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Crappie has two main types; White Crappie and Black Crappie. Knowing the differences between the two is essential to be able to follow the rules and regulations of many bodies of water.

The difference between Black and White Crappie starts with the name. White Crappie is obviously lighter in color and has olive to green markings on its side, and Black Crappie are darker in color and has dark spotting on its side. The easiest way to tell the difference is Black Crappie had seven to eight spines in their dorsal fin, while White Crappie has only six.

Crappies can be found in all lower 48 states, and depending on the location, they could be referred to as Oswego Bass, Dirty Sunfish, Moonfish, or Sacalait.
  • Fishing

    A lot of times, anglers are guilty of spending too much time researching the latest and best crappie baits and not focusing on learning more about the natural behaviors of the fish and the factors that affect where they are located.

    Crappie is a smaller fish, and it has predators, so they love structure and a sense of security. Look for them in weed beds, sunken trees, or rock piles in the shallow waters. When the weather starts to get a little cooler, they will head towards open water in search of deeper water structure areas. These structures can be anything from sunken boats, old brush piles or Christmas trees dumped in the middle of the lake, or artificial structure placed by the local fish and wildlife department and the community.

    If you don't have a fish finder or you are new to a lake, book an affordable crappie fishing trip and listen to the fishing tips from someone who fishes that lake every day. Even if you have a fish finder, knowing how to use it can be a learning curve. Many Crappie fishing guides offer half-day trips on the water to show you how to hon in your fish finder for Crappie.

    OK, now that you know where to go, let's focus on having the correct fishing lures and equipment. We recommend a short, lightweight rod for the favored method of vertical fishing. You can use a medium length rod if you will be casting and retrieving. Longer rods are best served for trolling for crappies.

  • Size

    The most massive Black Crappie ever recorded was just shy of 6-pounds.

  • When & Where it’s Best for Crappie Fishing

    The best time to catch Crappie

    • Spring: Find fish during this time of year in the shallow water areas. The fish is in spawn during this season
    • Fall: When the temperatures start to decline, these fish begin to get hungry, in preparation for the winter. The shallow water fishing spots are still the best in the fall.
    • Summer: You might have to spend some more time searching in a little deeper water for underwater brush piles and structures, but when you find them, the fishing is fantastic.
    • Winter: It may be the hardest season to find crappies, but when you do, they will be in large schools in deep water structure areas.

    Anglers can fish for these magnificent fish in every state in the United States. However, some crappie lakes and reservoirs stand above the rest.

    Top 10 Crappie Destinations

    • Granada Lake- Mississippi
    • Kentucky Lake - Kentucky
    • Logan Martin Lake - Alabama
    • Reelfoot Lake - Tennessee
    • Toledo Bend Reservoir - Louisiana
    • Weiss Lake - Alabama
    • Eufaula Lake - Oklahoma
    • Lake Fork - Texas
    • Lake Washington - Mississippi
    • Sardis Lake - Mississippi

    Although those locations boast the most bragging rights, you can use the search listing page to search for "Crappie Fishing Near Me" and quickly find an affordable crappie fishing guide who knows a local honey hole that will give that list a run for its money.

  • Fishing Tips

    The fishing method for catching Crappies doesn't really change between the two, and either can be found in a variety of ways. In fact, many anglers will catch a crappie or two while bass fishing.

    Fishing with live bait will be best served using a medium-sized minnow. Choose a species of minnow that is native to the fishing area. Crappie fishing lures with the highest success rates include small spinners and jigs. The best size of jig to use is under one-eighth of an ounce. If you're looking for crappie fishing tips for big Crappies, then reach into your tackle box for a small deep-diving crankbait or even a plastic worm.

  • Good to Eat

    Is Crappie good to eat? Yes!

    The taste of this fish is right up there with other freshwater fish, like fresh-caught salmon. You can find many great recipes for cooking crappies, and they are great fried, sauteed, or baked. Some people prefer them fileted, while smaller Crappie is usually gutted, and de-scaled.

  • License and Regulations

    Crappie typically has a minimum length requirement and a bag limit. However, these can both change from lake to lake and state to state. In any case, it's essential to stay up to date with the local fish and game requirements, so that we leave our nation's crappie population better than we found it for the future generation of anglers.

    While specific rules are in place that you must follow, it also crucial to practice ethical fishing that goes above and beyond what is asked of you. An example of this is when crappie fishing at over 30 feet deep, crappies have a difficult time surviving the sudden change in depths after being brought to the surface. So if you plan on fishing for them at this depth or higher, it's probably best to make sure you can keep the fish.

  • Interesting Facts

    • The oldest recorded age for a Black Crappie is an incredible 15 years.
    • White Crappie is more commonly found in more murky water than Black Crappie.
    • The male will guard the nest for 5 days after spawning.
    • The ideal water temperature for spawning is in the low 60s.
    • The Louisiana term for Crappie "Sauc-au-lait" means a bag of milk.

Is Crappie good fish to eat?

YES! The Crappie is one of the top-rated fish to eat in the south. It is a flaky sweeter white meat. The smaller ones can be cooked whole, while the bigger ones are often fileted a fried.

What color jig is best for Crappie?

What time of year is best for crappie fishing?

How many types of crappies are there?

Why are crappies called crappies?