Perch is a river or sea fish in which behavior changes depending on the season. At different ages, perch eats various foods, starting with fry at an early age, ending with larger fish, which is placed in the mouth. Self-breeding of perches is acceptable for obtaining good profit when selling live fish. The article considers the behavioral traits, the spawning process, the habitat of fish and the fishing process.
A distinctive feature of the representatives of this order is the unique structure of the dorsal fin: it consists of a front spiny and softer back. Some species have fused fins. In the anal fin there are from 1 to 3 hard needles, and in the caudal tail there is a peculiar notch. Almost all perchs have bright red or pinkish abdominal fins.
The perch has large teeth, arranged in several rows in the large mouth, and some species have fangs. There are small scales on the skin, there are noticeable transverse dark stripes. At the posterior edge, a comb of teeth or small spikes. Small gills on the gill cover.
The average weight of perch varies from 400 grams to 3 kilograms, and marine giants reach 14 kilograms. The length of the fish often does not exceed 30-45 centimeters, but individuals with a body of more than 1 meter are found. Under natural conditions, large predatory fish, otters, herons and people prey on these fish.
Depending on the variety, perch is a greenish-yellow or gray-green color. Sea representatives differ in pinkish or red shades. Occasionally individuals come across with a bluish or yellowish color. Deep-sea species have large eyes - this is their hallmark.
Habitat and distribution
Perch can live in various places, depending on the reservoir where the fish live. For most of their lives, fish live near the bottom in small grass, near artificial or natural barriers. For a long time, the predator lives in the riverbed with a large forage base. Flocks of small perch are located on the arches in places where the depth increases sharply.
I do not like places with a fast current, rapids and sandbanks. In reservoirs with stagnant water, ponds, lakes, fish of the same size are kept in schools, located near the vegetation. Goes to the sandbank to feast on fry or small invertebrates.
The habitat of the perch also affects the time of year. When the onset of autumn, when the water gets colder, flocks of perch fry hide to a depth in places of bottom slopes, in these places low vegetation grows in which fry of fish of cyprinids hide - this is a food base for predators. When eating fry, perches gain fat reserves necessary for wintering.
Perch is a unique fish that has peculiar behavioral characteristics that manifest themselves differently at different time periods. Lifestyle includes the process of reproduction, diet.
At different times of the year, perch behaves differently, depending on the movement of schools of small schools of fish.
In the spring
After breeding, perch continues to dwell in small bays serving as a spawning ground. This is due to the fact that flocks of white fish that go to the spawning grounds will go to the same places. For a perch, this is a good time to recover from spawning. Perches breed until May, after which they gather in packs and leave shallow-water heated areas.
After spawning, the fish are sent to areas with a slow course and many territories suitable for ambushes for future prey. They prefer to hide in adjacent to the rifts sections of the bottom topography, in locked places. In extreme heat, fish hide in boat moorings, under bridge piers, overhanging cliffs, bridge spans, bent reeds.
Large individuals of deep bass live in more inaccessible places, preferring deep holes with uneven bottom relief, whirlpools. In large bodies of water, fish are located on prominent elevations of the bottom, clusters of large stones, thickets of reeds and water lilies.
In early autumn, white fish stray in flocks, moving from the coastline to the depth of the reservoir. Following the departing small fishes the perch also goes. When the air temperature drops, the whole fish goes lower - the deep layers are much warmer. When moving a perch in these layers, it will remain there and further.
When winter sets in, at shallow depths dying plants begin to decompose, due to which the oxygen content in the water decreases. Such conditions do not scare the perch; it only occasionally leaves the places of its “stops” in the depths. All life processes are slowed down, and the amount of food in wintering places does not make the fish become active. During this period, perch should be wary of other more serious predators.
Only during the spring thaw, the perch eats normally again and swims in the water area of the reservoir. Flocks of perch approach the mouths of melted streams, rivers that carry vital oxygen in their waters.
Sexual maturity at the perch occurs at 2-4 years, the male matures earlier than the female. Predators breed at the end of April, at the beginning of May, when the water warms up to 7-15 degrees. Water temperature plays a huge role for spawning of perch, because under improper conditions, it will not be able to throw eggs.
Fish spawn in snags, at the bottom of a reservoir, other vegetation. The eggs have a size of not more than 4 millimeters. At one time, the fish can make several clutches in different places. The spawning process lasts several weeks once a year.
When fry hatch from eggs, their diet consists of plankton. As they grow older, they begin to feed on small invertebrate inhabitants of water bodies, then small fish, including their brethren.
The basis of the diet of perch is a small fish, which in size does not exceed 6-8, sometimes 12 centimeters. During snowmelt, predators eat exclusively worms and some types of algae. In the warm season, he preys mainly on fish. Prefers to eat crayfish and small crustaceans and invertebrates. They eat perches of fish living near vegetation in open water.
