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Crappie Information


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Crappie - White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)(picture) and Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)(picture) are very similar and very popular fish. They are often found schooling together and most anglers can not tell the difference when they catch one of each.

  • Crappie Description - Black and white crappie are the same colors, ranging from dark olive to black on top, with silvery sides and black blotches and stripes. The pattern of the dark blotches is different. The spots are irregular and scattered on black crappie. On white crappie, 7 to 9 vertical stripes are clearly arranged. Black crappie have 7 or 8 dorsal spines and white crappie have only six.

  • Common Crappie Names - Specks, White Perch, Sac-a-lait, Croppie, Papermouth, Slabs

  • Crappie Size - The world record black crappie is 5 pounds, and the record white crappie is 5 pounds, 3 ounces. Most crappie are in the half to one pound range. Some states have a 9 or 10 inch size limit on crappie.

  • Crappie Distribution - Their original habitat was the eastern US into Canada but both have been stocked all over the US and in many other countries. Black crappie need a slightly clearer, deeper lake or pond than white crappie but both species are found in ponds, lakes and rivers. White crappie tend to hold in more shallow water than black crappie.

  • What Crappie Eat - Crappie feed on small minnows and insects. The best baits for them are small minnows and jigs.

  • Crappie Spawn - Crappie make beds in shallow water in the spring when the water temperatures reach the mid to upper sixties.

  • Crappie Attraction to Light - Crappie come to lights at night to feed on small fish attracted to it. They are a very popular fish to catch at night under lights.

  • Crappie Life Cycle - In warmer waters, crappie may grow three to five inches long during their first year. They can be seven to eight inches long at the end of the second year. They are mature in two to three years.

  • Crappie Problems - Crappie are very prolific and will overpopulate a small lake very quickly. They can crowd out other species like bass and cause both species to be stunted.

  • Forum Discussion - Join a discussion of crappie fishing.

Crappie are members of the sunfish family, just like bass. They are common and excellent eating with firm but light meat. They are a favorite of fishermen everywhere they are found.

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