the deep water with some confidence. As it stands, even if you do land a fish at these locations, they are rarely large enough to justify the time it took to land them.


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46. How do I catch fish at noon in the Original mode?

Noon is always a tough time to fish, but you can sometimes improve your chances with the alternative colours. In particular, the shrimp colouration for the deep crank is dramatically more effective at noon. The spinner bait's yellow colours may also prove effective, if the spinner bait is a lure you can already use with some success.


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47. Which are the best basic lures?

Generally speaking, the deep crank is by far the best of the basic lures, with the vibration and the floating minnow (at least until the suspend minnow has been acquired) coming in a close second.

Although not fantastic all-round lures, the spinner bait and the pencil bait have their uses.

You should still experiment with all the lures yourself, as you may find some are better suited to your style than others. If you disagree with our assessments in the next section, we would love to hear from you at research@ihobo.com.


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48. What are the best ways to use the basic lures?


  • Shallow Crank
    (basic colours: green, alternative colours: purple-yellow)

    The shallow crank is an okay lure, but restricted to shallow waters. Generally speaking, the deep crank will do everything the shallow crank will, only better, and unless you have developed a personal preference for this lure, we would not advice using it at all.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Usefulness: Poor
    Buoyancy: This floats unless you reel, so you have to reel quite a lot to keep it below the surface. Bass don't like this lure when it's on the surface.
    Alternative colours: the purple-yellow okay, and may get better results than the green shallow crank. However, the big fish do not like the purple-yellow colours, and selecting this colour scheme will therefore not catch you anything worth catching.
    Superior version: the deep crank is generally a superior version of the shallow crank, and it is available in your starting tackle.

  • Spinner Bait
    (basic colours: white & green, alternative colours: all yellow)

    Although many anglers find the spinner bait ineffective for catching anything but tiddlers, some seem to click well with its style, and it can be effective. Reeling and stopping is generally better than reeling constantly, especially if you can hit obstacles. Reel slowly, so it doesn't come in too fast, but don't let it drag along the bottom.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Usefulness: Average
    Buoyancy: this lure sinks naturally, which makes it quite good for medium depth fishing.
    Alternative colours: the yellow colouration seems more effective at noon than the default colours.
    Superior version: although the buzz bait looks very similar to the spinner bait, the best action for the buzz bait is markedly different. However, once you have earned a buzz bait, you probably can abandon the spinner bait entirely, unless it is a personal favourite.

  • Pencil Bait
    (basic colours: green & yellow, alternative colours: red-yellow-green)

    The pencil bait can be a useful lure, but it is vastly overshadowed by its superior version, the popper. The pencil bait's biggest advantage is that it is a surface bait, which means used properly you can attract fish without having to seek them out underwater. The best action is to reel gently - just enough to keep the tension - and to twitch in all directions, but primarily left and right. With practice, you can get bass to follow this bait, which allows you to have less line out when you get the hit. This is advantageous near the end of an allotted time period, or any time that there are vast numbers of bass congregating in the same area.

    Difficulty: Average
    Usefulness: Average
    Buoyancy: this lure floats and nothing you do will get it away from the surface.
    Alternative colours: the alternative colours don't seem to significantly affect the performance of this bait.
    Superior version: as soon as you have the popper, you can abandon using the pencil bait all together.

  • Vibration
    (basic colours: red, alternative colours: purple)

    This is an excellent lure, but it can be difficult to learn to use it properly. As you reel, the lure vibrates making a noise that can draw in fish from some distance away. However, the big fish are lazy and unlikely to travel to far, so you have to be in the right ballpark to catch huge bass with the vibration lure. The trick to using it is that its depth in the water is determined by how fast you reel. You need to match the depth of the lure with the depth of the bass you wish to land for the best results. This lure is especially good amongst the tetrapods in the Inlet.

    Difficulty: Tricky
    Usefulness: Good
    Buoyancy: this lure sinks naturally, and is a good choice for medium depth fishing.
    Alternative colours: the alternative colours seem worse than the regular colours - especially in the evening.
    Superior version: none.

