Fish Fry Day: Black Crappie

Once again, the batter is coming out in the kitchens of restaurants across Wisconsin and folks are preparing to cap off another work week with the time-honored ritual of eating fried fish – happy Fish Fry Day everyone! Today’s special: black crappie.
As any angler knows, May and June are good months for crappie fishing as they respond to warmer water temperatures and first start hanging out along the edges of weed beds to spawn then, mission accomplished, begin schooling up in deeper waters. In fact, we’ve seen a few folks landing some over the last few weeks as they drift just off the lakeshore path in their boats. (And landing them can be tricky, anglers don’t call them “papermouths” for nothing).
Corrected -Lake Mendota, June 11 Ted (5)
This week, though, our summer intern, Emily Hilts and senior research technician, Ted Bier, suited up, strapped on snorkels and headed out on Lake Mendota to get a different view. What they found was fish. Lots of them. Bass, perch, carp, walleye and, yes, crappie all teeming around the sprouting weed beds. We hope you enjoy these excellent shots Ted got of a few of Lake Mendota’s crappie trolling the nearshore waters.
P1000125For more fun facts on crappie than you could ever hope to read, the Florida Museum of Natural History has you covered. And, of course, crappie have their own website, courtesy of “America’s Crappie Fishing Community.” Not bad for a little panfish.

1 thought on “Fish Fry Day: Black Crappie”

  1. Crappie can, at times, be the easiest fish to catch, and then , on certain days be impossible to catch!
    The weather plays a monstrous part in how the crappie feel, act, and/or feed on any given day. Hand them a low pressure, cloudy day and they’ll usually bite anything that get near them. Throw in a beautiful sunshiny no clouds in the sky day and they’ll come down with a serious case of lockjaw that won’t ease up until after the cold front passes through.
    Springtime, go shallow, look for any brush, limbs, stumps and the crappie will be in as little as 8 inches of water. Sometimes you can spot their fins protruding above the lake surface.
    Once summer temps set in, go deep, deep being relative to the body of water you are fishing. For us here around Nashville, Tennessee, deep is 18-22 feet deep. Ply brushpiles with minnows fished below a bobber. Later, Tight lines and downed bobbers!

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