LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Got license?
Give yourself the license to relax and catch some memories while you're at it.
Regulations
Know the regulations to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Places to fish
Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
Get started
Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Fisheries Management

Fishes of WisconsinBlack crappie

Common name: Black crappie

black crappie illustration

Illustration by Virgil Beck.

Scientific name: Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Pomoxis means "sharp opercle (cheek)"; nigromaculatus means "black spotted")

Distribution: The black crappie occurs in all three drainage basins in Wisconsin (Lake Michigan, Mississippi River, and Lake Superior). This glacial species is well distributed througout the state, except in the streams of the driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin.

Spawning: 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.

Angling: 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.

Last revised: Friday August 31 2012