Often eat small roach and fish of the carp family under the age of one and a half years, because it is during this period that it is less agile and slowly swims, which makes it easy prey. Other fish species that live next door to it are also included in the diet of perch, they eat:
The perch is extraordinarily gluttonous and stupid, it eats so that fish tails stick out of its throat, which did not fit in the stomach. Due to this gluttony and gluttony, perches often suffer, causing the love of many fishermen, because his nibble occurs year-round. Ten months a year, he eats everything that moves.
Perch is a predatory fish, but it also has many enemies, and its carelessness is explained by huge reproduction. Some predatory fish, such as burbot, pikeperch, do not disdain a fresh perch at all, and pike and catfish sometimes feed exclusively on this type of fish. This is due to the carelessness and slowness of the perch, and even its sharp spikes cannot scare a pike with grasping jaws or catfish . There are a lot of perch, and this makes it easy and quick prey.
In addition to predators, a lot of perches suffer from water birds that exterminate eggs and fry. Perch roe also eats char and pertussis. Sometimes, due to its voracity, a predator, chasing its prey at high speed, slips into the narrow burrows of non-predatory fish, gets stuck and dies of hunger. Even an ordinary whooping cough is able to inflict a fatal injection on the mouth of a perch, quickly using its dorsal fin.
Many perches are caught by fishermen using fishing rods and other gear. All these losses are covered by the fact that fish breed rapidly.
Diseases and parasites
Many diseases of perch are associated with parasites. Basically, perches are infected with protozoa that can damage the gills, skin, intestines, and so on. Parasitic diseases are determined by a large number, but at the same time, only apophallosis and diphyllobothriosis are a danger to humans. Parasites in a perch appear in humans when they eat raw fish or an improperly smoked product.
Diphyllobothriasis is caused by tapeworms, apophallosis - by trematode. A specific percussion disease is hepaticosis, which progresses due to the settlement of a nematode in the liver of the fish. This threatens inflammation of the liver and gall bladder, which subsequently leads to general intoxication of the fish organism.
Often there is trypanosome - a disease that lives in water bodies located near the Baikal basin. The disease is accompanied by symptoms such as loss of reaction and coordination, passivity. When infected with a virus, perches begin to move “spirally” in the water and rise to the surface, and then sink to the bottom, where eventually the fish die. This disease is not dangerous to humans.
Types of Perch
The perch family is represented by more than 100 species, and is combined into 9 genera. In the countries that previously were part of the Soviet Union, 4 species are known.
Freshwater perches that live in the coastal zone rarely exceed a weight of 250 grams. Perch, which lives in the deep water of rivers, lakes, estuaries, grows to 2.5 kilograms. The length of river perch varies between 20-25 centimeters, sometimes more.
River bass is common throughout the European part of the continent. In the east, the areas of its habitat reach Siberia. Perch is not picky about breeding conditions.
The fish is very similar in appearance to its European congener, the common perch. Only a yellow perch has a yellowish color and is larger. The body of the fish is flattened on the sides, has an elongated shape, oval in cross section. The back is a little hunchbacked, the head is small, a large mouth and small eyes.
Yellow perch is a small predator, with an average weight of 100-500 grams, a body length of about 10-25 centimeters. This is a cold-loving fish that inhabits most of the reservoirs of North and Central America.
The perch has an elongated, narrow body, covered with large scales. The body color is dark gray and almost dark, depending on where the fish lives. Many individuals of the coastal species and young individuals of the pelagic species have pronounced transverse blurry dark stripes.
The length of the Balkhash perch reaches 50 centimeters in length, and its weight is 1.5-2 kilograms. The weight of the fish is about 2.2 kilograms. Many individuals do not exceed 700 grams.
The distribution area for perch is Balkhash-Alakol lakes, river basin or other rivers of Semirechye. They are found in fast rivers of the semi-mountain type, in heavily overgrown ponds, lowland rivers, and reservoirs.
Sea bass is a predatory fish, which is found at a depth of up to 3 thousand meters. It belongs to the genus Scorpion. Externally, sea fish is similar to river bass, but has differences in internal structure, and belongs to another family and order of barbed-fish. There are sea bass with bright red, plain, pink, spotty-striped color.
The sea bass has bulging eyes. They feed on small crustaceans and small fishes, invertebrates.
The habitat of sea bass is wide. They live in zones of tides and depths. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean, the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ireland, in the northern waters of England, Scotland, on the coast of North America, Greenland.
