How Big Do Crappie Get? (With Record Lengths And Weights)


Are you curious about the size potential of crappie, the popular game fish in North America? Well, get ready to be amazed! Crappie are known for their abundance, delicious taste, and ease of catch. Depending on factors like population size, food availability, and water quality, the average size of crappie can vary.

On average, they measure between 8 to 12 inches and weigh around 1/4 to 1 pound. However, they can grow even bigger! In fact, crappie can reach a maximum length of 20 inches and weigh over 5 pounds. Imagine reeling in a trophy-sized crappie, which is around 15 inches in length and 2 pounds in weight!

The world records for crappie are truly impressive, with the largest white crappie weighing 5 pounds 3 ounces and the biggest black crappie weighing 5 pounds 7 ounces. If you’re looking to catch some big crappie, Tennessee and Reelfoot Lake are your best bets.

Get ready to gear up and explore the exciting world of crappie fishing!

Key Takeaways

  • Crappie are a popular game fish in North America and the second most popular freshwater gamefish in America.
  • The average size of crappie is 8-12 inches and 1/4-1lb, but they can reach a maximum length of 20 inches and a weight of over 5lb.
  • Crappie with a length of 13-15 inches and a weight of 1.5-2lb are considered trophy fish.
  • Tennessee is known for having the biggest crappie in America, with the biggest black crappie ever caught weighing 5lb 7oz.

How Crappie Grow

If you want to know how crappie grow, they can reach a maximum length of 20 inches and a weight of over 5lb.

The growth of crappie is influenced by various factors affecting their growth. One important factor is the availability of food. Crappie are opportunistic feeders and their growth is directly related to the abundance of prey in their habitat.

Another factor is the quality of the water they inhabit. Crappie prefer clear, clean water with moderate temperatures. Water pollution or extreme temperatures can hinder their growth.

Additionally, the population size of crappie in a particular area can also impact their growth. High population densities may result in competition for food, leading to slower growth rates.

By understanding these factors and providing optimal habitat conditions, anglers and fisheries managers can help promote the growth of crappie populations.

Factors Affecting Crappie Size

To understand the factors that affect the size of crappie, you should consider population size, food abundance, and water quality. These factors play a crucial role in determining the growth and size of crappie populations. Here are five key factors that influence crappie growth and the impact of habitat on their size:

  • Population density: Crappie tend to grow larger in areas with lower population densities, as they have access to more food resources and less competition.

  • Food availability: A plentiful food supply contributes to the rapid growth of crappie. Abundant prey species like minnows, insects, and small crustaceans support their growth and size.

  • Water temperature: Crappie in warmer waters have a longer growing season, allowing them to reach larger sizes compared to those in colder environments.

  • Water quality: Clean, well-oxygenated water promotes the overall health and growth of crappie, leading to larger sizes.

  • Habitat structure: Crappie thrive in areas with adequate cover such as submerged vegetation, fallen trees, and underwater structures. These habitats provide protection and ambush points for crappie, allowing them to grow undisturbed.

Understanding these factors can help anglers and fisheries managers create optimal conditions for crappie growth and maximize their size potential.

Average Size of Crappie

You can expect the average size of crappie to range from 8 to 12 inches in length and weigh between 1/4 to 1 pound. The size of crappie can vary depending on several factors, including the population size, food abundance, and water quality. Crappie in warmer southern waters tend to grow faster than those in colder northern waters. In their first two years, crappie can grow up to 3-4 inches per year, and then around 2 inches per year thereafter. The growth rate of crappie is influenced by the availability of food and suitable living conditions.

Below is a table that summarizes the average size of crappie in different regions:

Region Average Length Average Weight
Minnesota 6-8 inches 1/4-1/2lb
Florida 10-12 inches 1-1 1/2 pounds

Understanding the factors affecting crappie size and their growth rate can help anglers target specific areas and use appropriate techniques to catch larger crappie.

Maximum Size of Crappie

The maximum size that crappie can reach is 20 inches in length and over 5 pounds in weight.

Several factors come into play when it comes to the growth of crappie.

One of the most significant factors is the availability of food. Crappie that have access to an abundance of prey will grow faster and reach a larger size.

Water quality is another crucial factor. Crappie thrive in clean, oxygen-rich waters, which promote their growth.

Finally, optimal living conditions also contribute to the maximum size of crappie. When crappie have access to suitable habitat, such as submerged structures and vegetation, it creates an environment where they can thrive and reach their full potential.

By providing these ideal conditions, anglers can hope to encounter impressive specimens that push the boundaries of what crappie can achieve.

Trophy Fish Size

When targeting trophy-sized crappie, aim for fish that measure around 15 inches in length and weigh approximately 2 pounds.

To catch these big crappie, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.

First, focus on areas where the crappie are likely to be hiding, such as submerged structures, fallen trees, or underwater brush piles. Use a depth finder to locate these hotspots and drop your bait or lure right in front of them.

