DO BIG FISH FIGHT?
A SIMPLE QUESTION REALLY. DO BIG FISH FIGHT? AT FIRST, it seems like the answer is obvious. Surely a big trout must fight like a muscle-bound gang member in a dark alley. The sheer bulk of a trophy trout makes that the obvious conclusion. Their mass alone suggests a formidable opponent on the opposite end of the line, particularly when the New Zealand environment forces us to use long, fine leaders and small flies.
There is another argument to this question too. I’ve heard many anglers perceive trophy fish, particularly the truly ‘girthy’ models, as fighting like obese couch-potatoes rather than fleet-footed boxers. After all, the body shape of many of these fish does not exactly portray the visual perception of a sleek, fast fighter. Their form is much more akin to a lumbering, out-of-shape hulk that should tire quickly.
So, which of these perceptions is true? Do the aquatic behemoths that so often captivate our angling attention actually offer a fight that accords with their size? Do trophy fish give a corresponding trophy contest once hooked, or does the thrill of the chase make up the majority of the challenge when it comes to the biggest denizens of our rivers?
I have heard of fisherman vehemently preach and defend each side of the contention. Many insist that trophy trout offer the ultimate battle once hooked, but many others contend that trophy fish are overrated when it comes to the scrap they put up. I have heard numerous hulking fish described as fighting like a wet sock, or like reeling in a waterlogged
Tim Angeli asks whether the trophy trout that so often captivate anglers’ attention actually
offer a fight that matches their size.