THE COMPUTER COARSE ANGLER
(Something to do in the close season.)
Coarse Angler is modelled as closely as possible on the most popular
participant sport in Britain. Tackle, fish, bait, water & weather data is
taken from many sources, and is accurate within the limitations of the
program. The idea is to provide an amusement for seasoned anglers, and a
good introduction to coarse fishing for the beginner. The novice angler
can experiment with different tackle setups, times, and venues, keep
track of the successes using the log, and hopefully apply what he's
learned at the waterside. Some liberties had to be taken in order to
provide a playable game.
Ted Moody & Roger Wildin.
F1: STARTING OFF F2: CASTING F3: PLAYING THE FISH
F4: DEPTH F5: LOG F6: GAME CHOICE
F7: SHAREWARE NOTICE
After the title screen & credits, you are invited to enter your
name. Type your name carefully, using shifted letters if need be,
(backspace or delete if you make a mistake,) press RETURN and your name
will be written to disk. (Now, any time you run the program, you need
only press RETURN when asked for your name for it to be entered
Choose PRACTICE from the menu. A report will appear showing the
weather and water conditions which will affect the fishing throughout the
chosen game. The time of day can be altered whenever this report is on
screen by clicking the left mouse button.
Press fire on the joystick or right click to exit the title screen.
During Practice or Specimen Hunt, you can elect to fish any of the
pegs at any time. During a Match however, you are allocated a peg, and
must fish it to the best of your ability. Select which peg you want to
fish, and right click or fire button to exit.
After a while, the main screen will be displayed, with your angler
ready to go.
On the right side of the screen are several windows and two small
gauges. Clicking on the top window takes you to the tackle box, the next
window to the bait bar, the third to the pegs. The fourth displays the
conditions and catch report, and the bottom window is used to display
messages and clicking here takes you to the catch and records log (1 meg
version) or displays relevant statistics (520 version).
Here you set up your tackle. Use the mouse to select hook size, line
strength (click on the arrows at the bottom right), and adjust the depth
at which you mean to fish (click on the line at the required depth, or
drag it up and down). The AUTO button below the depth gauge is explained
below. When using leger tackle, the scale will display the last depth at
which you were fishing, and will not be adjustable.
Select which float to use- not all floats cast the same distance.
The correct shot pattern for each float in each peg is taken for
Coarse Angler uses two types of leger rig- the sliding or running
link(I) and the paternoster(II). In the leger window are four icons.
Click on the roman numerals to choose leger type. The other two icons are
your bite indication: Visual (standard swingtip) or Audible (electronic
bite alarm). The leger hook length can be adjusted by dragging it left
and right along the bottom using the mouse.
It is suggested that you use a line of at least 2.5 lb. and hook
size 16 or larger to start with, as playing a big fish on light tackle
requires some skill (see below).
Four rods are provided. The number under the rod tip shows which one
is currently in use. Clicking on this number takes you to the rod
selection screen. Move the mouse pointer onto a rod and its' spec will be
shown at the bottom. For those who know nothing about such things, the
default rod (number 3) will serve for most purposes. Selecting a rod is
slightly different from the other screens- if you press the LEFT mouse
button when the pointer is on the rod you want, that rod will be
selected, and you will be taken back to the tackle screen. Pressing the
RIGHT button selects and returns to the fishing.
Bait Bar(second window):
Here's ten of the traditional coarse baits to choose from. (No
hitech boilies or flavourings- sorry). Select a bait, and its' name is
displayed in the centre of the screen. Note- bait SIZE is adjusted
automatically to the hook used: a small red worm on a size 18 hook
becomes a big lobworm on a size 6 or 4; likewise one pinkie maggot on a
size 20 becomes a big bunch on a size 12.
Use right button or fire again to exit.
To cast your line, pull back on the joystick; the top gauge on the
right will rise showing your casting power. If it reaches the top, it
will restart from zero. Stop it at your estimated distance by pressing
and holding the fire button. The lower gauge indicates the angle of the
cast (+/-90 degrees in front of the fisherman). Adjust by moving the
stick right or left. When happy with your positioning, push the stick
forward and release the fire button. You have now cast your line, and a
flashing red marker will show where it landed. You can reel the line in
at any time by pressing fire (should you land in some weeds, say). If you
wish to recast elsewhere, either reel in all the way, or pull back on the
stick again, and adjust as above. For a rapid cast without changing the
angle, pull the joystick back and quickly push forwards when the distance
is correct. Releasing the joystick at any point during the cast procedure
returns to the tackle/bait phase.
