Any fisherman will tell you that fishing is as much about waiting as it is about landing the prize.

Indeed, many who pursue fishing as a hobby will gladly spend an entire day lounging on a sunny riverbank, without getting so much as a nibble on their carefully propped rods.

But then there's an altogether more serious breed of angler, a more competitive animal who thrives on the rush of landing that next big catch and one-upping his fellow fishers.

Casting off

Bass Fishing Mania 3 is all about this latter style of fishing, which is just as well. Let's be honest, a game featuring a Sunday fisherman dozing in a deck chair wouldn't last much longer than the opening credits.

You start off by searching for schools of fish with your sonar-enhanced boat, hot-spots showing up as a red dot on the 2D map as you pass over them.

Once you've found a suitable spot and selected it with a stab of the '5' key, the game switches to a view off the side of your boat, with a handful of dark shadows drifting in the water.

Pressing '8' casts off, with a bar appearing on the screen to help judge the distance of your lure.

Once it's landed, you pull the rod left and right to steer and tap the '5' to reel in your line. Get it right and you'll get a bite from a hungry fish, signalled by a quick burst of vibration from the handset.

Sound bites

Keeping hold of the catch is where Bass Fishing Mania 3 is at its trickiest, and its most enjoyable.

A pair of vertical bars appear on the screen, signifying the strength of the fish and the tension on your line. Tap or hold the appropriate key to match the corresponding blue arrows and you'll be able to start to reel the fish in.

There are two modes of play on offer, each with its own goals and high score tables. Arcade mode is a simple time-limited affair, the challenge being to catch as much weight of fish as you can from any of spots on the map.

Competition mode, on the other hand, has far more depth.

The aim of Competition mode is to catch the biggest fish possible on each of the three days, while at the same time ensuring you make the cut by getting a decent total catch.

A successful round will result in hard cash to spend on item upgrades in Jim's Rods and Tackle store, where you'll also receive handy tips from the proprietor.

Reeling in agony

At a mere 15 levels, the Competition mode is frustratingly short, and you'll be forced to play through from the beginning, without any upgrades, should you complete it.

The action is a little one dimensional too, with little variation aside from the difficulty of catching the heavier fish.

But such foibles don't detract from the fact that Bass Fishing Mania 3 is a thoroughly enjoyable take on the world of competition fishing.

It might not warrant more than a handful of play throughs, but there's more than enough aquatic action to keep you occupied for several days.