with Darryl Morris


Crappie are not the hardest fighting fish but that is more than overcome with their prolific numbers, especially when you land several reaching two pounds or more.

Catching crappie that exceed ten inches is generally not too difficult to do and often slab crappies ranging from 14-16 inches (1.5 to 2 pounds) are not uncommon.  Responsible, conservative fishing is practiced when you only keeping the crappies that exceed nine to ten inches.

Crappie fishing can be a challenge.  Locating them, determining what they will bite and selecting a presentation method is half the battle.  Once Crappie are found and a pattern develops it doesn’t take long to catch at least enough for dinner if not a limit or two.

When crappie are aggressive, they will hit almost anything presented in almost any fashion.  When crappie are finicky, their bite is light and difficult to detect.  Using a multi-colored slip float system makes bite detection easier giving you a chance to set the hook.

Crappie make possibly the best eating freshwater fish species.  Crappie can be prepared in many ways including fried, baked and in fish and seafood recipes.

Crappie are very prolific and grow quickly in our mild climate and long growing season.  Because they are so prolific and few fishermen pursue them year around, over-fishing of crappie rarely occurs.  Crappie adapt well to rivers, lakes and reservoirs and can be caught year-round if you know where and how to fish for them.

We have good populations of both White Crappie and Black Crappie in Arkansas.  As pictured below you will notice the pattern of black spots on the Black Crappie is random whereas with the White Crappie they are aligned into a vertical pattern. 

Another means of identification is Black Crappie will have 7-8 dorsal spines and the White Crappie will only have 5-6.

Black Crappie

White Crappie

The Arkansas Blacknose Crappie is a Black Crappie with a bold black or chocolate brown stripe running from their dossal fin to under their chin.

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