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Gear can make a difference but a couple of things regarding my answer.  First, I am catching both on the exact same gear and baits and second, it’s not unusual to catch both a largemouth and a smallmouth back to back in St Clair.  Sizes can be close or different but it’s very easy to tell when you set the hook whether you have a goggle eye, a largie, drum, musky, walleye or a smallmouth.  Ones that will fool you are white bass and sunnies.  Crazy thing is any of the species I listed can be caught in the same area at the same time.  That’s one of the reasons we enjoy St Clair soooo much. 

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1 hour ago, Mike L said:


Make’s sense, but isn’t the resistance you’re feeling be enhanced by the lighter equipment you’re using??

 

 

 

 

Mike

Sometimes, depending on the specifics of the fish, the tackle, and angler experience, but actually, unless you are totally overpowering a fish (which happens a lot in bass fishing) then a stiffer rod and less stretch in the line will make the fight seem greater, even though it's still the same. Now if you are attached to something that can cause your equipment to fail, then yes, it will feel like more of a fight, even though again, the fish is doing all it can most of the time.

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14 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

Gear can make a difference but a couple of things regarding my answer.  First, I am catching both on the exact same gear and baits and second, it’s not unusual to catch both a largemouth and a smallmouth back to back in St Clair.  Sizes can be close or different but it’s very easy to tell when you set the hook whether you have a goggle eye, a largie, drum, musky, walleye or a smallmouth.  Ones that will fool you are white bass and sunnies.  Crazy thing is any of the species I listed can be caught in the same area at the same time.  That’s one of the reasons we enjoy St Clair soooo much. 

Shoot, you ain’t gotta drive all the way to Michigan for that! We have all those species in single spots up and down 650 miles of river haha.   
 

(only problem is the smallmouth are much smaller and much smarter here)

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I think the best fights I've gotten from bass are in the 4-6 lb range. The 8's I've caught, and that's only two bass, were initially strong, but didn't have much stamina. Stripers are some real beasts for their average 5 lbs. But pound for pound, I haven't caught a stronger freshwater fish than a peacock. You'd swear a 4 lb. peacock is much bigger until it's in the boat. And it doesn't give up when you lip it. Mean!

 

Mind you, I have not caught a smallie. Yet.

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my brother and his friends swear that a Hybrid Bass is the hardest most violentest fish fight ever.

 

they planted 45000 of them into a lake near my brother, so i aim to get a taste one day.  couple of years, to let them grow.  

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I’m just gonna say it.   I think pound for pound the hardest fighting fish I’ve ever caught was a bluegill.  Now the biggest one I’ve caught probably weighed about a pound so it wasn’t much of a fight but for their size they are impressive.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to hook into a 3 or 4 pounder.

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51 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

I’m just gonna say it.   I think pound for pound the hardest fighting fish I’ve ever caught was a bluegill.  Now the biggest one I’ve caught probably weighed about a pound so it wasn’t much of a fight but for their size they are impressive.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to hook into a 3 or 4 pounder.

this.  i got one this summer as big as my hand stretched wide.  i was not possible to hold that fish.  it was like holding electricity.  it was crazed in the atmosphere.  it shook so hard and caught me so off guard it freed itself before i could FACE-ID my stupid iphone. 

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Big crappie can fight hard, I had one around 2 pounds that took drag like a 5 pound bass. 

 

I think the time of year (water temp probably?) makes a big difference.  I've caught a couple of fairly big LM bass in the 7-8 pound range, one was in the heat of summer, the other one was just a couple weeks ago in December. 

 

The summer fish was slightly smaller but fought MUCH harder, jumped several times, and dragged my canoe with two 200lb guys out of the lily pads and maybe 30 yards across the lake.  Twice I got it close to the canoe, only to have it take off again and pull more drag.  My fishing partner still talks about how hard that fish fought years later.  I was lucky to land it. 

 

The winter fish fought hard for maybe 30 seconds, then seemed to just give up and came right to the boat.  She never jumped once!  My BIL got a 7 pounder in the winter too last year that fought pretty much the same way, no jumps and not a lot of fight other than the first few seconds.  Winter is a great time to catch a PB down here in the South!

 

 

 

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Each fish has it's own personality, but in general I'd say with the same tackle and same size fish, smallmouth put up more of a fight. They also have more of a fight in cold water, where a largemouth slows down more. Both are fun to me though. 

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Limiting this to freshwater only Peacock bass and clown knife fish fight much harder pound for pound than largies.  

 

It's not even a debate.  Peacocks natural habitat is the amazon.   They run hard dive down and put up a prolonged fight while a largie would have rolled over and came up after one run.  That said the clown knife outclasses both.  They swim backwards.  They hit hard, refuse to surface and can put on the brakes like no other freshwater fish can.  They get aerial too and shake aggressively.

 

Largies over 4 lbs are lazy and sluggish.  I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt if peacock bass and clown knife fish had the LMB's range across the world--no one would want to fish for bass any longer.    

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On 12/21/2022 at 7:35 AM, TnRiver46 said:

Oh come on Paul, that’s typically what people that haven’t caught a big largemouth say 

My biggest largie is only 4# which maybe isn't big enough for a LMB to prove their abilities.

 

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3 minutes ago, PaulVE64 said:

My biggest largie is only 4# which maybe isn't big enough for a LMB to prove their abilities.

