Fishing · Fish Facts · Black Crappie
Black Crappie
  • Average Weight: 1-2 lbs
  • Peak Weight: 5+ lbs
  • IGFA Record: 4 lb 8 oz fish taken from Kerr Lake, Virginia on Marchch 1, 1981 by L. Carl Herring, Jr.
  • Common Names: Calico, Papermouth, Calico Bass, Grass Bass
  • Optimum Temperature: 70 degrees Farenheit
  • Biology: Again, like other members of the sunfish family black crappie are nest builders. They nest in the spring, generally when water temperatures reach 60 °F. The biology of black crappie is very similar to that of white crappie. Growth in terms of weight is very similar between the two species. White crappie tend to have higher growth rates in terms of length, but black crappie are more robust in body construction. Adults feed on fewer fish, and more insects and crustaceans than do white crappie. 
  • Description: Pomoxis is Greek for “opercle sharp”, and refers to the fact that the fishes gill covers have spines. The species epithet nigromaculatus is Latin and means “black spotted”. The black crappie is easily confused with the white crappie. However, it is deeper bodied than the white crappie, and silvery-green in color. There are no distinct vertical bars, rather there are irregular black blotches. The dorsal fin has seven or eight spines. Males do not develop specialized breeding coloration during spawning season.

Habitat and Distribution
Black Crappie are found from southern Manitoba to southern Quebec and from Nebraska to the Eastern seaboard. They are also found in the South from Texas to Florida. Black crappies, like white crappies, prefer a similar habitat: turbid, silty rivers and lakes. They congregate in weeds and grasses but, unlike the white crappie, do not seem to populate as great in number in lakes and streams. Feeding occurs near the surface and at dusk.


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