White Mountains Online



In Arizona's White Mountains we've got Crappie too!

Angler's both young and old enjoy year around fishing in the White Mountains. Crappie are just one of the many species of fish available to the avid fisherman! In Arizona, anglers may take fish by one line with hooks or artificial lures. Purchase of a "two pole"stamp on Arizona's fishing license allows anglers to fish simultaneously with two poles.

Fishing in Arizona is governed by Arizona State Law. A valid fishing license is required. Licenses may be obtained from the Arizona Game & Fish Department or any authorized vendor.

Black Crappie
(Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

World Record: 4 lbs. 8 oz.

Arizona Record: 4 lbs 10 oz at San Carlos Lake in 1959

Description: Non-native to Arizona, Black Crappie were introduced to Arizona in the 1905. The head and back are heavily and irregularly spotted with black blotches on a silver-olive background; Tail, dorsal and anal fins are spotted. Seven or eight spines on dorsal fin. Body is compressed or flat. Length: 6-12 inches. Weight: 3 oz. to over 4 pounds.

Location & Habitat: Black Crappie are far more abundant than white crappie and are found in most of Arizona's major warmwater reservoirs. Black crappie (and White crappie) are attracted to submerged brush and trees and generally travel in schools. Spawning is often in open water, typically over mud, sand or gravel bottoms. Males guard the nest, and young after the eggs hatch. Generally mature in second or third year of life, rarely live more than 6 to 7 years.

Food habits: Insect and plankton eaters until they reach four or five inches switching to a fish diet. In Arizona, threadfin shad are their mail diet.

Angling: Effective bait and lures are minnows, small jigs, silver spoons, spinners and flies fished along shorelines and around submerged brush piles and fallen trees.

Table Quality: The meat is white, fine textured and tasty.

White Crappie
(Pomoxis annularis)

Description: Non-native to Arizona, White Crappie were introduced to Arizona in the 1960. The body is silver-white, 4 to 7 dark horizontal lines; Lines below lateral line often faint and broken. Dorsal fins are distinctly separate, unlike the yellow bass, which are joined at the base. 2nd anal spine distinctly shorter than the 3rd. Lower jaw protrudes beyond upper jaw; Generally a single patch of teeth at base of tongue. Length: 8 to 19 inches. Weight: 5 ounces to 4 pounds.

Location & Habitat: Found only in Imperial Reservoir on the Colorado River and Lake Pleasant. Prefer clear, open waters. Spawn in large groups, in April or May, generally over rocky or rip-rap type areas.

Food: Main diet is threadfin shad. Hungry white bass will often pursue schools of shad, causing the shad to jump and "boil" the surface of the water in their frantic efforts to escape.

Angling: Effective lures are spinners, spoons, jigs and shad type crank baits. During a feeding frenzy, they will strike practically any shad imitating lure tossed into their midst.

Table Quality: The meat is white, firm, flaky and good eating.

Information & photo's courtesy ArizoInformation & Photo courtesy Arizona Game & Fish Department. Published with the permission of: Arizona Game & Fish Department Region 1, Pinetop. HC 66, Box 57201, Pinetop, AZ 85935, (928) 367-4281. If you would like to visit the home page for the Arizona Game & Fish Department, you may find the Department at www.gf.state.az.us.