For many anglers, the month of March begins Pomoxis-catching boom-time. Black (Pomaxis nigromaculatus) and white (Pomaxis annularis) crappies are physically and biologically very similar. White crappies have vertical bars where as black crappies don’t. At spawning time (April to June) both species become darker. Hence coloration is a poor way to distinguish species.
White crappie have five or six sharp dorsal spines while black crappie have seven or eight sharp dorsal spines. You can also measure the distance from the eye to the front of the dorsal fin. On black crappie that distance will be EQUAL to the base of the dorsal fin. On white crappie that distance will always be noticeably longer than the base of the dorsal fin.
White crappies generally prefer spawning sites in shallow protected areas such as coves or deeper overflow pools near cover of brush or overhanging banks. The male defends the nest where the female lays 10,000 to160,000 eggs, depending on their age and size. She may also spawn repeatedly in several nests prepared by males. Black crappies spawning are very similar to the whites except that they have a decided preference for clear waters and vegetation where possible. Neither of the crappies do well in small streams.
- 6-8 crappie fillets
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cayenne hot sauce (use more or less to suit your taste)
- 1/2 stick of melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- Fresh ground black pepper corns to taste
- Canola oil
Combine eggs, whipping cream, milk and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add melted butter and mix well. Submerge the crappie fillets in the mixture and set in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 to 4 hours. Pour flour and corn meal into a large bowl or in a plastic bag. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and set aside. After marinating, coat crappie fillets with fresh ground black pepper and place in the dry mixture to coat fillets. Next stop is your skillet.
Use the same ingredients as the recipe above but leave the skin on fillets. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place skin-side down in a 3×9-inch baking dish greased with 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Another Spicy Taste for Crappies
- 2 pounds crappie fillets
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of beer, milk or water
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (more or less to suit your taste)
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
Salt & pepper fillets, set aside. Mix corn meal, flour, paprika, garlic powder and turmeric thoroughly in a bowl. Mix beer and egg in another bowl. In a pie tin or baking dish, mix mustard, red pepper and bread crumbs (taste mixture to see if you need to increase red pepper). Coat fish in corn meal/flour mixture, then in egg/beer and finally in seasoned bread crumbs. Fry until flaky.
- 1 shredded medium head cabbage
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- Dash garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Dash cayenne pepper
Combine cabbage, parsley, carrots, green peppers and onions in large bowl. Set aside. Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a smaller bowl and pour over cabbage mixture, stirring and coating well. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Stir again before serving.