Feb 17, 2012
Crappie love can kill your small fishery
By Mike Pehanich
Who doesn’t love crappie and crappie fishing?
In my travels, I often hear top professional bass anglers confessing their love for this fun and tasty member of the sunfish family. (And hey, I confess. On a trip to Kinkaid Lake in southern Illinois last November, I even left my bass tackle at home to learn some of the tricks of the trade from some of the best crappie anglers on the planet. More on this in SWF this spring!)
But love often hurts – and too much crappie love could hurt your local pond or small lake.
“Normallly, I don’t recommend introducing crappie into lakes less than 100 acres in size,” said Jakubicek .“Crappies can proliferate and take up the space of species like bluegill that are better suited to small lakes.”
Crappies can dominate the biomass of a small lake and leave you with a stunted bass population. And once those crappies take hold, they may be close to impossible to manage.
A simple — but by no means perfect or absolute — guideline* for small waters species mix in most waters under 100 acres is “bass and bluegill – and keep out the carp.” Talk to an expert small waters biologist about YOUR water before you start adding to this mix.
*We’ll talk to one well-known pro angler who disagrees with this principle in a coming Small Waters Management feature.