- "Calico Bass" redirects here. For the marine fish, see Kelp Bass.
The crappies (/ËkrÃ¦piË/ or /ËkrÉ'ptle="/iË/ long 'e' in 'bead'">iË/) are a genus, Pomoxis, of North American freshwater fish in the sunfish family Centrarchidae. Both species in this genus are popular game fish.
The genus name Pomoxis derives from the Greek ÏÏÎ¼Î± (cover, plug, operculum) and Î¿Î¾ÏÏ (sharp). The common name (also spelled croppie or crappÃ©), derives from the Canadian French crapet, which refers to many different fishes of the sunfish family. Other names for crappie are papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass or specks (especially in Michigan), speckled perch, calico bass (throughout New England), sac-a-lait (in southern Louisiana, lit. "milk bag", an alteration by folk etymology from Choctaw sakli) and Oswego bass.
The currently recognized species in this genus are:
- White crappie â" P. annularis Rafinesque, 1818
- Black crappie â" P. nigromaculatus (Lesueur, 1829)
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, crappies may be caught in many ways, including casting light jigs, trolling with minnows or artificial lures, using small spinnerbaits, or using bobbers. Crappies are also popular with ice-fishers, as they are active in winter. The current all-tackle fishing world record for a black crappie is 2.25Â kg (5.0Â lb) and for a white crappie is 2.35Â kg (5.2Â lb).
Angling for crappies is popular throughout much of North America. Methods vary, but among the most popular is called "Spider Rigging," a method characterized by a fisherman in a boat with many long fishing rods pointing away from the angler at various angles like spokes from a wheel. Anglers who employ the Spider Rigging method may choose from among many popular baits, like corn. Some of the most popular are plastic jigs with lead jig heads, crankbaits or live minnows. Many anglers also chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish hoping the fish will bite their bait. Crappies are also regularly targeted and caught during the spawning period by fly fishermen, and can be taken from frozen ponds and lakes in winter by ice fishing.
A commercial fishery for crappies existed at Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee until 2003. It was one of the few commercial fisheries for crappies.
- "Pomoxis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 29 June 2006.Â
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