Black Crappie

Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

Description: Non-native. Introduced in 1905. Head and back heavily and irregularly spotted with black blotches on a silver-olive background; Tail, dorsal and anal fins are spotted. Seven or eight spines on dorsal fin. Body is compressed or flat. Length: 6 to 12 inches. Weight: 3 oz. to over 4 pounds. Location and Habitat: Black crappie are far more abundant than white crappie and are found in most of Arizona's major warmwater reservoirs. Black crappie (and White crappie) are attracted to submerged brush and trees and generally travel in schools. Spawning is often in open water, typically over mud, sand or gravel bottoms. Males guard the nest, and young after the eggs hatch. Generally mature in second or third year of life, rarely live more than 6 to 7 years. Foods: Insect and plankton eaters until they reach four or five inches switching to a fish diet. In Arizona, threadfin shad are their main diet. Angling: Effective bait and lures are minnows, small jigs, silver spoons, spinners and flies fished along shorelines around submerged brush piles and fallen trees. Table Quality: The meat is white, fine textured and tasty.