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~ 4 Lbs. 8 oz. Caught at Kerr Lake, VA on Mar. 1, 1981 by angler L. Carl
~ Pomoxis Nigromaculatus
~ Speckled Perch, Specks, Papermouth, Bachelor Perch, Calico bass,
Strawberry bass, Croppie or White perch
~ 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.
~ 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.
~ 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.