Utah has always been and likely will always be a trout state. There are, however, a growing number of anglers attracted to warm-water fish.

Lake Powell, for example, is one of Utah's most popular spots and offers up striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye.

Flaming Gorge, noted for trout fishing, is also a prime water for smallmouth bass.

Pelican Lake, noted for bass and bluegill, is also among the more popular fishing spots.

The newest introduction to the warm-water game is Sand Hollow, which is producing some large bass.

According to Drew Cushing, warm-water coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Starvation Reservoir is a smallmouth fishery yet to be discovered.

Stinaker and Red Fleet, he added, are offering up some great bluegill fishing.

"So, there are some good choices available to those who want to try warm-water fishing," he added.

The largemouth was, for years, the best known of the warm-water fish. Now it shares the distinction with the smallmouth. It is the largest member of the sunfish family, which includes smallmouth, bluegill and crappie. In addition to being a good meal, the largemouth is also a game fighter when hooked.

The largemouth was introduced to Utah in 1890. In the 1930s it was popular both as a game fish and for commercial purposes. After the 1930s, its popularity started to fall. It bounced back in the early days of Lake Powell when it was not uncommon to catch more than 100 fish in a day. Most of the largemouth in Utah range from 1 to 3 pounds, but it's not uncommon to catch a fish weighing up to 5 or 6 pounds.

Largemouth bass prefer warmer water and relate more to woody cover and thick aquatic plants than smallmouth bass.

Most of Utah's largemouth fisheries are lower to midelevation reservoirs such as Lake Powell, Gunlock, Sand Hollow, Quail Creek, Deer Creek, Mantua, Red Fleet, Steinaker, Hyrum and Pineview. Pond-type fisheries such as Pelican Lake, Cottonwood and Huntington North often are easier to fish, especially for wading anglers, and provide reliable, year-round action.

Attempts to establish the smallmouth in Utah were made between 1912 and 1914. It wasn't until more recently, however, that the fish became recognized by Utah anglers, who were more in tune with fishing for trout.

They like cold, clear water and cannot tolerate water above 80 degrees. They do not require woody cover like the largemouth bass but prefer rocky shorelines, which makes them an ideal fish for so many of Utah's rocky reservoirs like Starvation, Lake Powell and Flaming Gorge. Smallmouth like to stay close to shore, which makes them a good fit for these waters along with trout, which prefer to cruise in open water.

Most smallmouth range from 1 to 2 pounds. Fish up to 4 pounds are considered trophies.

The bluegill is not a large fish, but at one time Utah was recognized as having some of the largest in the country in a small lake near Vernal called Pelican Lake.

Most fish caught are under a pound, and those over a pound are prize catches. Those caught in Pelican in the late 1980s and early 1990s were commonly close to 2 pounds.

It was first introduced into Utah in 1890 with a mixed group of sunfish that were planted in the Weber River and Utah Lake.

Like the largemouth bass, bluegill relate to cover. They do best in weedy-pond type environments. Bluegill love to spawn, hide and feed in cattails and other similar shoreline and pond-bottom weeds.

They are found in Huntington, Hyrum, Lake Powell, Newton, Mantua, Pineview, Quail Creek, Red Fleet reservoirs and Pelican Lake. Bluegill can also be found to lesser degrees in Utah Lake, Gunnison, Dmad, Wide Hollow and most of Utah's community fisheries.

Another of the popular warm-water game fish is the yellow perch.

Most of those caught weigh less than a pound. A 2-pound perch is a good catch, and anything larger is rare.

Yellow perch can tolerate a wide range of water quality from low and murky to high-elevation and clear. In Utah, perch have found their way into many of the midelevation reservoirs and lakes. Deer Creek Reservoir is perhaps Utah's best-known perch fishery. Other waters with perch populations and Pineview and Fish Lake. Other waters include Rockport, Starvation, Hyrum, Echo and Jordanelle reservoirs. Other fisheries with good perch populations are Newton, Gunnison Bend and Mantua reservoirs and Utah Lake.

Fishing for warm-water fish require a different equipment, different lures and different techniques, which, in part, accounts for their growing popularity.