ONE OF the most popular, of all game fish is the crappie,
A favorite of many anglers because he will often gobble up a minnow when other fish have gone on a hunger strike.
Like most fishes, the crappie has a different name in various sections of the country.
Some of them are: sac-a-lait, speckled bass, tin-mouth, calico bass, strawberry bass and bar fish. Where good eating is concerned, crappies rate high among the fresh-water sunfish family of fishes. And this family—the Centrarchidae—ranges all the way from largemouth and small
mouth bass down to blue gill and yellow belly sunfish.
Crappies may be taken by most fishing methods—live bait, fly casting, trolling, etc., but the most popular and accepted method is live bait fishing and the most popular bait is the live minnow.
Many fishermen are not aware that there are two distinct species within the crappie family.
The black crappie is generally caught in streams or lakes which boast cool water and hard bottoms. The white crappie is more partial to warmer, more sluggish waters. Both species prefer areas heavy with underwater vegetation and suitable cover such as sunken trees and dead limbs.
Originally, crappies were found east of the Rocky Mountains, south of Canada to the Gulf States and along the Atlantic Coast as far north as North Carolina. To day, this popular fish is found in almost every state.
Like most members of the sun fish family, crappies build their nests in late spring, a depression in sand, gravel or the brushy bottom of a stream.
Over-population is a frequent
problem when crappies are stocked in small or shallow ponds. A single female may deposit 200,000 eggs during one spawning season.