When you mention perch to Americans, most of us think of the small, feisty panfish native to our Northern waters: fun on light tackle and delicious on the table, but a bit lacking in the size department. Mention perch to those who have fished in Africa, however, and you'll get a very different reaction. In Africa, perch fishing means swift, dark water, man-eating crocs, hippos, and Nile perch, a fish that routinely outweighs the men who pursue it.
Nile perch, which swim in lakes and river systems throughout Africa, are one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. They are popular targets for European anglers, and so, earlier this year, British fisherman Tim Smith traveled to Uganda's Murchison Falls on the Nile River, hoping to catch -- and release -- a trophy.
Here’s the story of how Smith caught the fish of his dreams, but nearly lost his life in the process.