Creating bait files for Fishsim II
J.C.Spooner 2002

This page shows how to create a bait or groundbait for Fishsim 2. All of the files in FS2 pretty much work the same way, and have the same structure / format, the baits are no exception to this. All the bait files installed on your copy of FS2 will be in the TACKLE/BAITS folder, in files with a tkl extension. Groundbait and hook bait are combined and only distinguished as different from a setting in the file.
Tools and knowledge required
The following briefly describes what you will need to create a fish species in Fishsim II

- A knowledge of files and folders in Microsoft Windows operating systems.
- A copy of Fishing Simulator II.
- A simple text editor, Microsoft Notepad, that comes with Windows is ideal.
- A paint editing package, capable of resizing and editing PCX + JPG images - Paint Shop Pro is a good choice

Storage and format of bait files
The TACKLE folder inside the Fishsim II folder contains a folder called BAITS. Inside this folder will be a selection of files all with a .tkl file extension. Each bait in Fishsim II has a .tkl file associated with it, which contains specific details to each bait or groundbait.

To create a new bait or groundbait, either use Notepad to create a new text file with a .tkl extension in this folder or copy, paste and rename a current bait .tkl file within the same folder.

An example of a bait tkl file is shown below, with each section shown in bold :

Name = Fat grub
Desc = fsb/baits/fatgrub.fsb
Type = 10

Type = 1
bigGraphic = graphics/bait/fatgrub.jpg
Graphic = graphics/bait/fatgrub.pcx
Hairrig = 0
Hookbait = 1
Minsize = 1
Hooksize = 20
Weight = 0.08
Adjustsize = 10
Addsize = 40
Adjusthooksize = -1.0
Adjweight = 0.08
Disperhour = 10.0
Smallfact = 5.0

ClassType = 1

Protein = 50
Starch = 0
Carbo = 10
Sweet = 0
Sour = 0
Bitter = 20
Spicy = 0
Citrus = 0
Blood = 60
Fish = 0
Fat = 40
Hardness = 15

Sight = 30
Move = 0
Smell = 40
Col = R100 G000 B000

Seapop = 6
Freshpop = 100


The [HEADER] section contains general information about the bait, such as name, help file, reference and a type line.

The Name can be anything that describes the bait you are creating, but it is recommended that this be kept to as few characters as possible to not affect the display on the tackle, bait change and record screens.

The Desc line is optional, and can be used to provide a help file to the user of the bait. If the user is on the tackle screen and clicks with the right mouse button on a bait name in the list, this FSB help file will be displayed ( if there ). There is more information on creating FSB help files for FS on this page.

The Ref line has to be included and also has to be a unique bait reference name, no more than 8 characters long.

The Type line always has to be included for the bait to load, and always has to be set to 10. It is included because baits and all tackle use a tkl file extension and if placed in another tackle folder they will not load. For example, if the caster.tkl file is placed in the floats folder by accident, it will not load as a float, but instead be ignored, because it doesn't have the correct float type value.


The [BAIT] section contains specific information about the bait, each line is expained below :

The Type line has to be set to 1 for a hookbait and 2 for a groundbait.

The BigGraphic line should contain a relative path ( from the FS2 folder ) and filename to a JPG graphic file that is 200 x 100 pixels. This is the large bait image that is displayed on the tackle screen when a bait is selected.

The Graphic line should contain a relative path ( from the FS2 folder ) and filename to a PCX file that is either 66 x 66 pixels for hookbait, or 76 x 76 pixels for groundbait. You can include a transparent colour, and in the case of hook baits, probably should as these need to be made circular to fit correctly in the bait boxes. More information on creating transparent PCX files can be found here

The Hairrig line specifies if the bait can be hair-rigged, if set to 1, then it can, 0 otherwise.

The Hookbait line specifies if the bait can be attached onto the hook, if set to 1 then it can, 0 otherwise. When creating baits, as apposed to groundbaits, either the hookbait, hairrig, or both lines have to have a 1 in them.

The Minsize line specifies the minimum size of fish that can be caught on this bait in drams. For example, you wouldn't be catching small dace, on a large boilie. This also gives an indication to FS2 of the bait size. This is not necessarily a static value though, it can change depending on the qty and size of bait the angler selects to use ( see below ). If one piece of the smallest bit of bait is being used, this will be the minimum size of fish that can be caught on it.

The Hooksize line specifies the ideal hooksize that should be used with the bait. Again, like the minsize, this also gives an indication to FS as to what size the bait is and is only relevant when a single piece of the smallest size bait is being used ( see below ).

