The perch in Europe are a whole different beast!
Here in North America, yellow perch are one of the most popular freshwater game fish species because they're fun to catch and make for great eating. However, not many anglers know that yellow perch have a nearly identical cousin across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. One that grows to sizes that will make any perch angler's jaw drop.
We're talking about the European perch or redfin perch, or Perca fluviatilis, as it is known in scientific circles. This amazing fish can grow to seven or eight pounds, making these perch look more like a walleye!
The best fisheries in the world to pursue these fish is the Holland region of the Netherlands. Here, perch over five pounds are common! Watch as YouTuber Carl and Alex heads there to pursue these awesome freshwater fish. If you're like us, it will make you want to add a trip to pursue these monsters to your angling bucket list.
This species has many nicknames including Eurasian perch, English perch, and big-scaled redfin. Whatever the name, there is no denying that these fish are massive and make the North American perch look like minnows by comparison. As you probably noticed, these fish are very similar to yellow perch (Perca flavescens). The first dorsal fin, caudal fin, and the jawline are nearly identical. As are the vertical bar markings. However, it seems like the North American variety has a little more of a yellowish coloration while these perch take on more of a green or olive tone. The red and orange highlights on the fins seem more pronounced as well.
While fish populations of this species are native mostly to Europe, and can be found as far as Siberia. it has been successfully introduced to parts of South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. It should be noted that the European perch has been harmful to some of the native ecosystems in the land down under. So, don't expect to see it introduced here in North America anytime soon. Some places like the Great Lakes have enough problems with invasive species as it is.
Curious, we did a little more research and found that the IGFA world record for this species is a 6-pound, 6-ounce specimen caught in Finland in 2010. And one of the perch in this video was nearly seven pounds! Most anglers fish their whole lives without ever catching a perch that goes over the two-pound mark. It's safe to say we want to plan a trip to Europe someday to target one of these monstrous perch for ourselves!
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