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Crappies – facts, appearance, habitat and more

What is crappie fish? The Crappie fish is famous in the North American freshwaters. They are commonly found in two main genus- the white crappies and the black crappies. Both of these Crappies fishes are sought by beginners and experts from several countries across the world today. But that is not all. There is so much more to learn about these exciting creatures. So, keep on reading to know more. 


The crappies generally feature an oval-shaped body. They also have a downturned mouth and silvery-green scales all over their body. But how do you distinguish between the black ones and the whites? The black crappies have irregular black spots, while the white ones have faint vertical stripes on them. They also do not have enough spines like the black ones. So, it is always easy to tell them apart. Typically, these cute fishes range from 10 to 11 inches, while the largest of them went on to be only 19 inches. 

what is crappie fish

We have already spoken about how Crappies are available all across North America. These fishes are available for you to see in ponds, rivers and other freshwaters of the country. You may majorly find them in Canada and the United States. But it is less likely to find them anywhere else in the world. 

Food habits

Crappies have a surprisingly nutritious and full-fledged diet. Their eating habits consist of a variety of creatures in the waters. When the Crappies are young, they thrive on zooplankton. But as soon as they mature, they start feeding on Crustaceans and other smaller fishes too. Insect Larvae and other fishes are also common for them. On the contrary, Crappies are often prey for larger fishes, especially channel catfish. That is why it becomes especially crucial to keep the young ones protected at all times. 


When the spawning period sets in during the spring or summer season, the male ones start building a nest. They may do this near the rivers or other freshwater grounds to provide their child convenience and ease of experience. As such, they try to clear out gravel, mud and sand as far as possible. After this, the female Crappies start visiting diverse nests and start mating with the male ones. 

As soon as the mating session is over, the female’s release eggs and the males fertilize the nest. After the fertilization process, the males will guard the eggs for a few days until the eggs begin to hatch. The young ones that survive start fending for themselves. After two to three years, the young ones start to reach sexual maturity. That is how the cycle of reproduction continues. 

what is crappie fish
Crappies for cooking 

Crappies are a popular dish for many people across the globe. The white ones are especially sought after for their flaky flesh and sweetness. Also, they hardly have any fishy smell, which makes them so popular among many regions today. Generally, people eat these fish by frying or filleting them. During winters, they become especially famous and are gorged on for their delicious flavours. They are also found in abundance during this time. So, if you are a fan of seafood, you can try out this fish without any hesitation. 


Crappies have a perfect social life. So, if you find crappie anywhere, you are bound to see more in the exact location without any second guesses. Although they are minimally active during the day, they can get quite energetic during dawn and dusk. They focus on their concentration skills during the daytime around weed beds, log trees, and brush piles. However, these fishes do not hibernate during the winter season like other animals. That is why you can easily go ice fishing for them in winters. They are also great nest builders and may be available in abundance during the spawning period. 

Facts you didn’t know about crappies
  1. Crappies have the potential to spot any vibrations that occur underwater. This is what helps them concentrate better, improve their food searching skills and stay vigilant for predators. 
  2. During the spring season, large groups of crappies spend time together swimming around in the water. 
  3. The Crappies have an assortment of names ranging from Calico Bass, Speckled Bass, Strawberry Bass and even Paper Mouths. 
  4. During the spawning season, the female crappie can go spawning with several male ones in more than a single nest. 
  5. Crappies can get quite aggressive during the spawning season, especially during the mating process. However, they seem to be quieter during the remaining days. 
what is crappie fish
The bottom line 

Enjoyed learning what is crappie fish? Crappies are fascinating and adorable fishes that you can find in abundance in North America. Observing them closely can seem even more fun when you are around them. So, why miss this opportunity? Do take a stroll across your nearest Crappie zones to take a look at them. We promise; you will be thoroughly entertained.

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