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#50326 - 10/31/04 04:04 PM Trophy Crappie Recomendations
robbor Offline

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 65
I always hear about trophy Bass, but what about Trophy Crappie? I have always wanted a trophy crappie pond, give me your recomendations for a 1 acre pond. I know they are not recomended for ponds less than 8-20 acres, but crappie are a passion of mine and I figured with a little work and a second pond only to grow bait/forage fish it would be possible. I was thinking of a 1 acre pond with a maximum depth of 15-25 feet of so hopefully to provide winter shelter for the forage. I would plant LOTS of cover, reeds and large trees. I was thinking of stocking Fatheads, threadfins, crayfish, lepard and or bullfrog tadpoles, fertalize for plankton bloom twice a year. I thought I would plant forage in the spring then black crappie in the fall or following spring. Should I stock gizzards or bluegill? This would be in the southern california high desert enviroment. Also can you recomend a fish farm for high quality black crappie? I would also remove as many small crappies on a regular basis.

#50327 - 10/31/04 04:48 PM Re: Trophy Crappie Recomendations
Bruce Condello Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States

I've managed two different ponds for trophy black crappie and I think you may be looking at this from the wrong angle. If indeed you are trying to raise trophy black crappie you need to keep in mind that black crappie are more adapted to utilizing invertebrate forage base than their white crappie cousins. Consequently, your empahasis on stocking shad and/or bluegill will provide direct competition with your crappie, especially your first year crappie. Panfish are short-lived, therefore if you want to raise a three-pound crappie it has to be growing full tilt from the get go. Your crappie will be competing with what will likely be a high density of either bluegill or shad and will start growing slowly, then will be forced to utilize fish for forage instead of preferred invertebrate forage such as daphnia magna or other big zooplankton as they grow older.

The best pond we have for trophy crappie has only black crappie and largemouth bass. No harvest of LMB is allowed. The bass are poor utilizers of plankton and keep YOY crappie in check leaving lots of protein available for the survivors. This landowner also regularly monitors year-class strength and is not afraid to put angling pressure on slot size crappie such as 7-11 inchers. Black crappie in this pond reach a size of 13 inches in their fourth growing season and two-pounders are common. Good, clear water is a must for blacks so make sure your pond has only minimal suspended silt, although fertilizing for algae blooms is fine.

By the way, if your black crappie want to eat fish, the young-of-the-year largemouth slide down just fine.
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

#50328 - 10/31/04 07:07 PM Re: Trophy Crappie Recomendations
Bill Cody Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12732
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Robbor -- Since Bruce has done this before I would put a lot of faith in his experiences.

Here is an alternate idea but probably a lot more difficult to implement.
Cecil has purchased some feed trained crappie and for the initial stocking pellet trained crappie may be an option. However expect few if any of the offspring to learn to eat pellets.

Another possibility for raising trophy crappie is to build the pond so it has limited or no shallow areas where crappie can spawn ie a very steep sided pond. Minimal numbers of offspring allows less competition for food and results in food surpluses and fast growth.

Another possibility is to stock hybrid or triploid crappie and hopefully thes fish will be non spawners. This would be an ideal fishery for growing trophy crappie. Whatever number you stock grows fast on the abundant food and does not spawn and you only have to restock what you harvest or dies of old age. Again no offspring results in a food surplus. I am not sure where one can buy hybrid crappie or triploid crappie. I think one or two hatcheries in the US are working on these concepts.

If you stock regular crappie and they spawn then you are going to have to find a way to remove thousands of small crappie each year to keep competition for food to a minimum. Bruce does that with an abundant bass population which is the most practicle way. Seining with long seines could also be used to thin small YOY crappie in certain pond settings.
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#50329 - 10/31/04 09:48 PM Re: Trophy Crappie Recomendations
robbor Offline

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 65
Thanks for the input guys. I'll take it into consideration. I saw an old thread about someone offering to buy trained feed crappie, so he actually has them? I would be anxious to hear how well they eat. I know small crappie eat plankton and bugs and stuff but figured that to really get them to 2#+ i would need some type of bait fish. I have not problem with having to feed them if I get them, if they will eat. Well I may have to consider slipping 2 or 3 big ol femaile bass into the pond to see if they will eat alot of the small crappie or maybe a big channel cat. The last crappie i caught(in the wild) I opened up and they only had insects in them,no fish. I am wondering if I started fingerlings crappie along with fatheads in a real small pond if the fatheads would train them to eat feed?


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