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Crappie
Anglers Guide - March/April 2014

     

Aggressive feeders, flaky meat, plentiful numbers — can an angler ask for more in a sport fish?

crappie youth      Crappie are a favorite in Oklahoma, and one of the best things about them is they can and should be harvested heavily by anglers.

      There are two subspecies of crappie in Oklahoma. The white crappie is more common than the black crappie, but both are plentiful. Such large numbers combined with the crappie’s ability to compete well against other predator fish like black bass means they can and should be harvested heavily. In Oklahoma, anglers can take home 37 crappie daily.

     Crappie are found in waters all over the state, and for most part, a rod and reel with a handful of small jigs will have you catching more crappie than you can eat.

     White and black crappie look similar, but it’s not hard to tell them apart if you know a few tricks. White crappie are marked with distinct vertical bands of bluish-gray spots, while the black crappie has a sporadic pattern of black spots. Additionally, a white crappie will have five or six bony spines on its dorsal fin, whereas a black crappie’s dorsal fin will have seven or eight bony spines. There is no difference in the way the two are caught.

Making It Happen

"Anywhere that submerged brushy structure is found can be a good place to start."

     During mid-March to mid-April, crappie move into shallow water to spawn. That’s when they are easiest to catch, and also when you have the best chances of catching big female “slab” crappie. Good bait choices include live minnows, worms, and small jigs. Try using a plastic grub or live minnow to tip off a jig for another approach for catching crappie. Additionally, some anglers even recommend tipping off your crappie jig with a small piece of onion, which may serve as an attractant and draw a strike from a hungry crappie.