Family Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
Don’t think we will find many white crappie the up U.P. as they tend to be in warmer water climates in the south of Wisconsin.
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