Skip to main content

Best Places to Catch Crappie

Press Release - FWC



Crappie are among the most popular freshwater fishes in Florida. Their deep body with nearly symmetrical dorsal and anal fins and a speckled pattern on the body make them easy to distinguish. Crappie spend much of their time offshore, feeding on small fish. This time of year they will be preparing to spawn and, as the temperatures reach 62-65 degrees Fahrenheit, they move inshore to build nests in colonies. Nests over gravel or muddy bottoms in depths of 3-8 feet are fanned by males.

Crappie eat crustaceans, insects and small fishes. A bright, 1/16-oz. to 1/8-oz. jig or Hal-flies will produce once they are inshore. If they are schooling offshore, 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, so experiment until you find the right depth.

Crappie (aka speckled perch or papermouth) longer than 14 inches or heavier than 2 pounds qualify for a Big Catch angler-recognition certificate (www.BigCatchFlorida.com). Youth under 16 can participate with an entry longer than 10 inches or heavier than 1.5 pounds. Easy registration makes people eligible for both Big Catch and TrophyCatch (which rewards anglers for catching-documenting-releasing largemouth bass heavier than 8 pounds).

Looking for the best places to go? Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists compile annual lists of top fishing sites for bass, crappie, bream, catfish or striped bass. It is available at MyFWC.com/Fishing (select “Freshwater” and “Fishing Sites and Forecasts”). You can also find quarterly updated regional forecasts for other key water bodies, with links for more current information. Here are the selections for your best black crappie fishing in 2014, as compiled by Cheree Steward, FWC fisheries biologist.

Lake Talquin (8,800-acre reservoir, west of Tallahassee)

Lochloosa Lake (5,705 acres, between Gainesville and Ocala)

Lake Weir (5,685 acres, south Marion County)

Lake Griffin (10,000 acres, Lake County)

Lake Monroe (9,406 acres, near Sanford)

West Lake Tohopekaliga (18,810 acres, south of the city of Kissimmee)

Lake Kissimmee (34,976 acres, east of the city of Lake Wales)

Lake Marian (5,742 acres, Osceola County, east of Lake Kissimmee)

Mosaic Fish Management Area (1,000 acres, southern Polk County)

Tenoroc Fish Management Area (8,300 acres, Polk County)

Lake Weohyakapka (Walk-in-Water) (7,800 acres, east of Lake Wales)

Lake Arbuckle (3,800 acres, east of Frostproof)

Lake Marion (2,990 acres, east of Haines City)

Lake Istokpoga (28,000 acres, near Sebring)

Lake Trafford (1,500 acres, southeast of Fort Myers, in Immokalee)

Crappie are considered to be some of the tastiest freshwater fishes. With general bag limits for crappie set at a generous 25 fish and no size limit, unless otherwise specified, you can easily take a “mess” home to eat. So bring your family and friends and get out on the water

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Refurbished 1987 Alumacraft Jon Boat | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

New Berkley Finisher: The All-Around Live Sonar Lure

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Power Switch: Powerhouse Lure Designed for Foward-Facing Sonar

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Krej: A Reversed Lip Jerkbait?

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Install New Fuel Tanks in an Old Boat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Videos

Testing Out the Latest from Old Town in the Marquesas

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Powder Coat: Benefits of Powder Coating Metal Fuel Tanks

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Father & Son Customize a 20' Center Console | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Best Features of the Shallow Sport X3

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

How to Fix an Outboard Motor that was Submerged in Saltwater

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Analyzing a Hurricane Damaged Boat for Restoration

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Design & Build a Custom Dash Panel for a Boat

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now