AskDefine | Define crappie

Dictionary Definition



1 small sunfishes of the genus Pomoxis of central United States rivers
2 small sunfishes of central United States rivers

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A member of either of two related North American sunfish species. Both are silvery-white with black speckles, and prized as gamefish.

Extensive Definition

"Calico Bass" redirects here. For the marine fish, see Kelp Bass.
Pomoxis is a genus of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. The type species is P. annularis, the white crappie. The common name crappie (),
refers to either of the Pomoxis species, both of which are extremely popular game fish.
Both species of crappie as adults feed predominantly on smaller species, including the young of their own predators (which include the northern pike, muskellunge, and walleye). They have diverse diets, however, including zooplankton, insects, and crustaceans.
By day, crappie tend to be less active and to concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects, such as logs and boulders; they feed especially at dawn and dusk, moving then into open water or approaching the shore.
The Pomoxis species are highly regarded game fishes and are often considered to be among the best tasting freshwater fish. Because of their diverse diets, crappie may be caught in many ways, including casting light jigs, trolling with minnows or artificial lures, using small spinnerbaits, or using bobbers. Crappie are also popular with ice-fishers, as they are active in winter.
The genus name Pomoxis derives from the Greek πώμα (cover, plug, operculum) and οξύς (sharp). The common name (also spelled croppie or crappé), derives from the Canadian French crapet, which refers to many different fishes of the family Centrarchidae. Note that the plural form of the name, crappies, tends not to be used, by analogy with fishes, except to refer to types of crappie. Other names for crappies are papermouths, calico bass, strawberry bass, white perch, specks, sac-a-lait (in southern Louisiana), rock bass and Oswego bass.

White crappie

The white crappie, Pomoxis annularis Rafinesque, 1818, is native throughout the eastern half of Canada and the United States, and has been widely introduced in the west as well.
The dorsal fin of the white crappie has six spines. The maximum recorded length for a white crappie is 53.0 cm (21 in), with a maximum weight of almost 2.35 kg (more than 5.18 lb); it can live as long as ten years.

Black crappie

The black crappie, Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Lesueur, 1829), is very similar to P. annularis in size, shape, and habits, except that it is darker, with a pattern of black spots. It is most accurately identified by the seven or eight spines on its dorsal fin. The oldest recorded age of a specimen is fifteen years, although seven years is a more typical life span for the species.
The black crappie tends to prefer clearer water than the white crappie does. Its diet, as an adult, also tends to be less dominated by other fishes than that of the white crappie.. Anglers who employ the Spider Rigging method may choose from among many popular baits. Some of the most popular are plastic jigs with lead jig heads, crankbaits or live minnows. Many anglers also chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish hoping the fish will bite their bait. Crappie are also regularly targeted and caught during the spawning period by fly fishermen, and can be taken from frozen ponds and lakes in winter by ice fishing. Crappie anglers share information about habitat, seasonal habits, and how to catch Crappie at



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crappie in French: Pomoxis
crappie in Polish: Pomoxis
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