Pronounced “Terry perch”, this is a classic Northwest recipe that dates back generations. While time consuming, it is very flexible. You can explore substitutes for both the algae as well as the species of forage fish. Enjoy!
1 Pterygophora californica algae (woody-stemmed kelp). Search for an open growing plant with a stipe that is 15-20 cm (6 – 8 inches) high - a bit taller if you are large. The blades (fronds) need to be full and long enough to cover the length of your body.
2 Sand or pebble bottom. Chose a plant separated from other nearby algae by sand or pebble bottomed channels.
3 Current. About 1 knot is preferred. You need enough current to stream the blades parallel to the bottom but not so much current that the perch don’t roam around.
4 Several Perch. A school is best; maybe 20 in a clump. The more there are the more distracted they will be. “Shiner” perch are a Northwest favorite but almost any forage fish will do - herring will work in a pinch. Experiment to find the one you like best.
Preparation Time. Varies with conditions.
- Hide under the Pterygophora blades. Don’t forget to change color to match the plant as best you can.
- Wait some more.
- When a school of perch comes near your plant, wait until a distracted one is maybe 20 cm from you, rush out, and swallow it. Gulp in large volumes of water to pull it into your mouth.
- Don’t forget to swallow perch headfirst. The little spines can be annoying otherwise.
- Return to your hiding cover to enjoy the meal and wait for dessert.