The black crappie is covered with dark, irregular blotches and has seven, rarely eight, dorsal spines. It shows
more yellowish and greenish on its sides and its caudal (tail) and anal fins are heavily flecked.
The black crappie is considered an excellent game fish when taken on light tackle. Extreme care must be taken in landing these fish because their mouths are very tender. Anglers specializing in catching black crappie know that to be successful the bait must be kept constantly moving. The best baits are small minnows, small maribou-covered jigs, plastic minnows, or small streamer flies cast along the outer edges of weed beds. The crappie lies in weed beds in deep water during the day and bite best in early morning or toward evening.
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Crappie are normally caught under 2 pounds. They can grow up to 5 pounds and can measure over 13 inches.
Sexual maturity is reached in the second or third year.
The photo above right is me holding a 2 pound 10 ounce Black Crappie that was caught by Aubrey Ansel of Chesapeake Virgina. On the left above is Shelley Meadow with a nice Crappie. Photo bottom right from the Crappie Killer dot com.