speckled perch, calico bass, grass bass, speckled bass, strawberry bass, oswego bass, sacalait, barfish, crawpie, bachelor perch, papermouth, shiner, moonfish; French: marigane noire
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This glacial species is well distributed througout the state, except in the streams of the driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, the black crappie usually spawns in May and June; however, during a colder season, spawning may be delayed until July. Favorable spawning temperatures range from 64 to 68º F. The male sweeps out a nest in sand or fine gravel and guards the nest and defends the young until they start to feed.
The black crappie is considered an excellent game fish when taken on light tackle. Extreme care must be taken in landing these fish because their mouths are very tender. Anglers specializing in catching black crappie know that to be successful the bait must be kept constantly moving. The best baits are small minnows, small maribou-covered jigs, plastic minnows, or small streamer flies cast along the outer edges of weed beds. The crappie lies in weed beds in deep water during the day and bite best in early morning or toward evening. In summer, with the abundance of small fish for feed, they are more difficult to catch. Small minnows are used as bait in winter.
State Black Crappie Records:
Illinois State Record:
4 lbs 8 ozs caught by John Hampton caught on Rend Lake, Franklin County on May 15, 1976.
Iowa State Record:
4 lbs 9 ozs caught by Ted Trowbridge caught on Green Castle, Marshall County on May 1, 1981.
Michigan State Record:
4 lbs 1 ozs caught by Frank Lee caught on Lincoln Lake, Kent County on January 1, 1947.
Minnesota State Record:
5 lbs 0 ozs caught on Vermillion River .
Wisconsin State Record:
4 lbs 8 ozs caught on Gile Flowage on August 12, 1967.