After hooking a trout, the fight is on. A commonly asked question is which type of trout fights the best?, well, all trout species are capable fighters, but fight differently. Rainbows put on powerful runs and airborne displays, while browns fight in a calmer, more calculating manner. They seek out structure hoping to foul the line.
Many other factors, independent on trout species influence how well a trout fights. The biggest influence by far is Water temp and wither the trout are wild or stock fish.
My views on which trout is the best fighting trout
Rainbow trout are powerful fighters
Rainbow trout are feisty, they fight hard, and go on powerful runs. They leap through the air putting on attention grabbing acrobatic displays. The fights, short and intense, involve initial bursts of adrenaline fueled action, but all too soon, they lean to their side and accept their fate.
Steelhead trout, are the sea run version of rainbows. I describe their fight as a turbo charged rainbow. They are immensely powerful, and can pull serious string. In my experience, they do not jump us much but they fight harder for longer. The same applies for the closely related Cherry trout which is found in east Asia.
How hard do Brown Trout fight?
Brown trout are tactical fighters, while rainbows go for power. Brown trout fight with smarts, they will head for logs, overhangs or anything which will give them an advantage. In rivers they have no problem rushing downstream, forcing the angler to give chase down rapids. They use the currents and underwater structure to their advantage.
Size is not always a factor on how hard a brown trout fights, I have fought small browns which fought with vigor, and large browns which barely pulled any string. My largest brown trout to date, went on a couple of short runs before accepting its fate.
I can not prove it, but at times I suspect Browns which have been caught before become more docile. They just want the process over with. Or maybe, it is just the warmer water late in the season which reduces their vigor to fight.
Brook Trout can fight hard?
, I still remember my first brook trout. I describe its fight as “An angry, aggressive little fish. It did powerful runs, jumps, and even rested once or twice before charging off again”. Brook trout can have a real temper to them, they dislike being on a hook. They fight harder than browns, and nearly as dirty. They have no problem busting off a line against underwater structure. They certainly fight harder Brown trout. Maybe controversial, but pound per pound I rate them as harder fighters than Rainbow.
Lake trout can fight like champions
On warm summer days, Lakers just want to relax. They just kinda give up and feel like winding in a log or clump of weed. Things change in the fall, with colder temperatures they fight like champions taking advantage of their greater size.
Do Bull Trout fight hard?
I have never caught a bull trout, so have to rely on the feedback of others. A mate of mine who targets them in the Kootenay region of British Columbia describes their fight as “Everything from wet log to the fiercest fight of any fish”
Do Cutthroat trout fight hard?
My experience with cutthroat trout is limited, their fighting ability greatly depends on water temperature. In cold lakes, they fight hard. Cutthroats prefer to dive for the bottom, looking for foul rather than putting on aerial displays.
Other conditions which might influence how hard a trout fights
Trout fight harder when the water is cold. This applies to all species of trout. Cold water simply holds more oxygen. When the water gets too warm, trout really struggle. Many experience anglers stop trout fishing over the hotter weeks in summer.
Stock vs Wild
Stock trout, normally do not have the strength or endurance of wild fish. They have spent their lives living in a pool feeding on pellets. So wild trout fight harder, and longer than stock trout.
River vs Lake
I have had great fighting fish in both rivers and lakes. I do not believe there is much of a difference. Some people believe trout which live is boisterous fast flowing rivers, have to be fitter to survive in the current.
Trout which lives in rivers, can at times use the river to their advantage. Such as swimming down rapids.
Do large trout fight harder?
In my experience, on average large trout fight harder than smaller fish, but it is no guarantee. Some trout are simply harder fighters. I have caught several large trout which were actually quite docile, while some smaller trout fought with a lot of energy.
So, while Brown trout might fight the dirtiest, rainbows impress with their aerial displays and powerful runs. On their day, any species of trout can put up a worthy fight. Share your thoughts below on what you consider to be the hardest fighting trout.
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