Once in the water, the indicator window will appear at the top left
of the screen, showing your float or swingtip. Pressing the space bar
enables you to place this window anywhere you like on the screen. Using
the mouse, move it to where you can best keep an eye on it, and press the
left button to set. The window is not displayed when using the audible
You will notice that the casting gauges have now been replaced by a
larger, blue gauge with two small red markers. This is the fish tension
indicator, and the red marks show the setting of the slipping clutch
(drag) on your reel. Accurate setting of the clutch is necessary when
playing a fish- too tight and your tackle will break under tension, too
loose and the fish will take too long to tire out, if at all. Clutch
tension is adjusted by moving the joystick left or right. To help you,
during practice the drag is automatically set to the best position for
the tackle you are using, i.e. one notch below danger point. Try to get
some idea of its' position for different tackle strengths, because the
clutch must be set MANUALLY during a Match or Specimen Hunt each time you
change the line or (sometimes) hook size.
Note- in order to accommodate fish from a few ounces to double
figures, the tension scale is NOT linear. I.e. a small distance near the
lower end of the scale equals a few ounces, at the upper end the same
distance equals several pounds.
Sooner or later (hopefully) a fish will take the bait. The bite will
be indicated by a movement of the float or swingtip. Pull straight back
on the joystick immediately to strike. If you've hooked a fish, keep the
rod up and the line under tension by using the joystick- left
back, straight back or right back (see below).
Playing the fish:
Small fish can simply be reeled straight in. If the little fish on
the tension indicator cannot rise above your clutch setting, press the
fire button to reel in, and guide it towards the bank. A message will
appear in the message window telling you when to land it. Don't keep
reeling in once the fish is ready for landing, it increases the tension,
and may snap the line. Tap the space bar to activate the landing net, and
manoeuver your fish over the net. (Move the joystick left or right to
drag it.) Note- you cannot hold a landing net and reel in at the same
time. If you make a mistake, or the fish starts a second run, press the
spacebar again to put the net back on the bank. Note also that ALL fish
must be netted- even the tiddlers.
Bigger fish need to be played out before they can be landed. When
first hooked, a big fish will make a run for it. You must keep the line
tight by a pull in the opposite direction. If the clutch is correctly
set, you will hear the ratchet as the fish takes line, and the tension
gauge will show the pull the fish is exerting. If the screen border
starts to flash red, it means the clutch is set too tight- slacken it
immediately before the tackle breaks. When the fish changes direction,
the line will slacken (watch the gauge). Don't let the tension reach
zero, or your fish is likely to come unhooked. Press fire (reel in) to
take up the slack as the tension drops below the clutch setting. Keep the
rod pull the opposite way to the fish; i.e. if the fish is to the left,
pull the joystick back/RIGHT, and vice versa, if the fish is in front of
you, pull the joystick straight back. This will put the maximum strain on
a big fish to tire it out, and also tend to slow its' run towards any
The idea is to keep the little fish on the tension indicator
between the clutch setting and zero by judicious use of the fire button
and correct rod positioning. DON'T try to reel in while the clutch
ratchet is slipping- it will weaken your tackle, and the bigger the fish,
the sooner it will snap. Adjusting the clutch can be done in the normal
way while playing a fish, but be careful- one notch too tight means a
snapped line, and moving the joystick/rod away from a back position
relaxes the tension (gives line). Pushing it forwards releases the fish
altogether. This release feature is included so as not to waste time
during a match trying to play a big fish when it might be better to catch
a lot of smaller ones (see match tactics).
If the fish gets into a snag, things can get difficult. Tension can
increase dramatically- to a point which can weaken fine tackle. If this
happens, release the tension (joystick neutral position), and let the
fish run free. It will hopefully move away from the snag. Grab it (pull
back) before the tension reaches zero, and playing can continue. A
powerful fish may make a second and even a third run once it catches
sight of the angler- but when it's finally played out, it can be landed
The danger points (line too slack, excess tension), are shown by a
flashing red screen border.
Plumbing the depth:
Before casting, press "D" on the keyboard- you are now in depth
mode- and cast as normal. The depth where your tackle lands will be
indicated on the tension gauge; each division now representing two feet
of water. Cast again in a different place, and continue till you've got
some idea of the underwater geography. When you've finished, press D
again. Consulting the report will now show what the bottom consists of.
If you return to the tackle screen and click the AUTO button, it will set
your tackle to the last depth plumbed.
The Angler's Log (1 meg machines only):
All good anglers keep a record of their catches. Clicking on the
bottom (message) window takes you to the Log & Records screen. If you
have just landed a fish to be proud of, it can be entered into your
personal fishing diary, along with the data on where, when, and how it
was caught for future reference.
One fish (a real whopper) is already logged to start you off. You
can add or replace fish at any time. As your diary fills up, it can be
consulted as to the whereabouts of the fish and the methods of catching
them- useful for beginning anglers and for the Match or Specimen Hunt. On
a double sided disk, there should be space enough for a diary of over
Using the log:
The first thing to do (if you haven't got a clock card) is to set
the date using the first menu item.