They look for perch where there are fry, that is, near the coastal zone. Favorite places for predatory fish are backwaters sprouted with reeds and sedge, where perch often ambushes prey. Larger fish prefer to hunt in various snags or places where there is a stone mound. In rivers, they can take a position near the bridge structures.
Perch feeds on everything that moves and fits in its mouth, depending on the season. Small perch eats zooplankton. Getting older, he leads a hunt for fry, does not mind eating various small animals: small crustaceans, leeches, larvae, and worms. The diet also includes small frogs and molting cancer. Therefore, it is desirable to select the bait in accordance with the preferred food of perch.
In hot time, perch is more active in the morning and in the evening, and in the afternoon it hides in the shade.
It is known that the behavioral traits of fish change depending on the time of year. A good fishing result depends on the selected gear, fishing location, and lures. With the proper approach, even under the most adverse conditions, the probability of an excellent catch is high.
At the beginning of summer, on many rivers it is effective to catch a predator in places with a bottom dotted with shell rock. Perch adheres to these areas throughout the month, and actively eats all day with short breaks.
Perch is caught on such gear:
- a leash;
- balancer (in winter);
- half-boat or “truck”;
- classic donka;
The best bait for perch in the summer is the twister, edible rubber. Less commonly used are dung or earthworms, maggots, bloodworms, caddis flies, and larvae of other insects. In the summer, large perch is caught for a leech or live bait. The average predator gladly attacks the bait.
It is interesting to catch perch on live bait with a running donkey - a dynamic way of fishing, with the help of which they quickly and efficiently catch the search area and find active fish. Instead of donkeys, a fly fishing rod without a float or with it will be no less effective. It’s more convenient to fly a fishing rod in overgrown areas, because the bait is thrown into the windows between the vegetation. You don’t have to wait a moment for the cutoff for a very long time.
On the hook, the fish will powerfully resist, try to go into the algae and confuse the gear there. Due to this, the use of too thin fishing line is not recommended. Catching perch on a fishing rod involves hunting from the shore or boat. Unlike donkeys, with this method, fishermen get a lot of pleasure in extracting fish that stubbornly resists.
When colds come, as soon as ice forms on the surface of the water, a special period begins for fishermen - catching winter perch. The best bite is observed during the “first ice” period. At this time, all winter fishing lures are effective. Further, perch activity is markedly reduced.
It is difficult to find a predator in the dead of land, moreover, to persuade him to bite. But by the end of winter, on the last ice, the perch again activates. Mormyshka is considered the most productive bait in this period.
In the spring
When the first warm days come, during the period of freeing water from ice, fishermen go to catch perch. Fishing in the spring is divided into several periods: before spawning and after breeding. They vary significantly not only in fish behavior, but also in fishing methods.
Catching perch before spawning is considered a difficult process, because perch is very passive after winter and is preparing for spawning. The fish adheres to the natural layer, does not chase prey and is still in some suspended animation. Microjig or bottom gear helps to help him stir.
Micro-jig fishing for perch in early spring is a crucial task, the fisherman has to constantly pick up the bait and their animation. Early spring is the period when the fish behaves moody.
It is best to give preference to various small silicone worms and slugs that do not have their own game. The bite of a perch in March is sluggish and soft; a predator is usually hung on a hook. Having felt heaviness, it is required to wait a few seconds, after which it is short, easy to hook. Fish resists poorly, due to which it is easy to bring it out even on thin fishing lines.
The spring tackle in spring shows excellent results. The main thing is to choose the right place where the concentration of perch will be high. From bait, it is advisable to choose a bunch of ordinary dung worm or bloodworm.
In early April, fish spawn - perch stops eating, and deals with breeding issues. The spawning process lasts for 2-3 weeks, then the fish disperses through the reservoir and actively feeds again.
After spawning, fishing for perch becomes more fun, fish begins to eat. The water has already warmed up, and the predator starts hunting for small fish. Perch increasingly swims to the surface. In late spring, fish are caught not only by micro-jig, but also with the use of front-loaded spinners, rolls, and micro-vibrations. Gradually, surface lures begin to produce results, especially in steady warm, calm weather.
Perch is caught on a fishing rod in May, when the fish approaches the coastal zone and begins to be actively interested in animal baits. The best bait is a worm and maggot, bloodworm, twister. On bottom gear fishing in places with medium and great depth. In May, large individuals are often found in such areas, which have not yet spread out over the reservoir after spawning.
In September, with a gradual cooling of the water, the perch moves to a depth. Now it is less likely to approach the surface of the water, and gradually leaves the rifts. During this period he is sought in deeper areas. Autumn is considered the best time for catching large predatory fish.
In the autumn, some features of perch fishing are noted:
- They seek a predator at a depth of two meters. Many fish of different sizes can be concentrated in one place.