  • Floating Minnow
    (basic colours: brown, alternative colours: neon purple-green)

    Although hard to master, the minnow lures are effective, and offer the best ability among all the lures for singling out a specific bass to land. You do not have to reel the floating minnow constantly, but you do have to reel enough to keep it underwater. Inserting brief periods of slack (so it rises gently) can be highly effective, especially with a gentle twitching. Fish generally do not want the fish to look like it has epilepsy, but respond well to a gentle twitching with the occasional spasm.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Usefulness: Good
    Buoyancy: this lure floats naturally, but must be kept off the surface. Reel heavily at the start of the cast to get it underwater, or pull the rod up (analogue stick down) to pull it deeper, but in this latter case you will have to reel in to take up the slack.
    Alternative colours: the neon colours are good in the morning and evening and all but useless at noon.
    Superior version: the suspend minnow is vastly superior to the floating minnow, and should be used in place of it once it is acquired.

  • Deep Crank
    (basic colours: brown & white, alternative colours: shrimp - pink head, white body)

    Everyone should learn to use the deep crank - this lure is easy to use and can land all sizes of fish, in all depths of water. Most anglers rapidly single out the deep crank as a favourite. However, be careful not to become over reliant on the deep crank, as other lures offer superior performance in many situations. The key to using it is to reel rapidly at the start in order to get the depth, and then cease reeling, leaving the lure to float up a little. This is effective in the middle water, or on the bottom where the spoon part of the lure rakes up sand, often attracting fish. If you are near a fish you want to catch, you can cease reeling and twitch the rod a little, to have it move on the spot, attracting attention. Don't do this too often without reeling in, however, or you will lose the tension. Bass go wild for this lure when it skates across piles of sticks or other similar debris at the bottom of the lake. If you're not sure of the rhythm, reel for one beat, then rest for just over one beat, then adjust this pattern until you can maintain the depth of the deep crank easily. Persevere. It will be worth it.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Usefulness: Excellent
    Buoyancy: this lure floats naturally, and must be reeled to keep it underwater. You want to be deep with this lure, as it is almost useless at the surface.
    Alternative colours: the alternative colours for the deep crank make it resemble a shrimp - this colour scheme is superb for noon fishing, and should almost always be used at noon. If it is still dark at the start of the noon session, the regular colours may be more effective, but by 1200 noon the shrimp colours are usually more effective.
    Superior version: the sonic lure is a superior version of the deep crank, and should be used in place of the other cranks as soon as it is acquired.


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49. Which are the best special lures?

Buzz bait, grub, suspend minnow, popper and sonic lure are all excellent lures in the right circumstances.

The rubber jig, because it sinks faster than any other lure, is a great 'probe', and has its uses, even if it isn't a great lure in terms of catching fish.

You should still experiment with all the special lures yourself, as you may find some are better suited to your style than others, or that we have not uncovered a great trick for a particular lure. If you have anything to add, we would love to hear from you.


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50. What are the best ways to use the special lures?


  • Paddle Tail
    (basic colours: grey, alternative colours: light green, purple, dark green)

    This lure works best if you can slap it against a hard surface, such as rock. It is mostly ineffective in attracting the attention of fish on softer surfaces, and to make matters worth its a drag lure, so fish have difficulty biting it. You can twitch the rod when a fish is near to pull it off the bottom, or just hope that something grabs it when it goes over an obstacle.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Usefulness: Poor
    Buoyancy: this lure sinks at a moderate speed.
    Alternative colours: no better performance has been achieved with the alternative colours.

  • Buzz Bait
    (basic colours: white & yellow, alternative colours: grey/black)

    You can be forgiven for thinking that the buzz bait is not a useful bait. In order to produce the expected splashing, you must lure very fast, and only small fish can be bothered to keep up with it. In addition, it requires a relatively long cast to have enough room to manoeuvre, and it is only truly effective in shallow water. However, you may discover that buzz bait is a bit of a sleeper; once you've mastered one simple trick it transforms itself into one of the best baits in the game, and a bait that catches huge fish with amazing reliability.

    The key to the buzz bait is to create the desired 'buzzing' splashes by reeling rapidly, but then pausing and letting the lure sink, repeating these two steps as necessary. (This action is almost the direct opposite to deep crank action, which floats when you don't reel, causing the buzz bait to earn the nickname of "anti-crank"). The splashing attracts the attention of fish, and the resting period gives them a chance to bite.

