Family: Centrarchidae, Sunfishes view all from this family
Description Crappie 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 (play /ˈkr piː/ or /ˈkrɒpiː/) refers to either of the Pomoxis species, both of which are 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 crapp»), 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 crappie are papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass or specks (especially in Michigan), speckled perch, calico bass (throughout New England), sac-au-lait (in southern Louisiana, lit "bag of milk") and Oswego bass.
Dimensions Up to 21 1/4" (53 cm).
Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds.
Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada.