With nearly 165 species in its family tree, freshwater perch just might be the most abundant fish in North America [source: Hocutt]. A popular sport fish, yellow perch, also known as lake perch, can be found in the lakes, rivers and streams of almost all fifty states and most of the Canadian provinces.
That abundance -- not to mention their tasty, firm meat -- might explain why many anglers are hooked on catching the fish that has become a popular main course at Friday night fish fries. Perch feed year-round, so they can be caught year-round, which adds to their popularity.
Lake perch aren't big. The yellow-gold fish with dark-striped sides grow to be 5 to 12 inches (13 to 30.5 centimeters) in length and can weigh up to 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms). When a school of perch goes into a feeding frenzy, the fish can provide anglers with plenty of action, rewarding them with a nice stringer for supper.
The trick to catching perch -- or any fish for that matter -- is knowing where to find them and what kind of equipment to use. The good news is you don't need a lot of expensive gear to get started. With the tips found in the following pages, you'll soon be primed to perch.