Ask anyone who's spent the night shivering on a riverbank in the name of enjoyment and they'll tell you it's not catching the fish that really matters, but the time spent doing it. Yeah, whatever. After a few hours spent reeling 'em in on Rapala Pro Fishing, it's all about the fish. Luckily for netting novices like us, the game makes bagging a trout, salmon or all manner of native American fish a piece of pish thanks to very arcadey gameplay.
Players simply select either Free Fishing mode (akin to a casual Sunday afternoon on the lake) or Tournament mode, where various sets of gear, rods and lures are unlocked. It would have been nice to actually know what we had to do during each cast-off to satisfy each of the criteria, but hey. To bag that bigmouth bass, simply select a lake to fish on, then zoom to a suitable location in your boat, though clumsy controls mean you'll be beaching on the bank a fair few times. As a rule, areas with vegetation are the most fruitful, though each lake is suitably large in scale to find your own patch.
Casting is a bit trickier, involving a careful right analogue/L trigger timed-release affair, but once mastered is eyes-closed easy. Simply reel in your lure or leave it drifting for a passing fish, wait for a bite, then yank in the slack and reel her in. Different lures will have an effect on your success (depending on the environment and type of fish you're catching), though as far as gameplay variation goes, that's it. The lakes and fish may vary, but this measured approach and relatively low skill level of the gameplay doesn't. Which is precisely where Rapala Pro Fishing flounders; it's fun while the novelty hasn't worn off, but very repetitive and dull soon afterwards.
Easy and accessible, though very repetitive. How exciting can 20 different lures be? Not very, is the answer.