The Hardest Fighting Fish Is…

Return Of The Jaguar
January 24, 2023

So, what is the hardest fighting fish pound for pound?

It’s a difficult question to address because there are different kinds of power in fish.

Some hit really hard. Others make quick, long runs while yet others just take a long time to reel in-despite moving slowly.

This list is simply based on how hard a fish is to bring in on a pound for pound basis. In other words, an 800-pound tiger shark would obviously be an epic fight, but if the shark only weighed 10 pounds how would it stack up>

Here’s my top 5. What do you think?

5. Grinnel (Bowfin): These slough and gully-dwelling fish get big (up to 20 pounds) and hit like a freight train. They are also long, determined fighters. Pound for pound they may very well be the toughest fish in freshwater, at least in the American South.

4. Spanish Mackerel: Most Spanish mackerel caught along the Gulf Coast are three pounds and under yet they fight like a fish three times their size. They are ultra fast and don’t give up easily.

Spanish mackerel

A slight chill in the air can trigger a mackerel frenzy.

3. Jack Crevalle: Anyone that has ever chunked a topwater on a flat for specks and had a 20-pound jack hit knows the epic fight. These fish probably responsible for destroying more tackle for inland saltwater anglers than any. They simply will not give up in a fight and will use the current to their advantage by turning their wide bodies into the current, making you pull dead weight in. Then as they revive after a few seconds, will make long, incredible runs.

2. Barracuda: Barracuda are a no brainer for this list. They are streamlined, strong and very determined. I caught a 52-incher in Biscayne Bay in Florida in 2021 and it made three wide circles around our boat and several long runs before I was able to land it.

1.  Bonefish: It’s impossible for me to explain how hard these fish fight. They are extremely powerful, despite being a fairly small fish. My dream was to catch one and I did in Biscayne Bay in 2021 (fish with Capt. Mo Estevez) and the eight-pounder I caught fought harder than the 52-inch barracuda I caught in the same bay a few months later. I caught mine on spinning gear but want to return and live the dream of catching one on the fly

Amazing fish.

What do you think are the top 5 pound for pound fighters?

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