    Best of all, fish of all sizes will happily follow the buzz bait, allowing you to get closer to the boat before getting a bite. The buzz bait can also be used under water, by letting it sink, and twitching gently as it descends. Persevere with the buzz bait - it's worth it, especially at the Falls.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Usefulness: Excellent
    Buoyancy: this lure sinks gently, but can be kept on the surface by reeling.
    Alternative colours: the black buzz bait has shown to be effective in the Reeds.

  • Grub
    (basic colours: black & gold, alternative colours: light green, light grey, dark green)

    The grub is a wonderful, if specialised lure. The time to use the grub is near vertical surfaces - trees, pylons, reeds - anything that a grub could realistically fall out of. At the Cape, the grub is one of the best lures to use, and this lure only avoids the ihobo 'Excellent' rating for Usefulness on account of its somewhat specialist nature. It is good at the Bridge, Lodge and the Reeds, as well as the aforementioned Cape.

    Difficulty: Average
    Usefulness: Good
    Buoyancy: this lure sinks steadily, but is most useful if it is not on the bottom. You can reel periodically as it drops to keep it from falling to the bottom of the lake.
    Alternative colours: all of the colour schemes can be good, but it is often hard to tell when to use them. The light grey colours have been especially good at the Cape in the evening, or when it's cloudy

  • Suspend Minnow
    (basic colours: light grey, alternative colours: blue)

    This is essentially a super-minnow, and once you have the suspend minnow, your floating minnow should be banished to the tackle box. Its usage follows exactly the same guidelines as the floating minnow, except for one thing: when you don't reel, the floating minnow just sits where it is. This allows you to position the lure near the fish you want and take your time about courting it. Best of all, if a fish you don't want takes an interest, you can just let it sit until they run away, and the floating minnow will just hold its position. There doesn't seem to be an upper limit to the size of fish you can catch with a floating minnow, making it one of the best lures to master, especially if you favour precision fishing.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Usefulness: Excellent
    Buoyancy: this has neutral buoyancy, and holds its position in the water even when you don't reel.
    Alternative colours: okay in the morning, but utterly useless at noon, and not much use in the evening.

  • Rubber Jig
    (basic colours: black & red, alternative colours: white, black)

    This lure is far too specialised to be used effectively - fish only go for it in earnest when you drag it through a patch of reeds, and there are too few of these (even in the Reeds area) to make its usage worthwhile. However, it will catch fish of all sizes, and is worth learning to use for one simple reason. The rubber jig sinks faster than any other lure in the game, making it the perfect 'scout lure' to drop into a deep hole and explore. In Original mode (where you have more time) this is worth doing even if you can't catch a damn thing with the jig, but if you can learn to land fish with it, you may find launching a 'jig probe' is the first thing you do at the Cave or Bridge.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Usefulness: Average at catching fish, but excellent as a probe
    Buoyancy: the jig sinks like a stone - you will struggle to keep it off the bottom, making it hard for fish to bite it. Use obstacles or tugs of the line to keep it free floating, if you can.
    Alternative colours: the alternative colour schemes do not seem to make the jig any more useful.

  • Popper
    (basic colours: grey, alternative colours: fluorescent blues)

    Hail to the popper, the king of speed fishing. When you don't care what you catch, but you'd like to catch a lot of fish quickly, the popper is the lure for you. Reel just enough to keep the tension and push the stick randomly left and right to make a plop sound that attracts fish from all directions. You can also make it pop without reeling, but the tension will drop if you do it for too long, leaving it static in the water. With a little practice, anyone can use the popper, and the fish just jump on it, especially at the Reeds in the morning or evening. Fast and effective, the popper replaces the weedy pencil bait which you can happily toss overboard once you have the popper. Its main disadvantage is that it lands everything indiscriminately, which means if there are a lot of small fish and only a few big ones, you will mostly land small fry. It is also not very effective at noon, since the fish are usually reluctant to come to the surface.

    Difficulty: Average
    Usefulness: Excellent
    Buoyancy: the popper floats at the surface.
    Alternative colours: the alternative colour seems fine, and may actually be an improvement in the rain.

