What Does a Crappie Fish Look Like?

The most popular freshwater game fish in North America is the crappie. It's good-tasting white meat and is one of the most popular inshore game fish that anglers can catch on their favorite lake or pond.
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Crappie is a freshwater fish and good-tasting white meat and is one of the most popular inshore gamefish that anglers can catch on their favorite lake or pond. Crappie live near the bottom of the water, where they feed on aquatic insects and crustaceans. These fish can grow up to 12 inches long.

As one of the most popular types of fish, they are often targeted by anglers who enjoy fishing for sport or food. You’ve probably heard about crappie before but don’t know what they look like. Here, are some common traits to help you figure out whether or not you have found a crappie!

How to Identify Crappie?

To start crappie fishing you must know to identify one first. A crappie’s mouth is straight as a line, as opposed to a bass’ mouth which is not. Crappie has many small teeth that resemble what you would find on a human hand especially with the smallest teeth being at the tip of their jaw.

The size of white crappie will be around 3-8 inches and black crappies will be 10-15 inches so they both have different lengths but there are many ways to tell them apart from each other even though they may look similar when you see what a crappie looks like.

What Does a Crappie Fish Look Like:

They are classified as two distinct species: white and black crappie. They do have certain distinctions to consider if you’re fishing for them, which will be important to remember.

White Crappie:

The white crappie is what we see most often and what you will find in the majority of lakes and ponds. They’re found further south than black crappies, which makes sense since they prefer to be in warmer water. White crappies also tend to stay closer to vegetation for cover, so that’s another factor to take into account when looking for them. The lighter coloration of their bodies makes the regular dark bars across their body even more visible.

Black Crappie:

The black crappie is like “black bass,” as they are belong to sunfish family because it looks similar to a largemouth bass in shape and size that somehow has irregular dark blotches or dark spots. However, there are some key differences in behavior and habitat between these two fish.

Black crappie are what we find further north, so they prefer colder water. They can be more difficult to catch as a result of this. In addition, black crappie tends to live deeper in the water column than white crappies, which means you have to use different techniques to attract them.

How Big are Crappie Fish?

Crappies have what is called a “squaretail,” which means its tail looks almost like a square shape and they are completely light or weigh over two pounds. The black crappie has what is called a “crescent tail” so the tail of this fish more closely resembles what you would expect from more common fish, it looks similar to what a trout or bass might have.

What Season is it Good to Catch Crappie?

The best season the crappie is commonly caught is during the springtime, specifically April and May. This what does crappie looks like has what is called a “spawn,” which means that they’re going to travel from what is called their “hibernaculum” through what we call a “migration.”

During this migration, crappies will move from what is typically deeper water up towards shorelines. White crappie begins this spawning behavior when the water temperature reaches approximately fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

What Do Crappie Fish Eat?

Crappies have what is called an “insatiable appetite” for what is called aquatic insects and what does crappie looks like, but will also eat what we call zooplankton and what we consider to be bottom-dwelling invertebrates. They are typically active at night which means the best time of day for what a crappie looks like is when it’s dark outside.

While fishing for what does white crappie looks like, you’ll find that they tend to move in schools or what we call packs. This can make catching them easier and more fun than you might expect – even beginners can enjoy what crappie looks like!

Where are the Best Places to Find Crappies?

Crappie live in lakes, streams, backwaters pools, and other freshwater bodies locations. The best places to find them are what we call “cover,” which means that they’re going to look for structure in the shallow water and deeper water.

You can also find them in larger lakes. The structure can include muddy spots, rocky areas, brush piles, sunken islands, points, coves, overhanging bushes, fallen trees.

Crappie Fishing Tips

You’ll want what we think of as basic crappie fishing tips supplies if you’re going after what does black crappies look like or what they do. This includes items such as a crappie rod and reel, line measuring tool, and rod holders.

You’ll also want to bring along what we call “live bait,” which could include things such as what kind of bait works best for crappie fishing or what type of lures work well for this and of course a crappie gear in your fishing trip!

Before you get started with your quest to catch what does white crappie look like, or what they eat, you’ll want to have some basic fishing supplies that will help ensure success!

How to Prepare and Cook Crappie

Now that you’ve caught what is called “crappies” for dinner, how are you going to cook them? Well, there are several different options available. You can either sauté them or pan fry them, though if you are cooking what does white crappie look like, they typically taste best if you bake or grill them.

Crappies are a freshwater fish that has a mild flavor so it will easily absorb the taste of what you cook them with, which is why baking and grilling work well. They are also very healthy to eat, coming with what’s called “enormous amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.” These acids can help protect you against heart disease and even certain types of cancer.

Final Thoughts

So now you know what crappie look like, when is the best time to catch them, what do they eat, where are the best places to find them and how should you prepare and cook them! So next time you’re out on a fish trip make sure to bring along some basic fishing supplies as well as lures. Don’t forget to check the time so you can catch them at night, and we also recommend doing a little research beforehand so you know what kind of structure crappies will be living in.

And that’s it! Now you know what crappie looks like, when they’re typically found, how to prepare and cook them. Also, remember to check the water temperature and decide on what crappie fish eat and where during your crappie fishing tips before you head out!