 

I believe you are correct, although if you are in a place with heavy competition in age classes (like, a ton of 3 lbers), a 3 lber will fight like the devil because he has to do that to survive. My cousins BF in FLA says a 5-6 lber is super mean because there are tons of them and competition for food is fierce. 4 lb is probably nearly as big as they get in your chilly waters? I have no idea 

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On 12/21/2022 at 12:16 PM, Tennessee Boy said:

I’m just gonna say it.   I think pound for pound the hardest fighting fish I’ve ever caught was a bluegill.  

 

Many years ago I had a close friend I'll call Steve. He was acknowledged as one of the best fishermen in the region. He consistently won many if not most of the regional tournaments.

 

Steve was hooked up with a lot of fly fishermen from central PA many of whom were published authors and recognized as fly fishing experts. I knew many of the names from Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and other publications. 

 

One time Steve invited me to fish with him on the Yellow Breeches and the Letort. We camped in a gentleman's backyard on the Letort.

 

One night we had a campfire and about 6 or 8 of the authors and others showed up. They began to argue about the best fighting fish. Some said it was the bass and most said it was the brown trout. Steve did not say anything. They then turned to Steve and asked him what he thought was the best fighting fish and he replied: "pound for pound the carp is the best fighting freshwater fish". There was a brief moment of silence and then the subject changed. No one was going to argue with Steve because they knew who he was but also maybe because they knew he was right.  ?   

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9 hours ago, Dogface said:

 

Many years ago I had a close friend I'll call Steve. He was acknowledged as one of the best fishermen in the region. He consistently won many if not most of the regional tournaments.

 

Steve was hooked up with a lot of fly fishermen from central PA many of whom were published authors and recognized as fly fishing experts. I knew many of the names from Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and other publications. 

 

One time Steve invited me to fish with him on the Yellow Breeches and the Letort. We camped in a gentleman's backyard on the Letort.

 

One night we had a campfire and about 6 or 8 of the authors and others showed up. They began to argue about the best fighting fish. Some said it was the bass and most said it was the brown trout. Steve did not say anything. They then turned to Steve and asked him what he thought was the best fighting fish and he replied: "pound for pound the carp is the best fighting freshwater fish". There was a brief moment of silence and then the subject changed. No one was going to argue with Steve because they knew who he was but also maybe because they knew he was right.  ?   

Steve never caught a bowfin 

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I have caught both snakehead and bowfin and honestly IMHO pound for pound they don’t rank with a smallmouth.  I shudder to think what a smallmouth the size of these snakeheads would fight like but I just may be surprised. Sometimes when they get over a certain size they lose some of that fight.  My biggest smallmouth has been in the high 5’s and it was an epic fight.  The biggest snakehead in these pics was over 14lbs.  They are fighters no doubt but just not the same as a smallmouth. 

3DE48EDA-92EF-420A-8F4D-DBB8C9E4A63C.jpeg

883D4929-B6B7-4FD6-BD78-B353AE91B1F9.jpeg

C116B39C-1F6B-4D7B-AB6B-50FB5C2E7089.jpeg

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Last summer I took a fishing trip with my brothers to a resort called Silgrey, near Algonquin Park.

We were catching mostly northern pike and largemouth both on topwater frogs, walleye on swimbaits and smallies on jigs or cranks.

Average smallies were 2# to 3#.

I also hooked a few rockbass that were way over 12" and they  were a surprisingly fun fight. They're more "frantic" than smallies of equal size but no ariels.

They were so memorable I mentioned it to a local we met and he told me the world record  Rockbass of 3# was caught in that same water.

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On 1/1/2023 at 12:25 PM, TOXIC said:

I have caught both snakehead and bowfin and honestly IMHO pound for pound they don’t rank with a smallmouth.  I shudder to think what a smallmouth the size of these snakeheads would fight like but I just may be surprised. Sometimes when they get over a certain size they lose some of that fight.  My biggest smallmouth has been in the high 5’s and it was an epic fight.  The biggest snakehead in these pics was over 14lbs.  They are fighters no doubt but just not the same as a smallmouth. 

3DE48EDA-92EF-420A-8F4D-DBB8C9E4A63C.jpeg

883D4929-B6B7-4FD6-BD78-B353AE91B1F9.jpeg

C116B39C-1F6B-4D7B-AB6B-50FB5C2E7089.jpeg

I’m not sure you would be here with us today if you caught a 14 lb bowfin. I’ve had 2 lb ones completely destroy my boat, they are capable of things a smallmouth wouldn’t dream of 

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Agree that the smallmouth is the best fighter of the two, and that you need to use similar tackle to compare them both. Also that the spotted bass is a close second to the smallmouth. A smallmouth hooked on 4 or 6 lb. line in a clear Tennessee stream thinks he is a bird, and tries to fly through the air repeatedly!

 

I have used light and medium-light spinning tackle almost exclusively for nearly 60 years from the streams and rivers in Tennessee to the inshore bays of the Florida Panhandle. On one of my last trips to Pickwick Lake, I was fortunate enough to catch a few bass of both species. One that occasion, the 3lb. smallmouth fought every bit as hard as the 4 lb. LM I caught on that day.

 

It is hard to compare bass to other species typically caught on much different tackle. I have caught large fish of other species, like a 17 lb. striper and a 31 lb. redfish, both on 8 lb. test mono. I have jumped a tarpon(who did not stay on for very long) and have been spooled by a jack crevalle.   A Mack truck will outpull an F-150, but each is a different species. You can compare a smallmouth and a largemouth since they are both Micropterus cousins.

 

As they say, it is not always the size of the dog in the fight that matters, but the size of the fight in the dog. We all enjoy battling a fish that acquits itself well for their particular species.

 

 

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