- The striped predator remains active throughout the day. With the size of the lures, it is advisable not to save.
- In the autumn, fishing perch for jig rigs is considered one of the best and prey methods. With cooling, they gradually move away from micro-jig and switch to light or various exploded snap-ins.
- The preference is given to a diverting leash - this is a lethal tackle that allows fishing in a variety of conditions. At the same time, the predator reliably pecks at the proposed small silicone frogs and worms.
- In addition to spinning lures, the perch bites perfectly on the worm and bait fish. As in the summer, some experienced fishermen use a running donkey. The use of this equipment on rivers is especially effective. The best time for its use is the moment from the fall of algae to the bottom and until the freezing.
In the fall, catching perch on the fry can bring a bite and a trophy specimen. In order for the fish to peck the proposed bait, they take a large live bait. Great use of roach and crucian carp. But with such fishing, pike bite is possible, and it is advisable to add a fluorocarbon leash to the equipment.
In late autumn, perches are grouped into large schools, becoming in deep areas near the wintering pits, in river dumps, ditches. In November, perch is preferable to spin. Along the way, a predator is caught during jig fishing for zander. In November, the fish is not as active as September and October. During warming or prolonged sunny weather, he may show activity, but this does not last long.
Breeding and growing
It is believed that breeding perches is useful for other fish living in the pond, for example, tench, roach, crucian carp, rudd, and roach. This is due to the fact that occasionally fish are found in ponds, such as gudgeon, char and other small species, prone to destroying the eggs of other fish, due to which the reproduction process slows down. This is exactly the case when you want to hook up perch. Having launched about 40-50 perches into the pond, he will begin to exterminate these parasites.
But you will need to help the perch to take root, because it is possible that the char and gudgeon will not eat all the caviar. To do this, on the eve of spawning perch, branches of spruce or another tree are laid near the shore, where the fish will spawn on them. The branches are fenced with a fine mesh so that the pests could not get there.
It is equally important to comply with the requirements for the quality of water in the pond, because the perch does not like living in a too muddy pond, which is almost completely freezing to the bottom. It is required to provide fish with depth by making ice-holes in the winter - so the fish will not suffocate from a lack of oxygen and gases released by algae. To reduce the amount of perch, use the inverse method, getting rid of the branches of spruce with caviar from the pond.
Perch is a dangerous enemy of carp, because it eats all its caviar and does not disdain young offspring. If you are engaged in the breeding of carp, then initially they think over whether to launch perch into the pond or not and in what quantities. Also, they are extremely cautious about starting a perch when breeding a smelt, top water, and trout.
Breeding perch in the home pond has its advantages:
- If the result is successful, it will be possible to get a good financial profit when selling the caught fish.
- Perch has a bright color, due to which it is noticeable in a pond - this makes it possible to observe the fish, and "relax".
- Perch is an active fish, due to which fishermen can fish all year long.
- If there are other fish in the pond along with the perch, the predator becomes a "nurse", destroying the weak and sick fish of the freshwater world.
Breeding and rearing perch is a tempting event.
There are many interesting facts related to predatory fish. For example, if you ask the fisherman what kind of fish brings the most stable catch, the answer will be unequivocal - perch. This is explained by the fact that the fish is very voracious and feeds on everyone, it is also gambling, and occasionally, in pursuit of prey, young people are even thrown ashore.
- At the end of the 20th century, Russians preferred to feast on their favorite seafood, called "wings of the Soviets" - hot smoked perch. Due to the catastrophic excess of permissible annual catch rates, fishing was significantly limited, and sea bass turned into a category of delicacies.
- A large humpback perch is difficult to catch: unlike its small relatives, it keeps as far as possible, living at a considerable depth.
- It is known that viviparous fish bring very few offspring, but perch is characterized by high productivity - about 2 million fry are produced.
- Perch is able to adapt to any living conditions, feeling equally good in rivers, stagnant ponds and lakes, brackish water bodies and low-salted seas.
- Sea bass, which is prevalent mainly in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, can reach a length of more than a meter and a mass of more than 15 kilograms. The meat of sea bass contains proteins, taurine and many essential vitamins and minerals.
- Perch is a predatory fish, indiscriminate in food, with rare fertility. Due to this, huge populations of perch cause significant damage in the habitats of valuable fish species such as trout, pikeperch, carp.
- The average weight of adult perches is not more than 300-400 grams, although it has been documented that the weight of the largest individual is 6 kilograms. The fish was caught in 1945 in England.
Perch is a fish that is considered one of the most common and extremely gluttonous species. Fish gather in packs. The perch has distinctive external characteristics, due to which fish are recognized. Fishing is gambling, and breeding is a fascinating process with good benefits.