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White Crappie

Aug 17, 2007
Many people are unaware that there are actually two species of Crappie. The two species are Black Crappie and White Crappie, separated by their color and habits.

White's are known by a variety of common names, such as, White Perch, Sac-a-lait. The scientific name is Pomoxis Annularis. Pomoxis is Greek for "opercle sharp", and refers to the fact that the fish's gill covers have spines. The word annularis is Latin for "having rings" and refers to the dark bands (vertical bars) around the body.

You are able to identify them by closely examining their bodies. While White's and Black Crappie are very similar, there are two very different characteristics. The white is deep-bodied and silvery in color, ranging from silvery-white on the belly to a silvery-green or even dark green on the back. There are several vertical bars on the sides. The dorsal fin has a maximum of six spines, while Black Crappie have 7 or 8.

White's range in size from 8 inches to 12 inches, and hardly ever weigh more then about a pound. Typical state records range between 3 and 4 pounds, and anywhere from 16-19 inches long.

They prefer warmer water, and are not as fussy about whether or not the water is clear or slow moving. The more coverage available, the most likely a chance of White's habituating that body of water.

During the summer and winter, crappie form large schools near places with an ample amount of cover available. When Spring comes, they head towards their spawning grounds, which can typically be found in places that do not have much wind, and still provide an ample amount of cover. They typically spawn in water temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees. The hardest time to find Crappie is during the fall, because Crappie become somewhat unpredictable. They may be in woody cover 8 feet deep one day, and in open 30 foot waters the next day.

While spawning times vary by location, generally they spawn around spring time. The male's construct a large nest by fanning out small depressions around the bottom of brush, various vegetation, rocks, or submerged boulders, in water anywhere from 1 to 5 feet deep. The female then comes in and lays eggs in the nest. Each spawn, they can lay anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 eggs.

It's important to remember how crappie "live" their lives so you can put yourself in the best situation possible to catch them. Following their habits will put you a step ahead of other fishermen.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best crappie fishing information possible. Get more information on White Crappie here: http://www.askcrappiefishing.com
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