The Weight line specifies the weight of the bait, which is mainly used when suspended under a float, to see how much the float gets pulled under. It also affects how fast the bait sinks in the water. This is only relevant if a single piece of the smallest size of the bait is used (see below). A weight for a bait can be given a negative value to make it float.

The Adjustsize line species how many size adjustments can be made to the bait by the user. Giving this a value greater than 1, will mean the user of the bait can select the size of bait (s)he wishes to use. There selection will affect the minsize, hooksize, and weight values above, by how much depends on the addsize, adjusthooksize, and adjweight lines ( below ).

The Addsize line tells FS how many drams to add to the minsize with each size and qty adjustment made by the user. If baits are given different selectable sizes, then it is only right that the larger the bait is, the minimum size of fish that takes it increases.

The Adjusthooksize does the same as above, apart from adds the amount specified in this line to the ideal hooksize with each size and qty change. Note, this will normally be a negative value, as larger hooks are lower in numeric value, than smaller ones.

The Adjweight is the same as the two descriptions above, but affects the weight of the bait.

The Disperhour line is only used when the bait is used as loosefeed or in a swimfeeder, or if the bait is a groundbait. When bait is chucked into the water, it doesn't stay there forever, it will gradually dissipate away. This line is used to say how fast or slow that will occur. Bait thrown in is measured in "units" and the amount of units depends on the qty selected for loosefeed on the bait screen. It's not exact, as loosefeed or groundbait doesn't land all in the same spot as it's thrown or catapulted in, but if 5 units are selected on the bait selection screen, you can assume that 5 units will probably land on the desired spot, sometimes more, sometime less, also the surrounding areas will a share as well. If the disperhour setting is at 10, and in anyone spot there is 10 units of the bait, then it is going to take one hour for all that bait to disappear on its own. A bait like this should be used cautiously by the angler as a few handfuls will leave a lot of bait hanging around, and possible result in less bites rather than more.

The Smallfact line is optional and was added in version 2.07. If the line isn't included the value 5.0 is assumed. It can be used to force small baits to not appeal to larger fish. It is just another indicator to FS as to the size of bait. A value of 1.0 will definately reduce the appeal to large fish, a value of 5.0 still may, but not by as near as much as 1.0.


The [CLASS] section contains specific information about the appeal and type of bait, each line is expained below :

The Classtype line is used to put the bait into one of ten categories :

1 Insect
2 Seed
3 Vegetable
4 Fruit
5 Flora, plant life etc
6 Flying insect
7 Shellfish
8 Fish
9 Small animal
10 Processed ( man made ).

These categories are static and one must be chosen for the classtype, even if the exact one isn't there, one should be chosen as close as possible.

The Protein, Starch, Carbo, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Spicy, Citrus, Blood, Fish, and Fat lines contain percentage values ( 1 - 100 ) specifiying different characteristics of the bait, each is pretty self explanatory by the description. The one this to note with these is not to set them all to 100, or high values, there is an optmal value in FS which is a lot lower than this, FS will cap each down to this optimal value.

The Hardness line is again a percentage value, and used to indicate how hard the bait is ( 0 = soft, 100 = hard ). A harder bait will deter certain fish and smaller fish.

The Sight, Move and Smell lines again are percentage values to indicate how well the bait is seen, how much it moves, and also how smelly it is. Different species react differently to these three factors. Eels for example, prodominently use smell for locating food, where as trout use movement, predators generally use a combination of movement and sight to locate food also. If all set high, these values will be capped down, as above.

The Col line is always in the form of R999 G999 B999 and is used to give the bait a colour. This colour is used in FS to contrast against object colours in the water for fish species that use sight to find food. It is a combination of the three primary colours, Red, green and blue, where the values can be from 000 to 255. A value of all 0's will result in a bait that is black, a value of all 255's will result in a bait that is white. If you're after getting a precise colour use something like the palette editor in PSP to mix these colours up and get values.

The Seapop and Freshpop lines are optional, if omitted, the bait will be given a default seapop value of 0, and freshpop value of 100. They are used as percentages, in determining how effective the bait is in the sea, and also freshwater.

This page describes how new baits can be created in FS2. It's not too difficult to do if you already have a knowledge of other files in FS2, as they are all very similar. You have no control at all of specifying which species will take the baits created, this is impossible, or would require constant updates as new species were bought out. Fishing Simulator version one, explicitly specified how much a species like a bait, which meant that each time a new bait came out, all the species would have to be made aware of how to react to it. This was done with a fishai file, but proved difficult to track. The FS2 way isn't as accurate, but this system allows baits and species to be created independently, the advantages of which can be clearly seen with the amounts that have currently been produced.

(c) J.C.Spooner