Pomoxis Nigromaculatus



River, Lake

0 - 5 pounds

4" - 19"


Also Known As: Black Crappie, White Crappie  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Crappie (Poxomis)

Crappies are game fish and the largest members of the Centrarchidae family. They are present in nature as Black Crappie (Poxomis nigromaculatus) or and White Crappie (Poxomis annularus). Both the species are similar to each other, apart from few distinctions. White crappie will have vertical bars running the length of their body, and black crappie will have no discernible pattern and will just be speckled, hence their nickname, “specks". White crappie has 5-6 spines, and black crappie has 7-8 spines. Anglers often differentiate the two by body shapeGrenade Lake, Mississippi, and Reel foot Lake are considered among giant crappie lakes.

Crappie Habitat and Distribution

Both the crappies have a similar habitat, though black crappie prefers clearer water than white crappie. These fishes can be found in rivers, lakes, and backwater pools swimming in shallow waters or hiding among bushes, vegetation, or other covers.


Crappie is native to Canada and the eastern States. It is a much-enjoyed game fish in North America and inhabits the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Mississippi River Basins.

Crappie Size and Weight

Crappie can be 7-12 inches long and weigh about 0.5-1 pounds.

Crappie Interesting Facts

  • Crappie is known for its tasty and white meat.
  • Both Poxomis nigromaculatus and Poxomis annularus are less active during the day.
  • Both the fishes have a different number of dorsal fin spines. White Crappie has 6 while Black Crappie has 7 or 8.
  • Mouth of Black Crappie is larger and reaches mid-eye and has a resemblance to largemouth bass.
  • Crappie travels in schools.
  • Female lays 5000-60000 eggs.
  • Crappie can live for 7 to 10 years.

Crappie Spawning

Crappie spawning season begins in early spring and summer when the water temperature is 62 F-68 F. Male builds the nest in soft or gravelly spots, female lays the eggs and the nest is then guarded by the male. Eggs take 2 to 5 days for hatching.

Crappie Food

Depending on the age, Crappie victims consist of zooplankton, crustaceans, small fish, minnows, insects, gizzard or threadfin shads and larvae of other game fishes.

Crappie Fishing

Crappie is most active at dawn or dusk. Anglers recommend using live bait and proper sized hook, not too small not too large.

  • Fly fishing for Crappie is exciting. Both dry and wet flies work well. Use dry flies in still and calm days, especially early and late in the day. A great way to start a young angler on fly fishing, crappie is not as challenging as many other game fish.
  • The best-wet flies for fly fishing are streamers and nymphs and soft large hackles. Streamers (small) are very good when the fish is eating minnows.
  • Anglers can fly fish for Crappie near fallen trees or bushes using a dry or wet fly. Be patient and let the fish properly take the hook.
  • Clouser Minnow is the ultimate fly bait that can catch even the sluggish crappie.

Crappie Baits and Lures

  • Baits and Lures used can be:
  • Spinners
  • Pan-fish jigs
  • Small crank-baits
  • Insects
  • Worms
  • Streamer flies
  • Small minnows
  • Nymphs