How to Identify Freshwater Crappie

Crappies are similar to other species and this can make it difficult to identify them sometimes. Knowing the different names and using the information above will help you recognize when you have caught a member of the crappie family.

Fishing Tips for Catching Crappies

When fishing for crappie it’s important that you are always gentle when setting the hook and when handling them. The crappie has thin mouths that are very fragile. If you pull to quick or hard the hook will tear right out of its mouth and you will lose the catch. They feed off of small fish like shad, insects and minnows but the most popular bait used by most anglers is minnows or artificial lures that resemble minnows.

Crappies tend to gather together in groups around any structure they can find. They will be around banks, stumps, logs, brush, wooden docks and ledges. The best time to fish for crappie is at night because they feed more actively during this time. However, they can be caught during the day as well. You need to be very gentle with this species when you handle them to prevent them from being damaged especially if you are releasing them back into the water.

After removing the hook you should hold them upright in the water. Do this until they are able to swim away. If you throw them back in they will mostly die and you don’t want to find them floating on top of the water later. Some areas will have limits on what size crappie you can keep and which ones you need to release. That’s why you always need to know the rules and regulations of the area before you go fishing to make sure you follow them completely.

To get the full “How to Identify Freshwater Crappie” article you’ll need to download it here.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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