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Black Crappie illustration

Black Crappie

World Record ~ 4 Lbs. 8 oz. Caught at Kerr Lake, VA on Mar. 1, 1981 by angler L. Carl Herring Jr.

Scientific name ~ Pomoxis Nigromaculatus

Other names ~ Speckled Perch, Specks, Papermouth, Bachelor Perch, Calico bass, Strawberry bass, Croppie or White perch

Identification ~ The Black Crappie resembles the bass and sunfish species, which have 10-12 dorsal fin spines, crappies possess 6-8 dorsal fin spines. Body form is very deep and narrow (laterally compressed). Coloration is silvery-olive to golden brown, with an irregular mosaic of dark black blotches. The Black Crappie has a large mouth that resembles that of a largemouth bass. It also has a distinct depression in its forehead and the gill cover comes to a sharp point.

Size ~ The Black Crappie can grow to 18 inches and weigh as much as 5 pounds. Angler caught Crappie typically are between 6 and 11 inches long and under 2 pounds, although crappies exceeding 14 inches and 3 pounds have been caught with regularity in some areas.

Habitat ~ Black Crappie occurs in greatest abundance in rivers, reservoirs, and large lakes, although small individuals occasionally enter medium-sized to large streams. Black crappie seem to prefer clearer waters than do white crappie. Before spawning, Black Crappie form schools and venture to feed into shallow water. Spawning occurs from April into May. Black Crappie spawn at water temperatures of 58 F to 64 F.

Feeding Habits ~ Initial food for the Black Crappie is zooplankton, which is supplemented with insects toward the end of their first year. Insects remain an important food item throughout life, but black crappie also feed on small fish and minnows from their second year through adulthood.

Fishing Prints


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