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White Crappie vs Black Crappie: 5 Key Differences

Two medium-sized freshwater fish species belonging to the sunfish family are called crappies, and they are quite popular among recreational anglers in North America. Crappies are commonly referred to as “panfish” because of their small size, which allows them to fit inside a frying pan. Their oval bodies have scales that resemble silvery green. They also have spiky fins and downturned jaws. Smaller fish, such as walleye and northern pike, as well as their young, are the food source for crappie fish. white crappie vs black crappie consume not just tiny fish but also invertebrates and plankton. They primarily forage in open water or close to the shore in the mornings and nights. They are usually less active and remain close to submerged things throughout the day. white crappie vs black crappie

Key Differences Between White Crappie vs Black Crappie

White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
White crappies have faint vertical stripes.Black crappies have irregular black spots.
They prefer the rough waters of rivers and reservoirs.They prefer still, clear waters.
White crappies are the lighter fish of the two.Black crappies are heavier fish.
They have six spines on the dorsal fin.They have seven or eight spines on the dorsal fin.
The ratio of the distance from the middle of the eye to the dorsal fin and the length of the dorsal fin is not equal.The length of the dorsal fin is equal to the distance between the center of the eye and the beginning of the dorsal fin.
white crappie vs black crappie
©M Huston/

You can differentiate between white crappie vs black crappie if you know what to look for. Examining the dorsal fin’s number of spines, spot patterns on the back, or location of the eyes in relation to the fin are the simplest methods. Another important predictor of the type of fish is the sort of water in which the fish are caught.


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