Bass anglers take their sport seriously. They watch fishing shows not just to learn fish-finding tips or hear about new techniques but mainly to see their heroes reel in those trophy fish in hopes that they'll be able to do the same thing their next trip. They clamber out of bed long before sunrise so there'll be time for the requisite biscuit and coffee before setting out in search of those lunkers who've just begun looking for a bit of breakfast. They endure scorching midday heat, secure in the knowledge that if the fish aren't biting at that time, then everything will change when the sun sinks low and things start to cool off.
If you appreciate the sport of bass fishing, then there's really only one marginal excuse not to grab a copy of Trophy Bass 4 from Sierra Sports - and it's that you already own Trophy Bass 3D and the Trophy Bass 3D Lake Expansion Pack. Trophy Bass 4 adds several welcome features not found in the combo of Trophy Bass 3D and the Lake Expansion Pack, and the game's low price tag certainly takes the sting out of upgrading to the latest version.
Besides the 22 lakes featured in Trophy Bass 3D and the expansion pack, Trophy Bass 4 also provides three additional lakes, all in the South and the Southeast: Kentucky Lake (as well as Lake Barkley) in Kentucky, Lake Marion in South Carolina, and Toledo Bend in Louisiana. Add these to the lineup of previous venues - including world-renowned locations such as Sam Rayburn, Mead, Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Lanier, along with lesser-known favorites like High Rock Lake and John Kerr Lake - and this is hands down the most complete array of fishing spots you'll find in any fishing simulation. Spanning just about every region of the United States, the many lakes featured in Trophy Bass 4 include recognizable landmarks, including houses, dams, and docks, and you'll also see computer-controlled anglers out on the lake trying their luck alongside you.
Another new feature implemented in Trophy Bass 4 is the ability to customize the appearance of your angler and boat and save specific tackle setups for quick access during the pressure-cooker environment of a tournament. It took only a minute in Trophy Bass 3D to set up a new rig, but this new option lets you completely overhaul everything from rod and line to lures, as well as assign a different persona (male or female) to that particular setup. You'll also notice that the fully 3D anglers don't simply haul a fish out of the water: You see the angler mosey over to the live well and drop his catch in or release the small fry back into the water to get caught again.
Most anglers will start out on a single fishing trip, a mode that is also an improvement over Trophy Bass 4's predecessor. The five available difficulty levels mean you'll get instant gratification if you're looking for strikes the minute your lure hits water, or you can simulate the difficult process of using all your resources to locate that special spot where the prize fish are hanging out. On individual trips, you have a lot of control over every important condition affecting the experience: Temperature, rain, water conditions, wind direction, and speed can all be tweaked to create your idea of a dream trip. About all that's missing is an option to set a limit on the number of six-packs you can take along for refreshment after your hard day's work!
Sierra Sports introduced its "lure cam" in Trophy Bass 3D, which let you view the lure as it moved through the water. It's an interesting feature initially, but it eventually makes you wonder where all the bait fish are that the 30-plus game fish feed on when you're not watching them. You might also wonder why live bait, such as frogs, lizards, minnows, and even night crawlers haven't been included in the game. The lure cam has its appeal, but after a while more serious anglers will opt to view the game using the boat camera (behind the angler's back) or the free-floating camera.