Crappie

Coosa Riverkeeper’s Fish Guide Program makes it easy to fishermen to get all the information they need such as Fish Consumption Advisories on the Coosa, Where to Cast a Line & How to Cook your Catch all in one place. Get hooked!

KEEP THE COOSA CRAPPIE

White crappie

The simplest distinguishing feature of the white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) is that it will have up to 10 dark vertical bars along its sides. Sometimes though, they are faint. A real good way to tell if you take the time is that the dorsal fin (on top) of the white crappie will have five or six spines, while a black crappie will have seven or eight.

You can find white crappie in large reservoirs, rivers & lakes. White crappie are more tolerant of turbid (murky) waters than black crappie. 

Young crappie feed on invertebrates such as zooplankton and insects. When they reach a size of about 7 inches, fish become more prevalent in the diet.

White crappie will begin spawning at 56-59°F. 

 

  • Choccolocco Creek: It is advised to NOT eat any fish caught from Choccolocco Creek. 

(Pomoxis annularis)

White crappie are a bit more tolerant of muddy water than black crappie. The state record is 4 lbs 9 oz. You’ll often hear fishermen refer to good size crappie as “slabs.” Weiss Lake on the Coosa River is known as the Crappie Capital of the World, but you’ll catch crappie in any of the Coosa’s lakes. The most popular method of catching crappie is using live minnows. Finding a school of crappie is so fun, you likely won’t care if they’re white or black crappie, but knowing the difference makes you a smarter angler!

The black crappie

Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) are pretty similar to white crappie, but tend to be darker and have black spots on its side as opposed to vertical bars. They have seven or eight spines on the dorsal fin, as opposed to only five or six in a white crappie.

You can find black crappie in large reservoirs, rivers & lakes. White crappie are more tolerant of turbid (murky) waters than black crappie, so you’ll usually only see black crappie in clearer, cleaner waters. 

Young crappie feed on invertebrates such as zooplankton and insects. When they reach a size of about 7 inches, fish become more prevalent in the diet.

Black crappie will begin spawning at 56-59°F. 

 
  • Weiss Lake: Limit consumption of Black Crappie to 1 meal/ week due to PCB’s. 
  • Choccolocco Creek: It is advised to NOT eat any fish caught from Choccolocco Creek. 

(Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

Crappie are a popular gamefish because of their great taste. They stay in groups so once you catch one, you’re likely to catch several more in the same spot.  They largely act the same and grow to similar sizes, so the difference is largely in appearance. 

 

FISH GUIDE