Best States for Crappie in 2014

Best States for Crappie in 2014


When it comes to American angling, crappie are unique fish. The world is home to only two species — the black crappie and white crappie — and both are native to North America.

Black crappie originated in the eastern half of the United States with the exception of the northeastern seaboard. Starting in the late 1800s, introduction efforts expanded the range of the species to nonnative eastern sections as well as territories in the West and Midwest.

The original range of the white crappie extended from eastern South Dakota to New York south to Alabama and Texas. This species has also been widely introduced to new waters, and like the black crappie, it now thrives in all lower 48 states.

Together, these two species comprise our most popular group of American panfish. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at least 6.1 million U.S. anglers aged 16 years and older fish for them. Only black bass, trout and catfish are more popular.

Crappie don't fight hard, and they don't get very big, either. A 3-pounder is a monster, and it may bite so lightly you won't even know it's there. People love crappie, nevertheless, because they are widespread, abundant in numbers, relatively easy to catch year-round and among the most delicious fish on the planet.

Yet, the primary question for panfish anglers remains: "Where can I fish so I have the greatest chance of catching as many crappie as the law allows?"

With so many possibilities, that can be a tough question to answer. But after extensive research, I believe the following 10 states encompass more topnotch crappie hotspots than any others. Plan a trip to one of these best states for crappie this year and you'll have a better than average chance of loading a live well, cooler or stringer with limit after limit of these scrumptious panfish, including, if you're lucky, some true slabs weighing 2 to 3 pounds or more.

Photo by Ryan Gilligan

About the Author

With a resumé listing more than 3,800 magazine, newspaper and website articles about fishing, hunting, wildlife and conservation, Keith "Catfish" Sutton of Alexander, Ark., has established a reputation as one of the country's best-known outdoor writers. In 2012, he was enshrined in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Communicator. The 12 books he's written are available through his website.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?


How to Fish Bottom Bouncers for Walleye

Mark Sak - May 23, 2019

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for...


New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...


Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

See More Stories

More Other Freshwater

Other Freshwater

Gear Storage: New Tackle Boxes, Backpacks & Bags

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 24, 2018

Game & Fish editors takes a look at new tackle boxes, storage containers and other...

Other Freshwater

Killer Tips for Catching Pike with Dead Baits

Mike Gnatkowski

Dead baits under a float provide an easy meal for early-spring northern pike.

Other Freshwater

Trout Waders, Boots, Storm Gear for '18

David Paul Williams - July 23, 2018

New fishing waders, boots and storm gear are featured. (Shutterstock image) Game & Fish...

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.