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Second, try using larger bait or lures to attract the attention of bigger crappie. They are more likely to go after bigger prey.

Lastly, consider using live bait such as minnows or small shad, as they tend to be irresistible to trophy crappie.

By following these tips and targeting the right size of crappie, you’ll increase your chances of landing a true trophy fish.

Growth Rate of Crappie

To understand the growth rate of crappie, it is important to consider factors such as population size, food abundance, and water quality. These factors play a crucial role in determining the size of crappie populations and their individual growth rates.

  • Population size: Crappie populations with a higher number of individuals often face more competition for resources, which can affect their growth rate. In crowded populations, crappie may grow at a slower pace due to limited access to food and space.

  • Food abundance: The availability of prey species has a direct impact on the growth rate of crappie. When there is an abundance of food, crappie can grow at a faster rate and reach larger sizes. Conversely, limited food resources can stunt their growth.

  • Water quality: Crappie thrive in clean water with optimal oxygen levels. Poor water quality, such as high levels of pollutants or low oxygen content, can negatively impact their growth and overall health.

Understanding these factors can help anglers and fisheries managers make informed decisions to promote healthy crappie populations and optimize growth rates.

World Records for Crappie

Explore the world records for crappie, and discover the impressive sizes achieved by these popular game fish.

When it comes to crappie, the world records are truly remarkable. The current world record white crappie weighed an astounding 5 pounds and 3 ounces, caught in Mississippi back in 1957.

On the other hand, the biggest black crappie ever caught weighed a whopping 5 pounds and 7 ounces in Tennessee just a few years ago, in 2018. These record-breaking sizes are a testament to the potential of crappie to reach incredible proportions.

To catch big crappie like these, it is important to employ effective techniques such as using live bait, fishing in the right locations, and being patient.

So, grab your gear and get ready to chase after some record-breaking crappie!

Best Locations for Big Crappie

For the best chance at landing trophy-sized crappie, head to these prime locations known for producing impressive catches.

When it comes to finding the biggest crappie in America, Tennessee is the place to be. Home to the biggest black crappie ever caught, weighing in at 5lb 7oz, Tennessee has a reputation for producing monster fish. Reelfoot Lake is particularly famous for its giant crappie.

Another hotspot for big crappie is Weiss Lake in Alabama.

But it’s not just about the location, you also need to know the best techniques and bait for catching these big fish. When targeting trophy crappie, using live minnows or small jigs tipped with minnows can be highly effective. Slow trolling or vertical jigging near submerged structures and drop-offs is a common technique used by experienced anglers.

So grab your gear and get ready to reel in some massive crappie!

Recommended Fishing Gear

Now that you know the best locations for big crappie, let’s talk about the recommended fishing gear that will help you land those trophy-sized fish.

When it comes to crappie fishing, having the right tools can make all the difference. Start with the Fenwick Eagle 7 Light Crappie Spinning Rod, a lightweight and sensitive rod that offers great action. Pair it with the Pflueger President 20 Spinning Reel, an affordable yet high-performance reel that will provide smooth and reliable casting. And don’t forget to spool up with the Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid, the recommended fishing line for crappie.

Now that you have the right gear, let’s talk about the best crappie lures and fishing techniques. Using jigs, such as the Bobby Garland Baby Shad or the Strike King Mr. Crappie Grub, can be very effective. Try different colors and sizes to see what the crappie are biting on.

Additionally, trolling or casting near submerged structures like brush piles or fallen trees can increase your chances of success.

So get out there with your top-notch gear and start reeling in those big crappie!

Crappie Spawning Seasons

During the crappie spawning seasons, you can increase your chances of success by targeting areas with submerged structures like brush piles or fallen trees. These structures provide the perfect hiding spots for crappie to lay their eggs and protect them from predators. When searching for crappie spawning locations, look for shallow areas with soft bottoms, such as coves or backwaters. These areas provide the ideal conditions for crappie to build their nests.

To lure crappie during spawning, it’s important to use the best baits. Jigs in bright colors like chartreuse or white are highly effective during this time. Additionally, live baits such as minnows or worms can also attract crappie. Experiment with different bait sizes and presentations to find what works best.

By understanding the behavior of crappie during spawning seasons and using the right techniques and baits, you can have a successful and rewarding fishing experience. So get out there and explore the intimate world of crappie spawning!


Congratulations! You now have all the information you need to catch some big crappie. By understanding how crappie grow and the factors that affect their size, you can increase your chances of landing a trophy-sized fish.

Remember, white crappie grow faster than black crappie, and locations like Tennessee and Reelfoot Lake are known for producing some of the largest crappie in America.

Make sure to equip yourself with the recommended fishing gear and plan your trips during the crappie spawning seasons.

Get ready to reel in some impressive catches and create unforgettable fishing memories!

About the author

Kimberly is an experienced angler and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things fishing. She has been honing her skills on the water for over 7 years, mastering various techniques and tactics for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

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