The American Crappie

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The simplicity and beauty of this little sunfish is amazing. Once it gets a hold on you it will put you in the army of fishermen who pursue one of the greatest fish in America.

The crappie family consists of two different fish. The White crappie and the Black crappie (no PhD scientific names here, just plain-English from an old timer).

These fish are found in most large lakes and reservoirs, ponds and in the sloughs and back waters of larger rivers. The adapt to almost any type of water and are a very hardy fish. The Black crappie likes clearer water while the White crappie prefers stained or off color and sometimes muddy conditions.

Most crappie specialists will consistently take good catches of crappie all year long. We work hard at this great fishing sport and many are quite close-mouthed about the whole affair. However, because crappie are so prolific in the United States, many other crappie fishing sportsmen are willing to tell you all they know if you just take the time to ask.

Crappies love clear, weedy lakes with lots of structure like logs or trees and rocky areas. They feed heavily on larvae, nymphs, flies and they are just crazy in love with live minnows. It is common to see crappie surface feeding on small insects on a warm summer evening. When you see this, just break out the trusty ultra-light fly rod and prepare yourself for a bucket full of crappie!

Crappie's are schooling fish, so if you find one there will generally be many more of them in the same area. Being a schooling fish makes it real easy to bring home a stringer full practically any time of year.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as filleting a string of crappie, firing up the propane fish cooker, whipping up your favorite fish batter recipe and sharing the fish with your friends while sitting around shooting the breeze.

And speaking of outdoor fish cookers, I finally found one that wasn't made of cheap thin aluminium and pot metal that starts rusting right away. It's at Bass Pro Shops. The Bass Pro outdoor fish cooker is made of steel and cast iron and built to last. And it isn't much more than the cheap one's at your local Wal-Mart.



North American Fisherman Magazine

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