The black crappie is a popular sport fish. They can be caught with a variety of baits using different methods, which makes them accessible to many anglers year round. They are found in and around brush in the spring and move to open waters in the summer.
Black crappie closely resemble white crappie, but have deeper bodies. Furthermore, their head, back, and sides are mottled with dusky or black blotches. These blotches do not form vertical bars as they do on white crappie. The most distinct differentiating characteristic, however, is that black crappie have seven or eight dorsal spines compared to the five or six of a white crappie. The dorsal fin is also set further forward on the body of a black crappie than it is on a white crappie.The black crappie belongs to the Centrarchidae family with other sunfishes. If you have ever heard someone talk about a spec, paper mouth, and strawberry bass, they are referring to a black crappie. Adults are typically 5-12 inches and about one pound, but can reach up to 18 inches and upwards of three pounds.
Black crappie spawn during May and June in Ohio. Males construct a nest by fanning out small depressions on the bottom, in and around brush, rocks, or vegetation in water between one and five feet deep. Females then lay 5,000 to 30,000 eggs in the nest. After hatching, crappie feed on zooplankton and insect larvae. As they grow, crappie switch primarily to a diet of small fish.
Black crappie are widely distributed throughout Ohio, but are not as wide spread as white crappie. Generally, black crappie prefer clearer water and more aquatic vegetation than white crappie. They are also less tolerant of silt and murky water than are white crappie. Their diet consists largely of planktonic crustaceans, aquatic insects, and small fish.
If you plan on harvesting fish from your pond, set up a guideline to follow as in how small a fish can be taken. This will help ensure you maintain a good base for reproduction. A good fisherman can ruin a good pond in a few weeks of fishing. For Hybrids, a good size for harvesting would be 12 inches and up.
Size: 2-4 in.
Price: $0.85 each