The Black Crappie

The Black Crappie
Difficulty

Period

April-May

Minimum size

25 cm

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The black Crappie belongs to the Centrarchidae family. Its average length is 18 to 25 cm, up to 38 cm with a weight generally varying between 300 and 900 grams. The largest specimens can reach 1kg. The all-time record comes from Missouri with a 2.26kg black crappie, while Ontario's is 1.7kg. It breeds around the end of March. Its longevity is 7 years. It is fished in April and May.
The body of this fish has the typical shape of craps and other members of the centrarchidae family, i.e. oval and flattened with thorny fins. The height of this fish represents about 33% of its length. Its color is mainly dark olive, covered with a mosaic of irregular black spots on its head, back and sometimes on its belly. The flanks are paler, but also spotty, often with silver, green or even blue highlights. The color can vary considerably depending on the environment in which the fish live. Its mouth is large, reaching to a point below the middle of the eye. The black Crappie is particularly recognizable by its large fins, which give the impression that it has sails. It has 7 to 8 spines on the dorsal fin and 6 to 7 spines on the anal fin. This is one of the main distinctions that can be made with some craps that have 10 to 12 spines on the dorsal fin. The differences between the white and black crappie are sometimes subtle. The dark spots on the black crappie are a random texture, they appear as stripes on the white crappie. The latter also has a less dark back, a longer body and, above all

The Black Crappie lifestyle

It likes to walk on grass mats in search of insects, worms and small fish for which she is fond.
The black crappie is gregarious and often moves in moderately large and discontinuous schools. Breeding occurs in late March and throughout May in shallow grassy areas, usually in 30 to 60 cm of water. The male begins to dig a nest in sandy soil, this hole is 30 to 50 cm in diameter and about 20 cm deep. It then leads his female to it and fertilizes the eggs when It lays them. After the departure of the latter, it is the male who incubates the nest over a period of 3 to 5 days. When the eggs hatch, the fry immediately feed on small insects, larvae and zooplankton.

The Black Crappie habitat

This fish lives in shallow bays and lakes, with a weak current and dense vegetation. The black crappie is looking for calm waters and grassy mats where it can find its food. It also seems to favor sandy or muddy bottoms. This fish appreciates warm water (21 to 24 C, up to 27 C), shallow and is very reactive when approaching fishermen. However, it remains very active in winter, preferring the same environments as during the summer season.
It can be found all over North America from North America to Mexico and Panama.

The Black Crappie angling

You can catch it by using light spinning or fly-fishing tackle.

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