- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Yellow perch (Perca)
Unlike the many sunfish species commonly referred to as “perch,” the yellow perch is a true perch and closely related to the walleye and sauger.
The yellow perch’s coloration is a distinctive olive green along the back, golden-yellow to yellow-green on the sides, and whitish on the belly. Appearance will vary somewhat in different geographical regions. There are 6 to 8 dark vertical bands running down each side and a touch of orange on the fins.
The yellow perch’s body is oblong and with a slight hump before the dorsal fin where the body is deepest. A sharp ridge covers the gill. Yellow perch have two dorsal fins, the first being spiny and the second featuring two spines and a series of soft rays. Its eyes are yellow to green. Yellow perch are distinguished from walleye and sauger by their prominent vertical stripes and a lack of canine teeth.
Yellow perch are native to north-central and eastern North America, the Great Lakes, and as far south as the Santee River in South Carolina. They have also been widely introduced throughout the southern and western regions of the United States and southern British Columbia.
Although they are present in nearly every state due to extensive stocking, they are rare in the South, most of the West and parts of the Midwest, as well as British Columbia and northern Canada. Although the yellow perch is a freshwater fish, fisheries biologists in Nova Scotia have reported yellow perch in brackish water along the Atlantic Coast
Yellow perch are quite adaptable fish, able to thrive in both cool and warm water, and water with low oxygen levels. Yellow perch are found in a wide variety of warm and cool waters over a vast range of territory. Although they are primarily lake fish, yellow perch occasionally thrive in ponds and clear, slow-moving rivers.
Yellow perch are most abundant in clear, weedy lakes that have muck, sand, or gravel bottoms. Smaller lakes and ponds commonly produce smaller fish, although in very fertile lakes with low angling pressure, yellow perch can grow large. They inhabit open areas of most lakes and prefer temperatures between 65 and 72 F.
Yellow perch spawn in the spring, usually in shallow, vegetated areas, though they will utilize a number of both depths and substrates. They do not construct nests. Instead, the females lay eggs in long, rope-like, spiraling strands that attach to vegetation or bottom material. Females may deposit between 10,000 and 48,000 eggs, and the strands may be as long as 7 feet and weigh as much as 2 pounds. Several males will fertilize the eggs. Adults do not guard the eggs, which hatch in 8 to 21 days, depending on temperature.
Schools of yellow perch fry are preyed upon heavily by other predator fish, such as walleye and northern pike, where present. Nonetheless, yellow perch can reproduce rapidly to keep populations strong in most waters. In fact, like many panfish, they can overpopulate in a body of water, which will stunt growth.
Young yellow perch feed on zooplankton until they have grown to several inches in length and then feed on larger zooplankton Adult yellow perch commonly travel in schools and feed upon small aquatic insects, invertebrates (especially snails, when available), prey fish species and even their own eggs at times. They feed most often during low-light periods of the day and rarely, if ever, at night. Yellow perch do not slow down activity or feeding during winter.
Yellow perch are a favored game fish because they are abundant, easily caught and good table fare. Because of their abundance, bag limits are often large, so despite their small size, they can be caught in numbers large enough to supply a good-sized meal. However, they are no noted for their fight.
In spring and fall, yellow perch commonly bite during the day in water 4 to 12 feet deep, with the best fishing being in the early morning and evening. During the rest of the year they are most often in deeper waters. Their tendency to bite throughout the year, make them them a prime target for the ice fisherman.
Yellow perch run in schools as large as 200 fish, so an effective fishing technique is to troll or drift with an assortment of lures or baits at different depths until a school is located.
Yellow perch do not normally take flies or artificial lures, instead preferring live bait such as small crayfish, leeches, minnows, nightcrawlers, and others. However, using small jigs tipped with live bait is a popular method of finding and catching yellow perch.
� The yellow perch’s species name flavescens means “yellowish.”
� The all-tackle world record is 4 pounds, 3 ounces caught in New Jersey in 1865. It remains the longest standing fresh water world record.
� Yellow perch are an important source of food for muskie, walleye, pike and bass.