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Black Crappie:

Appearance:

A deep body with nearly symmetrical dorsal and anal fins and a speckled pattern on the body and fins identify the black crappie.

Habitat:

Unlike most other panfish, crappie spend much of their time offshore feeding on small fish in lakes or in large slow-moving clear water rivers.

Behavior:

They nest in colonies from February to April. Nests are fanned by males over gravel or muddy bottoms in depths of 3-8 feet, with big fish deeper. Primary food items are crustaceans, aquatic insects and small fishes.

State Record:

3.83 lbs. Big Catch: 14 inches or 2.0 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Specks are a cool-weather favorite and excellent table fare. Crappies are common throughout Florida. Drift Missouri minnows or grass shrimp below a float, with a #4 hook and small split shot. Depth is key, as crappie school at the same level. When crappie move inshore to spawn, a bright 1/16-oz. to 1/8-oz. jig or Hal-flies will produce.

Additional Information:


Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.



FWC Facts:
Pyrodinium bahamense, an HAB organism that blooms each summer in Tampa Bay and Indian River Lagoon, chemically lights up to glow in the dark. This is called bioluminescence.

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