Gone Fishin’ Digital Fresh Water Fishing was released by Amtex in 1994 and many digital fishermen loved it straight away. It had high resolution graphics and offered many different lures and baits to catch a variety of fish. However what was the most impressive is that it had the entire Bay of Quinte map in the game modeled realistically after the actual lake in Canada. It also featured Bill Saiff whom I don’t know who he is but he’s your fishing partner in the game and will give you advise and tips as well as laugh at you when you catch a tiny fish with remarks like: I’ve seen bigger minnows.
After naming your fisherman, there is no female in this fishing game, you can select the difficulty level as well as how much luck you have! Imagine that being able to choose the amount of luck one has, we’d all be the luckiest people around. Not very realistic but the rest of the game is actually quite the opposite. Weather conditions like sun, rain, wind direction, clouds and temperature can all influence where the fish might be and what bait they will take. Unlike other fishing games there is a limit to how much bait and tackle you can take with you so you actually have to pick and choose the ones you like the most, quite a difference from other games now is it!
You aren’t going to catch anything if you’re not in the right place so a boat is available from the start. It has a fish finder onboard which indicates from zero to up to four dots which means it’s easier for you to see if an area is worth fishing. Finally when you do find a proper spot you can select your rod and reel and but on some bait or a lure to start fishing. Using the mouse you cast by holding the button and quickly moving the mouse forward where you release the button, it’s takes some practice but after a while you’ll be able to cast up to 90 yards and over.
This is still fishing though so when you attach a lure you will have to reel it in at the proper speed which is luckily indicated onscreen with a green bar. You can also set the drag to what you think is best, too little and the fish will swim away but too much and the line might break. Remember to set the drag BEFORE you cast because during a fight this will be much more difficult. If using a bait instead of a lure you can cast it in the water and actually wait or reel is in slowly, both ways will be able to catch fish.
Apparently there are some big fish in the Bay of Quinte because I’ve had instances where I simply could not reel the fish into the boat even after fighting it for several hours! The only option left to you is to cut the line and I’m pretty sure this is the only fishing game ever to actually have this option in the menu.
The entire game is viewed from a third person view, you can actually see yourself sitting on your fishing boat while casting. The graphics for the time were impressive using high resolution, it’s too bad there isn’t much scenery as most of the game you stare at the water and the sky. The fish you catch can be seen and a small one easily fits into your hand but the bigger ones need to be held in two hands. There is a good variety of fish to catch apart from bass like Northen Pike, Perch, Catfish and you might even get a Musky if you’re lucky (That rimes!).
For a Fishing Game released in 1994 it was far ahead of it’s competition and it was loved by many digital fishermen. It was released on DOS but ingame you have a window system which was quite unique. The only sad part is that there was supposed to be a competition called the Amtex Derby which was never released as well other lakes and such.
If you are able to find the game AND if you can get it to work on a current machine then consider yourself lucky because this is one of the best classic freshwater fishing games released.