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Fb1 Crappie

Fb1 Crappie

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Published by Bob Wattendorf

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Published by: Bob Wattendorf on Jun 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/30/2013

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Florida Fish BustersJanuary 2006Cool Water is Time for Speck FishingBy: Bob Wattendorf, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionBlack crappie are among the most soughtafter freshwater fish in Florida. Anglers lookingfor great recreation, fast action and a superbpanfish can find them throughout the state. Thereis even an American Crappie Association(www.crappieusa.com). Also known as speckledperch, specks, or papermouths, Florida has agenerous daily bag limit of 25 fish with nominimum size. In a single day of good fishing,you can more than offset the cost of an annual $resident fishing license, or even a $30 non-resident license, and as those famous ads implythe memories are priceless.12heBlack crappie have a silvery-green toyellowish coloration, with large dorsal and analfins of almost identical shape and size. The sidesare marked with black blotches, which becomemore intense towards the back. The fins along tmid-line of the body (dorsal, anal and caudal) aremarked with rows of dark spots. Compared toother panfish, crappie have compressed (flattenedside to side) bodies, small heads and arched backswith a large mouth. Black crappie thrive in clear, natural lakes and reservoirs with moderatevegetation. They are also found in large slow-moving rivers, provided the water is not toomurky. .Crappie prefer water from 70 to 75 degreesFeeding Habits - Primary food items are crustaceans, aquatic insects and small fishes.Adults mainly eat small fish, particularly open-water forage fish, like threadfin shad.Age and Growth - Sexual maturity is reached in the second or third year, with few fishsurviving beyond their fifth year in Florida waters. The oldest crappie aged in Floridawas 11years old.Sporting Quality - Black crappies are excellent game fish and are highly regarded by baitfishermen and artificial-lure anglers alike. They are easily caught during prespawning periodswhen the fish are congregated in large schools. Trolling with small, live minnows or a spinner-fly combination is very productive. They will also strike subsurface flies, small spinners, jigs,and tiny crankbaits. Crappies tend to suspend in midwater, so you may have to experiment tofind the right depth. As a sport fish, specific bag and size limit regulations apply, and you canregister a qualifying catch as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's"Big Catch" program, if it exceeds 14 inches in total length, or two pounds (SeeMyFWC.com/Fishing/BigCatch).As temperatures drop fishing action peaks for crappie throughout the state. The fish are

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