Spring 2013 came once I got back from a 3-week work trip to Florida, filming Shark tagging research. We tagged a 14 ft. female. I arrived back in Utah just as the ice was melting from my favorite lakes. Brandon and I hit 4 lakes just as the ice was melting..the timing felt perfect and the fishing was good for smaller fish . While out fishing we are always looking to break the 24 inch or 5 lbs mark…but deep inside all we want is to hook that double digit 30 inch Brown. We got pinched into shore by the roaming ice pack. It lifted and disposed my boat a few feet up-onto shore. It was a scary moment but luckily we made it off the lake with no damage after a little work, shimming the boat back into the water.
Once I heard the rumors that a lake with big Tiger Trout was starting to melt off…I called a few buddies and planned a trip to see if we could hook a big Tiger. Brandon was feeling good about it… he and Joe both custom painted a bunch of new lure colors to try out. This was our maiden voyage to this lake and we didn’t even know for sure, if we could launch the boat yet. 60 percent of the lake was still frozen solid.We started trolling a small bay near a shallow river inlet, it was the only open water we could reach from the ramp. After several hours with no bites we made a plan to break thru the ice to try and reach the open water in the distance. 10 hot laps later… my boat wakes cracked up the ice and we then started paddling our way thru the 2 inch ice sheets. 300 yards later we reached open water and knew our day was made!!
Half Brown, and half Brook Trout makes the Tigers very unique looking and an amazing predator. They hit hard and fight down and dirty once you get them close to the boat. Trolling our hand-painted lures thru the murky, 39 degree water was the ticket.! We caught several nice Tigers from 18-29 inches. After 9 hours of fishing Joe got big fish of the day when this 29 inch tiger snatched up his lure while I was falling fast-asleep at the wheel. Nothing gets your heart going like the sound of a big fish peeling drag!. Joe’s Tiger Trout might qualify as a Utah State Record for Catch and Release.