The log works as a simple database. Records can be displayed by
species, peg number, or all fish logged. The colour of the top two
windows indicates the display mode.
For instance, if you came to this screen from a practice game, the
top two windows will both be bordered in white. This means that ALL your
catches will be displayed in the bottom window. The top left window will
show the current record for the fish you've just caught, and the top
right shows the high score for the peg you are fishing. Browse through
the records using the LOG (next/previous) menu. If you came from a match,
the peg score window alone will be white, and only those fish in your log
which were caught at this particular peg will be displayed. You may also
show by peg number by selecting a number from the PEGS menu, or by
clicking on the peg score window itself. Coming from a specimen hunt, the
top left window will be white, showing the high score for the present
QUARRY, and corresponding fish only will be displayed. Selecting a
different species from the FISH menu or clicking on the left window will
also activate this mode. Click on the bottom window again to display all
fish logged. To enter your last catch, select ENTER LAST FISH from the
LOG menu and follow the onscreen instructions. It's actually a lot easier
to use than to describe.
Catch Statistics (520 machines only):
Clicking on the bottom window will read and display the following
The current high score and holder for the peg you are fishing.
If you are fishing a Match or just practising; the record weight
for the fish you have just caught (or Barbel if none), and the best score
for that fish.
If Specimen hunting; the record weight and score to beat for that
During Practice, you may catch some big fish, but will rarely break
any records. There will be an unlimited number of fish in each swim, but
their sizes will be limited; the principle of SHOALING comes into force
during the other games. In other words, it is possible to catch, say, all
the roach in a particular swim, forcing a change of match tactics or hunt
venue. When the bite rate starts to fall off, it's time to consider a
change of tactics.
Pressing ESCape when in the tackle/bait phase (i.e. not actually
fishing) brings up the game choice menu. Choosing MATCH pits you against
top anglers in competition. You will be allocated a peg, the water will
be restocked, and you have exactly 15 minutes to amass as many POINTS as
possible. You may consult your log before or any time during the match.
Take as long as you like- the timer is not active when on the log screen.
Points are scored (roughly following the continental system) as
follows: one point for every fish caught, plus one point per ounce in
weight. This means you will have to consider your match tactics
carefully, and adopt more than one approach for each peg (see SHOALING
above) in order to be successful. At the end of the game, the points are
totted up, and any new high score for the peg is automatically saved on
disk. These high scores are used as a reference for future matches at
each peg. (A simple expedient which means the better you get at the game,
the harder it becomes to win). Matches are always fished during the
The Specimen Hunt:
For the more experienced angler. This time you are given a SPECIES
to fish for, and have 15 minutes to catch as many BIG specimens as
possible. Again, you may consult the log at any time, and may also move
from one peg to another in search of the allocated quarry. Leaving a peg
means you will not be able to return to it for the rest of the game, so
be sure before you go.
Points are awarded for each successful catch. Catching a different
species from the one nominated scores nothing, not even if it's a new
record for that particular fish (though you can still enter it into the
Log and go back for it later). At the end of the hunt, your score is
tallied as follows: the points value for each fish (see below), plus 1
point per ounce, plus 100 points for a new record. New records and high
scores are written to disk (NOT to your log).
Barbel: 40|Bream: 10|Carp: 30|Chub: 5|Crucian Carp: 8|Dace: 5|Eel: 5
Grayling: 15|Perch: 5|Pike: 50|Roach: 5|Rudd: 10|Tench: 10
Note: it is not possible to ESCape from the Match or Specimen Hunt until
the time is up; if you don't like the peg or fish, you're stuck with it.
Should you hook a biggy towards the end of the game, the timekeeper
will be kind enough not to sound the final whistle until you have landed
(or lost) it, however long it may take.
Coarse Angler is shareware. If you like it, please register your copy by
sending a fiver (or whatever you consider it's worth) to:
31, First Avenue,
As a registered user, you will be sent a printed manual- "The Coarse
Angler Guide to Better Fishing", detailing the tackle, the fish- their
likes and habitats, with tips and tactics to improve your angling skills.
We are presently considering an expansion disk containing some
advanced and challenging pegs. When completed, it will be sent free of
charge to all who have bought their ticket.
If anyone wishes to contribute any ideas for a peg- perhaps a
favourite fishing spot, please send us a detailed description
(preferably with a drawing or photograph) before Dec 31st 1993. The best
ones will be included on the data disk and credited to the contributor.
Comments, suggestions, bug reports, etc., to the above address.
Thanks go to everyone involved in the development and testing of
this program, but most of all to those marvellous aquatic creatures
without whom the entire sport would not be possible.
T.M & R.W.