BrooklynHooks

Best freshwater fighter, pound for pound?

157 posts in this topic

I’ve never caught a smallmouth, pike, or any of those northern species, so I’m strictly based on my southern species here. I would have to give it to the sunfish species, especially bluegill and redbreast. I mean if I catch a bluegill that weights half a pound, it fights much harder than a bass of the comparable size. Largemouth bass are frankly kind of lazy in my opinion. 
 

Also, can’t forget catfish. They fight hard at first, and it’s always fun, but then they just kind of propeller their way in.

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Two longest runs I ever had in fresh water on a fly rod were a 1#+ bluegill on a 4 weight.  Straight away maybe 20yds and a teen carp on an 8at in a slow moving river that went over 70 yds before breaking me off. As it ran through a log jam.  I've caught stripers 30+ on the fly that didnt go as far or fast as that carp did.  As for the bluegill, I've never had a 1 pound fish of any species do that in freshwater.  Not SMB or LMB, landlocked snook, juv tarpon, none.  The OP was pound for pound.  Granted a 5# river smallie is a beast, but a 1# river smallie is getting dragged backwards if its tied tail to tail to a 1 pound river bluegill!  JMHO

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1 min ago, flyman28 said:

Two longest runs I ever had in fresh water on a fly rod were a 1#+ bluegill on a 4 weight.  Straight away maybe 20yds and a teen carp on an 8at in a slow moving river that went over 70 yds before breaking me off. As it ran through a log jam.  I've caught stripers 30+ on the fly that didnt go as far or fast as that carp did.  As for the bluegill, I've never had a 1 pound fish of any species do that in freshwater.  Not SMB or LMB, landlocked snook, juv tarpon, none.  The OP was pound for pound.  Granted a 5# river smallie is a beast, but a 1# river smallie is getting dragged backwards if its tied tail to tail to a 1 pound river bluegill!  JMHO

Big bluegill on an ultralight is a fun experience, can’t imagine it on a lightweight fly rod! 

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48 mins ago, coastalfreak said:

I’ve never caught a smallmouth, pike, or any of those northern species, so I’m strictly based on my southern species here. I would have to give it to the sunfish species, especially bluegill and redbreast. I mean if I catch a bluegill that weights half a pound, it fights much harder than a bass of the comparable size. Largemouth bass are frankly kind of lazy in my opinion. 
 

Also, can’t forget catfish. They fight hard at first, and it’s always fun, but then they just kind of propeller their way in.

Funny, I was wondering about catfish, because the only sort I've caught were in New England, and pretty small. Fighters, definitely -- but not prizefighters. (I know there are some trophy-size catfish in some Northeast ponds and rivers. But I never caught any.)

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I would say smallmouths. They are tough, aggressive, acrobatic, hunt in wolf packs, and never want to give up.

 

White shad and some salmonids get honorable mention as well.

 

Gills are also tough fighters, but size matters.

Edited by Jay Blair

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24 mins ago, BrooklynHooks said:

Funny, I was wondering about catfish, because the only sort I've caught were in New England, and pretty small. Fighters, definitely -- but not prizefighters. (I know there are some trophy-size catfish in some Northeast ponds and rivers. But I never caught any.)

To me, big catfish are like trucks. They have torque and power but they don’t FIGHT super hard. That being said they are some of my favorite freshwater fish. :howdy:

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2 hours ago, ICastAsJason said:

Steelhead, hands down. Nothing fights like them. They are the freshwater version of an Alby.

Alaska rainbows, like Lower 48 steelhead, but less shiny. 

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27 mins ago, Beachbuster said:

Smallmouth, just incredible strength, speed, and endurance, they have it all.  

So, kinda like Walter Payton, but with gills. And meaner.

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1 hour ago, ne_dan said:

Anything that lives in rivers.  Even a 5 pound large mouth puts a decent fight in current.  

But is it the fish or the current?  Even a Wal-Mart bag puts up a good fight in current.  

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