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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Caught a 10 inch WHITE Crappie this weekend at our pond. I'm the only person who fishes the pond, so I'm in control of keeping the population in control (with the advice of Jones Fish Co).

This was the first time I've caught a white crappie in the pond, And I've been fishing this pond for over 6 years. 4 years ago we caught about 20 black crappie in the spring on minnows. Jones Fish told me that we should keep all crappies, has they can over run a small pond.

With the emergence of some white crappie, is this something I should be worried about competing with our Largemouth???

Even more shocking, I caught the crappie on worm and bobber in our panfish section in about two feet of water. First crappie I've caught in my life not on jigs or minnies...

I'll post a picture tonight when I get home.
 

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JFH employee here ;) Sounds like you've received sound information!

Good likleyhood you just lucked into one of a few loners in the pond. If you had a lot of white crappies you'de know it. Ever fish a fathead under a minnow? That would give you a pretty good insight to the crappie population. 10" are undoubtedly sexually mature. If they we're successful as spawning for the past few years you'de know it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't know exact length, but I'm hitting up the pond on wednesday with minnies in the deep section. Considering I caught in 2 feet of water, I can imagine the amount of slabs in our pond hanging out in the deepest parts. I guess tomorrow I'll find out. BTW, here's the beauty. It taste delicious... Can't beat crappies IMO.

 

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Are you sure that is a white crappie? Not that I can tell from the picture but don't let the color of the fish fool you. You need to count the dorsal spines to know for sure. Blacks can appear in a light shade as well. If they have 7-8 dorsal spines they are blacks. Whites have 5-6.

Just judging from the picture I would not draw the conclusion that it was a white.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sure that is a white crappie? Not that I can tell from the picture but don't let the color of the fish fool you. You need to count the dorsal spines to know for sure. Blacks can appear in a light shade as well. If they have 7-8 dorsal spines they are blacks. Whites have 5-6
I am not saying you're wrong, but I feel that I am 95% correct saying it was a white crappie. I've caught dozens in the scioto. Grant it, I didn't count the dorsal spines, but I think as they mature, it's easier to tell which is which without counting spines.

For instance. Tell me which one of these is the black and white??
 

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I can't tell from the pics but I've caught white crappie that have more dark markings than the fish on the left.

The one in the first picture is grossly underweight. It was much heavier at one time. It seems a bit strange that it would be so thin this time of year and it was certainly a lot heavier at some point in it's life.
 

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As [email protected] mentioned whites can be deceivingly dark at times and vice-versa. I guess if I were you I would go catch another one and count to know for sure. As I mentioned I am not trying to say you are wrong. I am just mentioning that because I think it is a large misconception that the overall color of the fish is an identifying trait for black/white crappie.

[email protected] also mentioned another good point. That fish does not look like he has been eating well as of late. If he has spent his time in that pond perhaps the forage base is low. If so then all the more reason to thin the crappies down, regardless of the color.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't tell from the pics but I've caught white crappie that have more dark markings than the fish on the left.

The one in the first picture is grossly underweight. It was much heavier at one time. It seems a bit strange that it would be so thin this time of year and it was certainly a lot heavier at some point in it's life.
It was pretty thin. The original owner hand stocked the pond, we have been trying to correct it for years. But the pond is more of survival of the strongest. You'll catch one Largemouth at 14 inches thin, another the same length, but twice as fat. We've been working on building a good forage, but it takes time when the pond is all ready mature.
 

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Look at enough white and black crappies and you can simply tell them apart by looking at them. Counting the spines on the dorsal is a sure fire way to tell the difference, but body shape alone is a fairly decent indicator. That is a white crappie. Like pondfin mentioned, it looks healthy, with the exception of it sunken gut.

If the orginal pond owner was stocking it himself, there's really no practical means of aging it unless you own a microscope :D Could be a very old, unfed crappie you caught. I'de highly suggest going out there and targeting the crappie. See if you come up with anything. Good likleyhood you found a lone survivor. BUT.... with the notoriety of white crappies being prolific spawners... an few sessions targeting crappie should answer the question in regards to the population.
 

