Crappie is a freshwater fish in the sunfish family. Bass are also members of the sunfish family. Members of the sunfish family are predators that feed on other fish. Bass is the most popular game fish because they are its aggressiveness and fighting ability. They are fairly easy to haul in once they are hooked but are fun to catch because of the feisty fight they put out. They jump around and swim really fast from side to side trying to dislodge the hook.
Crappie isn't as popular a sport fish as bass but what they do provide is the opportunity to catch a lot of them at one time. Crappie school together in large numbers so once a school is found that is biting on the bait they are easy to catch.
Crappie is one of the best tasting freshwater fishes largely due to the fact that they have a diverse diet. They eat insects, worms, and small crayfish and minnows. Their favorite meal is minnows. Many different kinds of lures can be used to catch crappie because of their diverse diet.
Crappies like fish cover of any kind where they congregate hoping to ambush their prey. Shallow coves, fallen trees, stumps, rock piles and submerged brush all act as fish attractors and are favorite hot spots to fish for crappie. The pre-spawn and spawn periods of spring offer the best fishing of the year for crappie. Crappies spawn in the spring when the water temperature gets to 52 - 60 degrees. Prior to spawning crappie move into shallower water amidst shoreline cover and feed aggressively. This is the pre-spawn period. The females lay their eggs and then move out to deeper water while the males stay and guard the nest. If you are fishing along the shoreline in shallow water and catch smaller fish move out a bit into deeper water and you may find the larger females feeding.
There are two different varieties of crappie, white and black, and there is little difference between the two varieties. The sides on both are silvery and have darker areas on the back of the fish running front to back and both have spots. One difference is that they both have black spots but the spots on the white crappie are more organized. The other difference between the two is the dorsal spines. White crappie have six dorsal spines and black crappie have seven to eight.
Brad Metzler is the owner of Honey Hole Tree Inc., an industry leader in the production and sale of fish attractors like Honey Hole Trees and Turtle Traps. Honey Hole Tree Inc. also consists of Lake and Pond Management Professionals that are dedicated to finding the most economical solutions and strategies for your fish attractor and stocking needs.