View Full Version : How big do they need to be?

05-14-2008, 10:06 AM
I just started fishing for crappie last year. All I caught were little 5-6 inchers. This year I have caught one 10". I kept it and filleted it. Monday I caught a 9" and threw it back it. It just didn't seem big enough.
I see your pictures of huge crappies and I can only dream of landing one.

05-14-2008, 10:17 AM
First, welcome from South Louisiana. Down here there is a 10" size limit, if that helps. I caught one that was 18" once. I am still kicking myself for not having it stuffed. Actually it was stuffed, with butter bell pepers and onions. lol

05-14-2008, 10:19 AM
You need to check fishing regs for your state. Here in NY, we've got a minimum length of 9".

I generally don't keep anything under 10". They're just easier to fillet if they're a little bigger.

As for the HUGE crappie that are posted here, most all of them are from down South where the growing season is a good bit longer than it is here in the North.

Around here a SLAB is pretty much anything 14" or longer. Don't let that bother you. they still taste great when you release them in Lake Crisco!

05-14-2008, 10:21 AM
We don't have a size minimum down here, but my personal minimum is 10". Any smaller and you just can't get a decent fillet off him, IMO.

PawPaw "gene"
05-14-2008, 11:15 AM
Willk, I didn't think there was an official size limit in Louisiana. I looked up the regs on the Wildlife and Fisheries site and found, No size limit is listed for crappie.

Crappie: 50 daily, EXCEPT for Poverty Point which has a daily limit of 25.

That is not to say that you cannot have your own size limit.

05-14-2008, 11:36 AM
In Illinois there is no statewide size and creel limit for crappie. It is all site specific regulations (postings at waters and listing in annual regulations) and so can vary lake to lake with some sites unlimited in size and catch.

05-14-2008, 11:37 AM
we use our own size limits, determined by the body of water we are fishing. some lakes are full of 7 inchers with the occassional 8 or 9 so we will keep 7 inchers in such lakes, others in the area average 10 -12 so that is what we keep,

05-14-2008, 12:36 PM
For me it depends on the time of the year.So far this spring and last fall I was throwing back anything under 11 inches and still bringing home plenty of fish,when summer gets here and things get tougher I will start keeping some of them down to 9 or 10 inches when I want to bring some home to eat.The laws on most lakes here in PA. are no size limit and 50 per day,but the lake I most often fish has a 20 fish 9inch limit.

05-14-2008, 04:52 PM
Mary, Welcome from Dale Hollow Lake!! 10 " minimum here!!

05-14-2008, 07:40 PM
No size limit in Georgia so we keep whatever we want. Some seasonal crappie fishermen catch and keep everything they can........theyre only fishing the spawn and want to "fill their freezers" I reckon.:o I usually get alot of time for fishing so I usually dont keep anything that isnt big enough to make a decent fillet. Never measured 'em unless it was something 2 lbs. or better and that was just out of curiosity. I'd guess something 9 or 10" and up for filleting. Now that being said, I'm from the old school where you were raised eating your fish off the bone....no fillets to be found. The old timers said you wasted too much filleting so there werent such a thing. Well, from those days I learned that a whole fried up fish about the size of your hand when ready to fry was awful hard to beat for taste so from time to time I target the small guys to eat off the bone. When it comes down to it, filleting is an easier way to clean fish and I usually wont keep more than we'll eat which is about a dozen good sized filleting fish. Whole (small fish) I'll keep around 20-25 for a meal. I dont care too much for froze fish so I only will keep a mess when we get fish hungry which might be once a week, sometimes once every two weeks.

05-14-2008, 08:38 PM
Welcome from Saint Louis Missouri across the river. We catch some nice size Crappie here, so if you are in deep Southern Ill. down by Kentucky or the Missouri Boot Heel just give it time and you'll do all right.

05-15-2008, 04:07 PM
I've found a 9 in. crappie weighs about 1/2 lb. That's enough for a small filet. Depends on how good the fishing is that day. Some day's I throw them back--others, I cook up the bait!

05-15-2008, 05:36 PM
I keep crappies 9" and up as that is the legal size.

05-15-2008, 11:08 PM
9" minimum size is about right, I get a good fillet off of them. 8 fish in a freezer bag of water makes a nice meal for the family whenever I get them out!

Of course, I think a 10" fish is the IDEAL size to eat. Larger than that, less so. I don't like the texture of the big big fish anyway.


05-16-2008, 06:15 AM
A lot depends on the body of water. A lot of lakes have a size limit here in SO IL. If not it depends on what I'm catching and how hard up for fish I am. We have one oxbow that while it produces a few 10+" fish most are the 7-8" range but you can catch a boat load of them. We may keep a few for a mess but rarely keep very many.

I guess I'm one of the guys that fish mainly the spawn to fill the freezer (even though I fish a bunch in the summer too) because during the fall and winter I'm either in the woods or the field. I have it down about how much fish I need to last me through the winter. We finished off the last of the 2007 fish on Mar. 1 this year:)

05-16-2008, 06:55 AM
While it's nice to catch large fish for pictures there is only 12" of flavor in a fish.--shu