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I am not saying you're wrong, but I feel that I am 95% correct saying it was a white crappie. I've caught dozens in the scioto. Grant it, I didn't count the dorsal spines, but I think as they mature, it's easier to tell which is which without counting spines.

For instance. Tell me which one of these is the black and white??


Fish on the left is a black, fish on the right is a white.

If you tell me I'm wrong, then you're a liar :D
 

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I too would have leaned toward white crappie with the one that Bopper caught if I had to guess as well because as Fishman mentioned they do have other characteristics that are somewhat different. The one in the picture seemed to lack the fuller round shape of a black but given that it was a pond fish and as was mentioned it didn't seem to have a well fed look about it. But I would certainly do the spine count as a final answer.

If the conditions are suitable for crappie reproduction an unchecked population of crappie in either species can really go out of control just like any species. If the food source is somewhat limited I would personally try to make a big dent in the population of the crappies, particularly the 8-10" ones if they are plentiful. That size would provide fillets for the table and may go a long way toward freeing up some forage for the rest of the fish. I have known several people who have treated a pond as if nothing can be taken from it because they don't want to lose all of their fish and in actuality they are doing it a large injustice by allowing an overpopulation. It sounds like Bopper already realizes that. I simply mentioned that because others that are reading this may underestimate the reproductive capability of certain species when unchecked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for all the advice. I will be making a trip back up there in a few weeks. I will be using minnies in the deep section, to see if catch anymore. The pond is pretty much getting choked out by panfish. The last thing I need is another speicies to join in on the choking. I love crappies, just not in my pond.
 

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I believe the crappie you caught is white, but as said it is underweight.

Heres an example of a white crappie that turned dark for the spawn. I'm sure most people would mistake it for a black crappie.

 

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Good example of a white breeding male. Another good way to spot it, specifically in this photo, is the dark bars, where blacks are more "mottled" in color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
caught two more crappies last time at the pond. Both small under 5 inches. Guess it means there's enough of a population for them to spawn. So next spring, I am going to hit them hard with minnies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
caught some more crappie at the pond on labor day. Caught about 8. Mostly whites (checked the dorsal this time) and caught a bonus 11 inch black crappie, and a 13 inch white on a crank bait while fishing for bass. I'll post pics later tonight. Needless to say, I caught fingerlings (under 5 inches) a few at 8 inches, and few above ten. Seems I have a few generations of both species in this pond.

Any advice in a pattern to catch them? Tried minnows in the deep channel, with mixed results.. Are they usually scattered in ponds?
 

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If there is a lot of them they're easy to catch with minnows under a bobber. Fishing with a small white twister tail though is a pretty sure fire way to determine whether or not you've got a crappie issue. If you don't think you have a problem, and you're finding them hard to catch try placing structure in deeper areas of the pond and start fishing them. If there is exsisting down trees, docks, ect try fishing those in the same manner. Most crappie stick to structure like glue and it's kind of rare to find them in the upper few feet of the pond. Managing crappies is no different than any other fish in Ohio, take some out every year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
fishman:
the pond really has no good underwater or cover in general. I've been thinking of adding a few artificial structures by the deep channel in hopes it will make catching them easier.

I caught all the crappie either directly over the deepest section, or on the edge of the channel to the deep section. Generally speaking though, it was slow fishing, but I only fished 10% of the available water..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·


Here's the pic. I know they're not fattest crappie around, but this pic was taken after they were on ice for a few hours. I've kinda noticed that fish when left on ice will deflate a little. Still I know the pond needs more forage, IMO tho I think these crappie look decently healthy.
 

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Bobberattacker, You dont want white crappies in a pond that size. The pond I run that is 3.5 acres and FULL of flathead catfish is still overpoulated with them. I learned in school you can have a good population of black carppie with a good growth rate in a small pond, but whites overpopulate and stunt very easy. They will compete with largemouth or any other fish whose main forage is baitfish, if a large enough population is present. Doesnt sound like theres a whole lot of them in there. Id just throw net a few spots and see if you come up with some or a lot. I'm interested in your ponds stockings. Jones does a great job around here with management and stocking rates. How many largemouth and bluegill do you have per acre?
 
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