  • Straight Worm
    (basic colours: light green, alternative colours: light grey, dark green, dark grey)

    Used as a drag, the straight worm suffers from the same problem all drag lures have: bass struggle to pick it up off the bottom. However, you can use it in a similar way to the grub with some success. Generally, however, the straight worm is not a tremendously useful lure. It scores over the paddle tail by virtue of being easier to use, as it will work in all circumstances. If you can cast it across an obstacle, fish will leap on the straight worm, making it a fair lure, if not a great one. This lure can catch fish of all sizes, but it can often be a struggle.

    Difficulty: Tricky
    Usefulness: Average
    Buoyancy: sinks slowly
    Alternative colours: the alternative colours do not seem to greatly affect performance.

  • Sonic Lure
    (basic colours: blue hedgehog with red boots)

    This is identical to the deep crank - except the fish love it even more! The action and behaviour is exactly the same, except it looks cuter in the water. This lure is awarded for winning every stage of the Professional tournament in Original mode.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Usefulness: Excellent - even better than the deep crank
    Buoyancy: floats when not being reeled in
    Alternative colours: none.

ihobo comments: it is unfortunate that the fish struggle to pick lures from the lake bottom, and appears to be a slight bug in the game. However, International Hobo does not believe this problem could have been identified at the design level.


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51. What's a good weight of fish to catch in a day at Lake Paradise?

More than 75-80 lbs. is a good target. Anything over 100 lbs. in one day is a good effort.


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52. What's a good weight of fish to catch in a day at Lake Crystaldew?

Once the Falls area is available, if you catch less than 100 lbs. in one day you need more practice at the Falls. Totals in excess of 200 lbs. in one day are not unheard of, and no one else in the tournament will have a chance of catching you once you've mastered the Falls.


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53. How do I complete Arcade Mode on one credit?

Use your first minute to catch as many fish as you can, in order to get at least one special lure. Use your second minute to find a big fish (by watching the shadows), and hopefully to land it.

For the second and third stage, just go straight for a big fish - you don't have time to waste. It is therefore worth starting on whichever level you find it hardest to catch big fish at. A popular choice is to start at the Cape (which has plenty of good-sized fish, but fewer huge fish) and hence finish at the Lodge (which usually has a huge fish in the centre area).

At the Palace, fish with a deep crank, suspend minnow or buzz bait at the usual hotspots (see above) in order to catch a monster fish and win the game.


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54. What do I have to do to win each tournament?

In the Amateur tournament you will need to catch about 70-80 lbs. of fish to win each stage. There are five stages in all, starting on Lake Paradise, and then alternating with Lake Crystaldew from then on. Any weight between 60 and 70 lbs. is likely to score you points, and anything above 90 lbs. is a guaranteed win. Your opposition will catch about 15 fish a day, and the fish will weigh between 4 and 5 lbs. You only need to be in the top ten to get the next tournament passport, which will require roughly 12 points; over 100 points are required to come first.

In the Challenge tournament you will need to catch about 70-80 lbs. of fish to win each stage. There are two stages in all, starting with Lake Crystaldew. Fish under 3 lbs. are ignored. The opposition will catch about 15 fish a day, and the fish will weight between 5-6 lbs. , so you will usually need 75-80 lbs. to win each stage here, exactly as it was in the Amateur tournament. You need to be in the top five players to get the next tournament passport, which will require roughly 25 points; over 50 points are generally required to come first.

ihobo comments: the weights of fish caught by the other contestants do not match the availability of fish in each of the lakes and strongly suggest a simplistic linear function was used to generate the numbers.

International Hobo has designers who can create non-linear functions for any occasion, and in this case we would have recommended a cap-tailed bell curve function, with a scalar variable to incorporate the angler's level of skill.

An example of a good function for the purpose is

Sx[(A x rnd)+(A x rnd)] + S^2 x [(M x rnd)+(M x rnd)]

where S is the skill of the angler (from 0.01 to 1.0), A is the average weight of fish in the lake and M is (maximum weight for a fish in the lake - average weight for fish in the lake)/2.

For example, with A = 3 and M = 10 (which would be approximately right for Lake Crystaldew):

An angler of skill 0.2 (extremely poor) will typically catch a fish of about 1 lbs., with a maximum size of 2 lbs.

With skill of 0.5 (average), an angler will typically catch fish of about 4 lbs., but can catch a fish up to 8 lbs.

With a skill of 0.75 (good), an angler will typically catch fish of about 8 lbs., but can catch a fish up to 16 lbs.

