What's the biggest fight?

strmanglr scott

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Maybe a dumb question but I'm bored at work so here we go.

What freshwater fish(salmon and steelhead are in) fights the hardest? All fish weighing in at 5 pounds.

Several of these fish I haven't caught at 5lbs so it's speculation. Also, not a complete list of fish.

King Salmon
Steelhead
Carp
Catfish
Smallmouth bass
Musky
Large mouth bass
Brown trout
Pike
Walleye

Many fish I left off the list because I have no idea what a 5lb version would fight like. I've never caught some of these either, never caught a musky so that was a pure guess. I didn't put lake trout up there because I've never caught one of those either, I'm gonna guess, not as hard a fight as a catfish but stronger than a smallmouth. Didn't put brook trout up there, which at 5lbs I would classify as a coaster if it has the means. I'm thinking it would fight similar to a brown.

Anyways, I make no claim to being right about this list. I'm really interested in what you all think.

What kind of got me thinking on this was an old ex-girlfriend who lived in TN and bragged about catching big largemouth. I had nothing to say about my Michigan fish, I knew it was rare for a large mouth here to get that big. I knew her before I started stream fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead. After I started I thought about her and the comments she made and said to myself, if I took a 5lb steelhead and somehow connected it's tail to a 5lb large mouth, that large mouth would be dead quickly from the steelhead dragging it around non-stop. Then I thought about the hierarchy of fish strength.
 

donkeyhunter007

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A fresh steelhead or coho just out of the salt
Is unreal!

You know when you get a hot one!!!

I would give the nod to the steelhead
If I had to pick. I once had a steelhead ride his tail upstream 60’ like a dolphin at seaworld.
The whole time had his head turned toward me and stared at me I could see my comet hanging from his mouth.
Then he spit it with a head shake.

I once had a coho repeatedly cartwheel down the river about 100 yards and break me off !!


That being said
You get a tired spent fish in icey water and they will swim up to your feet and not put much fight in at all.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Rip Tide

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Small mouth pound for pound is my vote

James Henshall, The Book of the Black Bass, c1881
“The black bass is eminently an American fish; he has the arrowy rush and vigor of the trout, the untiring strength and bold leap of the salmon, while he has a system of fighting tactics peculiarly his own. I consider him, inch for inch and pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims.”
 

jds108

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It's been my experience that most trout/salmon/steelhead want to pretty much swim mostly upstream when hooked. If you get a decent fish and he decides to run downstream, watch out.... I've had a few hatchery king salmon do that.

Of the trout, I'd say most people will agree that rainbows fight best. It's been my experience that there is a noticeable difference in how particular strains of 'bows will fight. I think it's the McCloud strain (that was distributed to hatcheries far and wide) that's one of the best in my opinion. One place that I fish changed to stocking Eagle Lake bows as apparently they're more resistant to whirling disease, but it's obvious to me that they don't make the same long, blazing, and reel-screaming runs as the bows that were planted years ago. The Eagle Lake fish is more of a bulldog style fight, like a stronger version of a cutthroat.
 

The Mad Duck

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I would put a 5 Lb Bluegill up against ANY of the other 5 Lb fish on that list.
 

clouserguyky

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I'm gonna have to go with 5lb Smallmouth. They fight harder than many species do at twice that size. Factor in the aerial displays that smallmouth often put on, and you've got your hands full on the 6-8 weight rods typically used for them.

I'll agree that a five pound rainbow is quite a challenge to land as well. If it was hooked on a small nymph in swift water, it might come close to being the equal of a big smallmouth.

Carp run and rip lots of line, but at 5 pounds they aren't too much to handle.
 

ryc72

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at 5lbs, pound for pound id go with bluefish. i know its saltwater but at that size think thats the best fight out there.
 

huronfly

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The only one I haven't caught is the carp...

My vote goes to steelhead hands down. Nothing else in that weight will jump, cartwheel, and scream much line(if any) off the reel. Smallmouth are up there too, but they are a different fight, more bulldogging, no where near the runs of a similarly sized steelhead.

An honourable mention for me that is not on the list is a 5lb brook trout-and not a coaster. I was using an 8 weight rod it certainly pulled harder than any smally I've caught in the same weight class. I've caught browns the same size and a brook trout is 10x the fight.
 

strmanglr scott

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I would put a 5 Lb Bluegill up against ANY of the other 5 Lb fish on that list.
I guess I would argue that's what you have in a smallmouth. Considering smallmouth are part of the sunfish family.


I'm surprised how many people said smallmouth. I consider them the warm water version of a steelhead. Strong and acrobatic.

I'm also surprised no one said King Salmon. No, not acrobats, more like locomotive trains. They just go in one direction and peel line like it's not there.
 

dolomieu

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Another fish that fights very well is the Hybrid Striped Bass or Wiper. A 5lb. specimen is not all that large, but they are fun and hit your offering like a freight train, then bore off in knuckle busting runs.
 

rodneyshishido

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I originally saw this joke on State of Washington, Dept. of Fish & Game Letterhead. I sincerely apologize if anyone find this offensice.

The State of Washington, Dept of Fisheries undertook a project to produce a superior freshwater gamefish. It was deceided to cross a Coho with a Walleye. The product was the Coh-wal. The cross proved to be a pretty good fighter but not quite what they were seeking. The decision was made to cross the Coh-wal with the Muskie. With high hopes the Coh-wal-skie was bred. Now they have to teach the fish how to swim.
 

marianeq

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I only had a few atlantic salmon in 5lb range on a rod, but i wouldn't class them as freshwater, since they are never present in Scottish rivers (where i fish) long enough to even taste the stream water, but boy they fight like demons!
out of true freshwater species i used to fish for regularly, i'd give it to european chub, barbel and carp (the ones that permanently live in river)
barbel.jpg
chub.jpg
(not my pictures)

Especially barbel will wreck your arms, fighting in a decent current.
 

lightline

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Tarpon. They live in freshwater, and I've caught a bunch of them in totally fresh water. Salmonid? That would be a Missouri River Rainbow. Just like a steelhead, on a dry, in warm sunny weather!
 

dillon

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It depends on a lot of things like tackle, water temp and flow and the health of the fish. If you hooked a 16 inch Deschutes River Redside with a 5wt rod and 5 x tippet in Whitehorse rapids during the Salmon fly hatch it would spool you in nothing flat...

Google Whitehorse rapids and you will understand...
 

okaloosa

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of your list, in my experience having caught them all, a 5 lb smallmouth bass will test your tippet the most.
the worst fighting fish of your list , once again-in my experience, is the walleye....
but it is the best tasting hands down!!!!!
 

dillon

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of your list, in my experience having caught them all, a 5 lb smallmouth bass will test your tippet the most.
the worst fighting fish of your list , once again-in my experience, is the walleye....
but it is the best tasting hands down!!!!!

I have eaten Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon, reputed to be the best salmon in the land. I have also eaten Columbia River Walleye, reputed to be the largest in the world. It's a toss up, as far as the taste goes...
 
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