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Many things that happen in nature are very interesting and the color changes for the Black Crappie species is pretty cool. Down here on the tidal waters these fish go through three distinct color changes which are easy indications of the season. Just curious if the other members that catch a few crappie along the way see similar changes in their region......I've included a few pictures to support these facts......

In late Winter Black Crappie begin to transition into what I believe to be one of the prettiest fresh water fish colors....Almost appearing to look like an exploded ink pen if you will......they get their infamous "tuxedo" skins on for the spawn peaking in the colors like this fish caught on the 28th of April........

As the spawn is completed and the waters warm for the Summer, black crappie go through another transition to what is often referred to as "calico" colors like this fish caught in September......they almost appear golden or the white bars will turn yellow on them........

Finally as the waters begin to cool in Fall and into early Winter the fish go through yet another change and this time the greens are highlighted almost looking emerald like .......This fish was caught in late December and you see how brilliant the green on the shoulders are.......

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Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on December 9, 2013 at 4:22pm

Thanks for the information Rick......interesting information there.......I have always observed these color changes in the tidal brackish waters of four states over the years.....with the most distinguished being the "tuxedo" during the spawn..........I hope to get a slab Black Crappie mounted in that color one day........

Comment by Rick Goohs on December 7, 2013 at 10:29am

I have noticed the difference from lake to lake but never thought it was seasonal. Very interesting. When I was a kid we fished a peat lake that was tea colored water and the Crappies all looked like your late Winter fish all the time.

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on December 6, 2013 at 9:53am

Thanks for your input guys......interesting to hear what the different states/locations have in regards to fish markings....

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on November 29, 2013 at 11:17am
I got nothing for this discussion. Crappie ignore my efforts even more than bluegill do. I haven't caught one in more than a decade.
I have HEARD they exhibit distinct color changes thought the seasons, though, especially during the spawn.
But, I'll have to take ya'lls word for it!
Hahaha...
Comment by John Sheehan on November 29, 2013 at 8:18am

Spawn time for Crappie is March- May in New Jersey . What about your area Jeffrey?

Comment by John Sheehan on November 29, 2013 at 8:17am

As a kid I caught Crappie but referred to them as 'Calico Bass ' ,didn't use the term Crappie till many years later .

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on November 29, 2013 at 8:10am

Thanks John.....I noticed the same thing on your November fish.....the yellow variation is what is called "Calico"....I see these colors late Fall and early Winter......

Comment by John Sheehan on November 29, 2013 at 8:06am

The November fish is interesting as it shows a variation of color that's pronounced from the other pics . That one shows a yellowish tint I see at times on the Crappie I catch .

Comment by John Sheehan on November 29, 2013 at 8:01am

Jeffrey ,as to what Crappies in New Jersey ,look like during the spawn ,check the March through May pics from my Crappie Fish Calendar : http://bigbluegill.com/photo/feb21crappie/prev?context=album&al...

Comment by Andy "Fillet em" Eitutis on November 29, 2013 at 5:43am
Yes Jeff I have noticed this in my area waters as well. Springtime crappies are the prettiest fish I catch. I posted a picture of an early NOV. Crappie almost all white to silver still a pretty fish, but nothing like sping.

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