Crappie Fish – Pomoxis
Crappie is a genus of North American freshwater fish in the sunfish family Centrarchidae. The species within this genus are the white crappie (Poxomis annularis) and black crappie (Poxomis nigromacaulatus.) Their original habitat was the Eastern US and Canada, but both species have spread throughout the country and abroad.
HabitatCrappie can adapt to a large range of habitats. They are found in anything from shallow farm ponds to deep reservoirs. They are active habitants of a wide variety of natural environments including lakes, ponds, river backwaters and more. Depending on the time of year, food availability, water clarity and temperature, crappie may be found at depths ranging from one to fifty feet deep.
Size & AppearanceBoth the black and white crappie are very similar in appearance, ranging from dark olive to black on top, with silver sides and black spots and stripes. The black crappie has irregular and scattered spots while the white crappie has seven to nine clearly defined vertical stripes. The largest black and white crappies on record weighed in at five pounds and five pounds, three ounces respectively. The average crappie weighs between one half and a full pound.
DietBoth black and white crappie fish feed primarily on the younger of their own predators such as the northern pike, muskellunge and walleye. Their diverse diets also include zooplankton, insects, crustaceans and small minnows. Crappie tend to be less active during the day, feeding during dawn and dusk by moving into open water or approaching the shore.
- Both species of crappie fish are very popular game fish.
- Other names for the crappie include papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass, specks, speckled perch, calico bass, sac-a-lait and Oswego bass.
- Because of their diverse diets, crappie fish can be caught with many types of bait including light jigs, trolling with minnows, spinnerbaits and bobbers.
- Crappie are active in the winter, making them popular ice fishing game.