Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What Are Crappies?

The crappie a few years ago was a relatively unknown fish. In this article I hope to make it a little clearer on what a crappie is and why its popularity has gotten so big in the last few years.

In the last few years the sport of crappie fishing has taken off beyond most anglers beliefs. You see crappies on the front of fishing and outdoor magazines. And in the last few years the crappie tournaments have popped up all over the place with huge prize amounts.

Most anglers tend to focus on spawning time when it comes to crappies. The reason for this is because the fish are so hard to find any other time of the year. They rarely stay in one place at a time for more than a day or so. However when you do find them they tend to be a very easy fish to catch

Right after ice out the crappies start to move into the shallow bays. Most guys think this is for spawning but actually they are moving in to feed on bait fish. The bait fish are brought there by the warming waters. The spawning doesn’t actually start until the water reaches about 65 degrees.

The male makes a nest by cleaning off the bottom on sand or gravel bottom. This is also quite often done near vegetation such as bull rushes. The females will then lay their eggs and then disappear. The males always stick around to guard the nest and the young until they are big enough to go on their own.

Crappies tend to feed on plankton suspended in open water. They also eat small fish and a variety of different insects. This would be a reason they are always on the move.

The crappie population tends to go in certain cycles. The fish will be very abundant for years and then all of a sudden it will seem like the fish have totally disappeared. Nobody really knows why this happens but they do know that when the fishing gets tough its time to stop fishing crappie for that season.

In the north black crappies are more abundant and in the south it’s the white crappies. They will overlap in different areas. The crappie is also one of the prettiest fresh water fish in our lakes.

In articles to come I will attempt to help you get to know the crappie better by giving you tips on where to find them and how to easier catch them.

Dale Mazurek

Dale has been an expert fisherman for the last 35 years. He has one several junior tournaments. You can check out some of his very popular blogs at http://fishingtutor.blogspot.com/ or http://funtidbits.blogspot.com/ and http://relationshiptidbits.blogspot.com/

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