What do Crappie Eat



what do Crappie eat, Best Tackle Box, www.besttacklebox.com

What do Crappie Eat

Crappie is a freshwater fish that feeds on small baitfish, aquatic invertebrates, and occasionally terrestrial insects. Knowing which foods crappie naturally prefer can allow fishermen to pattern them better or select the right lure for catching these delicious treats!

Let’s dig a little deeper into the Crappie’s diet.

What do Crappie Eat?

Crappie eat a variety of different foods in the wild including smaller fish such as minnows, aquatic invertebrates, and more.

Crappie will also feed on insects that come to the water for a drink. Insects like grasshoppers and moths.

Crappie are quite known for being very aggressive eaters. They can also eat a variety of different size prey as their mouth size is much large than other panfish. Even though Crappie can have a very diverse diet, one of their favorite food sources are minnows. Crappie absolutely love minnows as well as other smaller baitfish.

What are Crappie’s Feeding Behavior

All crappie are ambush predators that employ an energy-conserving style of hunting. Rather than roaming in search of a meal, they sit and wait, strike suddenly then rarely chase after their prey.

Crappie are mostly active in the early morning and late evening. They rarely feed during the daytime, but some anglers have found that nighttime is when they’re most likely to bite.

What do Crappie Eat at different life stages?

Crappie reproduce at an alarming rate, and in small ponds, they can quickly cause problems due to overpopulation. Indeed the Magnolia hybrid is a clever attempt by scientists to control this issue as fish of both sexes are sterile which allows stocking for lakes or streams with no concern about long-term effects.

Also Read:  Are Crappie Good to Eat?

When crappie hatch from their eggs, they seek out food immediately. These tiny fry will eat anything that is small enough for them to consume–including zooplankton and water boatmen (both of which are very common in the waters where these fish live). Crappies also need nutrients like any other living creature and can find those by eating minute insects such as grass shrimp.

Crappie fry will grow as much as four inches in the first year on this diet. As they reach that size, roughly as long is your hand is wide, they’ll move to larger prey while still feeding on insects of all kinds.

But crappie will start turning towards immature fish–from walleye and pike to bluegill and even other species like their own kind-while also eating a variety of insect larvae.

Crappie will even eat their own kind.

Once they mature they will prey on large food such as insects, crustaceans like crawfish, and even frogs. A lot of times Crappie will eat smaller meals during the day and feed on large prey at night. If you want to learn more – check out Do Crappie Bite at Night.

Of course, the Crappie feeding habits and preferences can change based on the season and other environmental reasons.

What is Crappie favorite food?

Crappie’s favorite food is minnows. Crappie will also eat young, small fish such as bass, sunfish, other Crappie, shad, small frogs, and worms when they are available.

Do Crappie eat worms?

Crappie will eat worms if they are presented to them. Worms can be rare, but natural foods for crappie fish. Occasionally heavy rain could wash earthworms from steep banks into the water and down streams in the main lake systems where other fish might feed on them before they drown long after their death.

Also Read:  How to Fish for Crappie from the Bank (Explained)

How can we take this information and use it?

Since we know what Crappie prefer when it comes to food sources available in the wild. We can take that information and come up with a bait plan to maximize our catch.

All of the Crappie’s preferred foods have artificial counterparts:

Native Food SourceArtificial Option
Flathead MinnowsBerkley Power-Bait Minnow
Small FishTruscend Fishing Lures
ShadJohnCoo Lifelike Shad
Small FrogsSuperTrip Topwater Frog Crankbait
WormsSougayilang Fishing Soft Plastic
Check the latest prices on Amazon using the links above.

What is the best bait for crappie?

The best bait for Crappie are minnows, worms, and jigs. Crappie prefer live minnows and live worms over artificial ones but they will still bit the artificial ones just fine. The next best bait is the classic jig that comes in several color options which the Crappie absolutely love.

In Conclusion

We hope that you can take this information on what do Crappie eat and use it to alter your methods when it comes to fishing for Crappie to be a better fisherman.

Also, check out our articles in Freshwater Fishing or Saltwater Fishing!

Latest posts