Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Black Crappie

Scientific Name: Black Crappie Pomoxis migromaculatus

Habitats: Bass Lake, Brule Lake, Lake Ste. Kathryn, Winslow Lake

Edibility Score:

Toxicity Level: Low

State Recommended Max Servings Per Month: 1

Black Crappie Pomoxis migromaculatus
Family Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)

Black and white crappie can look very similar. Mostly Black Crappie will be found in the U.P. fishing area.

Both white and black crappies have a silvery green back and silvery sides. The black crappie densely speckled with black spots. The white crappie’s black spots run in dark vertical bars.

Black Crappie should have an upward shaped mouth. Black crappie has irregular spotted pattern. Black Crappie will have 7-8 Dorsal Spines.

White Crappie do not have a high upward shaped mouth. White crappie have vertical bar patterns. White crappie will have 5-6 Dorsal Spines.

Crappie have astonishing growth rates and the great majority of 5- and 6-year-old crappies are 16-inches plus and in excess of 3 pounds

Crappie can cross-breed, which produces hybrids that have characteristics of both Black Crappie and White Crappie.

Crappie can be caught year round, but the best time is during the spring spawning season when the fish are in shallow water. Crappie often congregate in groups like perch; if one is caught, more are usually present.

Crappie need a light presentation and they have a soft mouth making them a challenging catch. Some effective crappie baits are live minnows, crankbaits, or plastic jigs with lead jig heads.

Health : Local waters have PCBs, dioxin, mercury, PFOS, and other chemicals that can be found in fish and stay in our environment for a very long time.

Be aware of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – The Eat Safe Fish Guide (ESF Guide)

Wisconsin has the a health guide for eating fish in Wisconsin – Choose Wisely Contaminate Advisories for Wisconsin

Fishing Season


Northern Wisconsin - Black Crappie, Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch All boundary waters Open All Year
Daily Limit 25 in any combination. Some lakes have special regulations.


Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Black Crappie, Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch All boundary waters Open All Year
Daily Limit 25 in any combination.  Some lakes have special regulations.


WI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Wisconsin Record Black Crappie.

Weight - 4 lbs. 8 oz. Length 19.75 Inches.

Date - 08/12/1967

Location Gile Flowage Iron County.

Wisconsin Hook and Line Records for Fishing

MI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Michigan Record Black Crappie.

Weight - 4.12 lbs.  Length Unknown.

Date - 1947

Location Lincoln Lake Kent County.

Michigan Hook and Line Records for Fishing
DNR Master Angler Michigan.gov Program and Map

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