At skill 0.9 (excellent), an angler will land fish around 11 lbs., and can land up to 22 lbs. (which is roughly what the limit is in the game).

An angler of skill of 1.0 (outstanding) would be pulling in around 13 lbs. and could land monster bass up to 26 lbs.!

In all cases, there is no lower limit on the size of fish caught, although the more skilled anglers are unlikely to land small fish. This would allow a great range of variation.

The above function is only an example, however, since it does not take into account weather conditions or time of day on the fish caught. If the ihobo team had worked on this project, we would have tuned a function ideal to the purpose.

It is frustrating in the game as implemented that the computer anglers catch as many fish (and of the same size) apparently regardless of the weather conditions or time of day. This is particularly irritating at noon when you come back empty and they have caught the same weight of fish that they did in the morning.

In the Professional tournament you need to catch 5 bass of at least 3 lbs. in five stages. The best of the computer anglers will only catch fish up to about 7 or 8 pounds, so if you catch at least 40 lbs. worth in 5 fish, you will be guaranteed to win. Only the top three players advance, but by now the Falls should be available, making victory comparatively trivial.

In the Masters tournament you need to catch 7 bass of at least 4 lbs. in two stages. The best of the computer anglers will still only catch fish up to about 7 or 8 pounds. If you catch at least 56 pounds worth in 7 fish, you will be guaranteed to win.

There are no tournaments beyond Masters.

ihobo comments: the Professional and Masters tournaments are pathetically easy compared to the first two tournaments, especially with the Falls available. You can catch all the fish you need to win in the morning, and then have nothing to do for the rest of the day but sit in the boat and look for shapes in the clouds.

The problem stems partly from the poor computer angler functions, addressed above, and partly from the unbalancing effect of the Falls area on play. It should have been possible to spot this problem at the design stage.


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55. Is there an easy way to win all the tournaments?

Yes, although it's not very sporting and you will have to be at a reasonable skill level before you can achieve it. There are no super cheats that will allow you to skip having to learn to play the game, thankfully.

Firstly, don't accept failure. If you don't score points on a stage, reload and try the stage again. Always save when you win a stage.

Fish for a lot of medium sized fish first, in order to get as many special lures as possible. You want to focus on medium sized fish until you at least have either the popper or the buzz bait, and preferably both. The Cape is a great starting point.

When you are fishing on Lake Crystaldew, always fish at the Falls if at all possible. Before the Falls are available, use the Reeds in the morning and evening and then go and make a cup of coffee at noon.

When fishing on Lake Paradise, concentrate on the Cape in the morning and evening, and the Lodge at noon. After it is unlocked, venture into the Palace in cloudy weather if you are feeling lucky, but don't stick around if there's nothing to be found.

Once you have a significant point advantage, you can afford to relax on a stage or two, unless you are so driven that you feel the need to come first in each round, in which case expect to have to reload quite frequently on Lake Paradise. You will probably want to win all the stages of the Professional tournament so that you will have the Sonic Lure in the final tournament.

The Professional and Masters tournament are generally much easier than the earlier tournaments, provided you have the Falls to fish on. Even without the golden fishing ground, a good angler will be able to vastly outperform the computer anglers when only the biggest fish are counted, and if you are good enough to win either the Amateur or Challenge tournaments, you can almost certainly win the last two tournaments.


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56. Are there any secrets in Sega Bass Fishing?

There are a few secret features in the game:

Female Angler in Arcade
Press A and B together when selecting an area to fish in Arcade mode to play as the female angler.
Sonic Lure
This "super deep crank" is awarded for winning all the stages in the Professional Tournament in Original mode.
The Palace
To be able to fish at the Palace in both the Original and Practice modes, you need to win any tournament stage (Original mode) that takes place on Lake Paradise.
The Falls
To be able to fish at the Falls in both the Original and Practice modes, you need to win any tournament stage (Original mode) that takes place on Lake Crystaldew.

ihobo comments: it would have been nice if the ability to fish at midnight (as in the Palace stage at the end of arcade) was available in Practice mode as an unlockable feature. International Hobo usually recommends reuse of game material in as many ways as possible, including as secret features.

As far as the ihobo team can divine there are no cheats that make the game easier, although the tips in this Spoiler area will help you perform at your best.

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