The common perch (Latin: perca fluviatilis) is one of the most popular fish living in Poland. It can be found in almost all types of water: in lakes, dammed reservoirs, large and small rivers, oxbow lakes, canals, forest ponds (there often a dwarf variety), clay ponds, gravel pits and in the coastal zone of the sea. It lives all over Europe except on its outskirts and in Asia except in its eastern part (in North America you can also find the so-called yellow perch - yellow perch). It is beautifully colored, according to many the most beautiful of all Polish fish. It has intense red ventral, anal and caudal fins, and its body is decorated with several stripes on the sides, hence it is often called "striped".

Another of its nicknames is "humpback", it is mainly used to refer to larger specimens because of their characteristic "hump". The front dorsal fin of the perch (it has two of them) is armed with spines, the fish spreads it in moments of tension. Perch spawn in April. The eggs, in the form of ribbons, are laid by the female in such a way that they adhere to stones, branches or plants on the bottom. The number of eggs varies - sometimes there are twenty thousand, but it also happens ten or fifteen times as many. Hatching of fry takes place after a period of two to three weeks after the eggs are laid. Perch are predators, their natural food is smaller fish (although the prey is often not much inferior in size to its conqueror) and invertebrates (younger individuals also feed on eggs and plankton). As a cannibal, it not infrequently eats representatives of its own species. It grows very slowly, reaching about thirty-five decagrams at the age of six.

Perch are incredibly popular with anglers. It can be caught by a wide range of methods: spinning, live bait, classic float method and from the ground. It is also one of the fish most often caught from under the ice. It is characterized by great voracity, it takes basically all spinning lures (mainly small and medium-sized spinners, rubbers and crankbaits) and usually swallows the hook or anchor deeply, but it is also capricious, it has seizures, which sometimes cause a lack of strikes, driving anglers crazy. There are days when in a given fishery it takes on lures of only one color, completely despising others, as it is a chimerical fish. In recent years, it has become common and fashionable to catch perch with side-track and drop shot. This is a very effective method, but for larger specimens it is better to hunt with a classic spinning rod. When fishing with a float or groundbait, it is best to use red worms, but white and other animal lures will also be good. In lakes, perch idolize areas under and by piers, under boats in harbors or by submerged trees. Anglers, who do not always use the "no kill" method, also appreciate perch for their delicious taste.

The big problem, however, is scraping, because the scales from this fish come off very reluctantly, much more reluctantly than in carp. Some anglers therefore use special scrapers or peel off the perch's skin along with the scales. The current protective size of perch in most districts is 18 centimeters. In the past it was more often 15 centimeters, and there was also a time when perch had no size at all. The medal norms of the Polish Angling Association: from 1 kilogram bronze, from 1.5 kg silver, and from 2 kg gold. Medal norms in the competition "Polish record in the length of the fish" organized by the monthly magazine "Wędkarski Świat": from 35 centimeters bronze, from 45 cm silver, from 50 cm gold. The Polish record in terms of weight is 2.69 kg. A perch of this size was caught by Grzegorz Wieczorek in a canal in Gryfino in 2011. The record in the "Angler's World" competition is 55 centimeters and was set by Grazyna Szymanska in 2005.

 

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