The crappie is a popular gamefish found in lakes, rivers, and ponds through South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Anglers target the fish because they can be caught in mass quantities, provide an excellent battle, and are delicious when prepared for a meal. Here is what you need to know when it comes to crappie fish.
How Do You Identify Crappie
The fish is distinguishable from sunfish and bluegill when it comes to identification. Crappies are built round and stout. The skin is covered in black dots above a silver scale-lined body. A lateral line extends from the back of the gill plate to the tail. The fish is lipped similar to bass due to the large mouth. Lastly, the dorsal and anal fins are symmetrical.
How Big Do Crappie Fish Grow
Anglers most frequently catch the crappie fish between ten and twelve inches; however, they exceed nineteen inches in length. Fisherman most frequently catch crappie between 2.5 pounds and 3.5 pounds. Similar to length, the fish occasionally exceeds five pounds.
How Do You Catch Crappie Fish
The crappie readily strikes both live and artificial bait presentations. Anglers utilize light action spinning reel combinations to maximize the fight.
Target crappie with artificials by tying spinnerbaits, jigs, or small imitation fish lures on the end of the fishing line. Cast the line near submerged trees, vegetation, or large rocks. Cast continuously until the fish are found and focus on that area because crappie is a schooling fish.
Experienced and inexperienced anglers will find enjoyment when crappie strikes live bait presented beneath a float. Rig a minnow onto the hook beneath a bobber and cast around structures at or near the surface of the water.
What Does Crappie Taste Like
Both the black crappie and white crappie make excellent table fare. The crappie fillets are described as mild and soft with minimal flavor when it comes to taste and texture. Crappie meat which has been cooked is white and flakes with ease.
The most popular way to prepare crappie includes breading before deep frying, seasoning, and broiling, or sauteing with vegetables in a pan. Pair the cooked fish with tartar sauce and coleslaw no matter which recipe you choose. Check out this fried crappie fish recipe.
Why Are Crappie Fish Called Crappie
The name crappie comes from the french Canadians as they call crappie crapet. A crapet describes a panfish to French Canadians.
In the United States, anglers call the fish crappie instead of crapet. Keep in mind; confusion is likely by using incorrect pronunciation when Americans travel north to Canada and Canadians travel south to the United States.
Where Do Crappie Fish Live
The crappie fish is widely distributed across the United States. The fish extends as far north as southern Canada, throughout the great lakes, from Virginia to Florida on the east coast, and as far west as Texas.
The vast distribution makes the fish a prime target for anglers across the United States. The fighting ability and quality of fillets place crappie high on the list of gamefish.
In addition to the wide range, the crappie’s habitat is vast. Crappie is found in nearly every fresh body of water. To locate crappie fish, never hesitate to look past a lake, slough, or small creek.
What Family Is Crappie In
The crappie belongs to the family of sunfish, otherwise known as Centrarchidae. When it comes to the size of the family, there are over twenty different varieties that are native to the waters of North America.
Some of the most notable sunfish include the redear sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, warmouth sunfish, etc. It is more than likely that you have encountered multiple species of the sunfish family.
Why Are Crappie Bad For Ponds
Crappie fish are ferocious eaters with an endless appetite. The introduction of crappie in ponds results in disastrous consequences if not adequately regulated.
Schools of crappie devour baitfish and young hatchling gamefish, including bream and bass. When the food source for game fish is eliminated, bass and bream do not grow to their potential and at a much slower rate. Additionally, largemouth bass populations are thinned when crappie consume the offspring.
Unfortunately, the introduction of crappie in ponds results in thin and undersized bass, which anglers do not appreciate.
Now You Know About The Crappie
The United States and Canada is home to white and black crappie. These fish are common in all bodies of freshwater through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Anglers catch crappie from boats and the shore. When fishing for crappie, remember to purchase a freshwater fishing license to avoid receiving a fine. Bring along a bucket of ice because legal-sized fish make for a great dinner.