- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
White crappie (Pomoxis)
The sides of the white crappie are silvery olive, blending into an olive green on the back. They have black spots on their sides that form eight or nine vertical bars, unlike the black crappie, whose black spots do not form into a pattern. Spots also cover the tail, dorsal, and anal fins. Their bodies have flat sides, making the crappie capable of quick movements
White crappie are native to a large area of North America, from Nebraska and Lake Ontario in the north to Texas and Alabama in the south. They have also been successfully transplanted to every one of the 48 states in the continental United States.
White crappie are found in warm bodies of water, the ideal temperature being between 60 and 68 F. They do not require clear, clean water like black crappies but can thrive in muddy environments such as ponds, sloughs, ditches and lakes. They are particularly successful in larger bodies of water, sometimes schooling in water as deep as sixty feet during the day.
They are most commonly found in protective cover such as fallen trees, vegetation or boat docks.
When crappie reside in rivers or streams, they find the deeper pools to avoid being in areas with a strong current.
Spawning takes place in spring to early summer, usually when the water reaches about 60 F. During this time, males become darker, while females do not change in appearance.
White crappie build their nests near cover such as brush or rocks at a depth anywhere from 3 to 23 feet. The nests are often constructed in areas away from wave action such as in coves.
Females produce between 2,900 and 14,800 eggs, which they lay in nests built in colonies. These colonies are located on hard surfaces constructed of gravel, clay and plant materials. Eggs usually hatch in three days.
Males build the nests and guard the eggs and young once hatched, which is where the common name, bachelor fish, is derived.
Most feeding takes place at night, dawn, and dusk. The majority of the adult white crappie's diet is fish. They also eat mollusks, crayfish, and plankton. The young white crappie subsist mainly on aquatic insects.
White crappie are enjoyable to fish for because they are good table fare, aggressive fighters, and abundant. A good method for catching white crappie is slow trolling in water up to 15 feet deep. If casting from shore or a boat, use minnows, worms, small jigs, silver spoons, and spinners around submerged brush piles, fallen trees, and boat docks. They have delicate mouths, so only a firm tug is needed to set the hook.
Since they need protective cover to hide under, many anglers sink old Christmas trees in lakes to encourage nesting. The anglers then revisit those spots the following spring to catch the crappie spawning there.
- White crappie are often in competition with walleye because they have similar survival habits, such as feeding on the same food sources at approximately the same time of day or night.
- White crappie are often confused with their close cousin the black crappie, with which they can hybridize.