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Can You Eat Crappie and Is It Safe?

There are two kinds: white and black crappie, or Pomoxis. Both are similar in shape and size and live in the same habitat, but they do look a bit different.

Black Crappie fish

The white crappie is lighter in color with vertical black stripes and a dorsal fin with five to six rigid spines. The black crappie is darker with irregular black spots and a dorsal fin with seven to eight spines.

The average crappie weighs between half a pound to one pound and can be between five to 12 inches long, but they can grow larger.

The big question is, Can you eat crappie?

Do People Eat Crappie?

In short, yes, you can eat crappie! And if you haven’t had a taste, you most definitely have to try it.

white crappie

It is one of America’s best tasting freshwater pan fish, and that is why catching crappie is so popular. It is found almost everywhere, and it tastes excellent!

Where Do They Live?

Crappie is native to eastern America and Canada. Nowadays, they are found all across the country in freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams.

weiss lake crappie guides

Crappie prefers freshwater, and they are found under rocks, fallen trees, boulders, and in between aquatic plants.

They are social fish and form large schools among water plants over mud or sand.

Is Crappie Safe to Eat?

It is safe to eat crappie, and when prepared correctly, this is probably one of the best tasting freshwater fish of all.

Man filleting fresh caught crappie

When you fish for crappie intending to eat it, look at the quality of the water.

If algae or mud is present, it could mean the water is contaminated or dangerous, or it could be fine: don’t fish where there are no signs with information on the water quality.

But if you pull out crappie in good, clean water, it is completely safe to eat.

What Crappie It Taste Like?

Crappie has a very delicate texture and taste. The white flesh is flaky, soft, and sweet, with a very mild flavor.

Black Crappie Fishing

And that is mostly why fishermen love to catch crappie. Most crappie lovers like them in a batter, deep-fried, with lemon juice, but there are a lot of people that eat crappie raw.

Can You Eat Crappie Raw?

Oh, definitely yes! Just be careful and make sure that the crappie was caught in fresh, unpolluted water.

person holding crappie fish with a glove on

When you make crappie as a tasty raw treat, take every precaution in preparing it in hygienic conditions.

With crappie, you can make a delectable ceviche, sushi, and sashimi.

Is Crappie Healthy?

Not only is crappie delicious, but also very healthy to eat. Crappie contains thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, B12, D, and calcium.

fresh caught crappie on a cutting board

We know they taste divine when deep-fried, but a more healthy option is to steam them with asparagus and other vegetables.

What Tastes Good With Crappie?

Nearly anything you can think of tastes great with crappie, but we have a few favorites. Try crappie with garlic cheese grits, French fries, coleslaw, or potato salad.

pan fried crappie fish

But it’s just as good with mashed potatoes, pickles, or a mixed salad. Then some swear by crappie drenched in melted cheese. Whatever you decide on as a side dish, crappie tastes great with anything.

Can You Freeze Crappie?

Use an airtight freezer bag and make sure there is no air in the bag before you seal it. Write the date on the bag before you freeze it.

ice fishing for crappie with lures

Crappie will last six months in a freezer without losing its flavor.

Final Thoughts

Be an adventurous gourmet and grab your fishing rod to experience one of the most delicious freshwater fish.

With crappie, you can make a variety of mouthwatering fish dishes. Now you must just get out there and catch a few for the pan.

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