will be one of two species, either Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) or White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis). Black Crappie and White Crappie or called Sac-a-lait in South Louisiana. They look very similiar but are not hard to tell apart once you know what to look for. Both species are members of the sunfish family. They have compressed flat bodies like bluegills and other bream. They have white sides with numerous black or dark green dots. The White Sac-a-lait or White Crappie can be distinguished from the Black Crappie by having their dots distributed to form bars on the sides whereas the Black Crappie has its spots randomly but evenly distributed. The Black Crappie also has a slightly more compressed body. The Black Sac-a-lait prefer clearer water than the white and also moving water although there is considerable overlap, often being caught side-by-side. They are caught throughout much of the Mississippi Valley and all of Louisiana with the White Crappie the most common. Maximum size for both species is 6 pounds.
Crappie or Sac-a-lait are a schooling fish and are very important gamefish in the United States. Crappie are most often caught in the spring time when the annual spawn occurs but can be caught year round. They become less active in very cold water or very warm water. Crappie will always hold on some type of structure and are quite sensitive to light, often moving deeper during the midday hours.
Key Notes and Tips:
*Picture of a 4 pound Crappie!
*Crappie feed primarily on smaller fish.
*Crappie are caught almost exclusively on natural bait or small jigs.
*In some places night fishing underlights is very popular.
*If you are into a school of crappie and they stop biting you can often get them started again by switching the color of your lure or by fishing slightly deeper.
*The word Sac-a-lait comes from the fine eating flesh of the fish, it is French for sack of milk.