When you start you have two rods to choose from, the oak branch or standard broken pole. Once you pick the pole you wish to use you get a choice of bait to start with - Chum or Loafs - and then you're off to waterfront to fish away. There are a variety of different unique fish you can catch, and some are very sneaky, like the mime fish - that invisible wall of theirs can block your hook, and their fake rope trick can snag your bait leaving you empty handed.
The game itself centers on your ability to fish, and as you master one lake you eventually move on to a new fishing spot with more challenging fishes to snare. Each fish you capture earns you experience points and gold that you can use to upgrade your fishing rod, acquire a better boat and even more choices in lures and baits. Certain fish can lead to treasure chests with hidden prizes inside.