THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Utah is known across the country as one of the best states for mule deer and elk hunting. In fact, Field & Stream even named Utah's extended archery buck mule deer hunt as one of the 20 dream hunts you can actually afford.
Great hunting isn't all we have here in Utah, though; in fact, the state is home to some truly monstrous fish. The record books are full of reports about cutthroat trout in Utah Lake reaching up to 40 pounds.
Even though some anglers in the state may pine for the "good old days" when the fishing was supposedly better, the following fish were caught fairly recently in Utah. These catches prove giants still exist — if you're willing to put in the work to find them.
A wiper is a hybrid cross between a white bass and a striped bass. Willard Bay is a popular wiper fishery, but it doesn't boast the state record.
On June 9, 2017, a new state record was set with a 14-pound, 28.5-inch wiper caught by Haydee Bullard from Newcastle Reservoir.
The state record tiger trout is 19 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught by Jake Trane in 2013 at Scofield Reservoir. That fish is just shy of the world record, and a lot of anglers in Utah think the next world record tiger trout will come from Scofield.
This 15-pound tiger trout was the state record for just about a year until Trane's catch bested that of Trent Peery.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir was once a trophy brown trout fishery. As with all reservoirs, though, it's changed over the years. Lake trout are now the dominant giant fish in the Gorge, and earlier in 2017, a man from Idaho caught a 48-inch lake trout. It was 1.5-inches longer than the current record — a 46.5-inch beast caught in 1998, also from Flaming Gorge.
However, the Idaho angler who caught this lake trout was fishing on an expired license, and his catch wasn't valid.
What the catch shows, however, is that record-breaking lake trout still swim in Flaming Gorge.
Northern pike aren't native to Utah; in fact, they're not native to this part of the country. Canada and Alaska are the most famous parts of the world where you can find giant northern pike, but Utah's state record isn't anything to sniff at.
Caught in 2013 from Yuba Reservoir by Vlad Zoranovic, this 26-pound, 1-ounce pike record will likely stand for quite a while. However, plans are in the works to rid Yuba Reservoir of pike and restore the lake to the walleye fishery it once was.
Another hybrid, the tiger muskie is a cross between the northern pike and the muskellunge, a cousin of the pike.
The official Utah catch-and-release tiger muskie record stands at 53 1/4-inches. While it may have been broken in 2003, the most recent giant tiger muskie is a 52-inch specimen caught by Joe Weisner. No one except Weisner knows exactly where the fish was caught, as he won't disclose the location publicly.
What's the biggest fish you've caught in Utah? Let us know in the comments.