Top Florida Crappie Lakes (speckled perch) (2022)

The Top Florida Crappie lakes for speckled perch or speck’ as they are called throughout the State of Florida is the most sort after panfish until the introduction of the cichlid species. Although the Florida crappie can be caught during the summer months, they really are at their best from late fall to early spring.

Bring your family and friends together for an affordable day of Florida crappie fishing on one of Florida fishing lakes. Florida is called the Speckled Perch Capital of the world. This Huge state and many lakes hold the largest amount of crappie Top Florida Crappie Lakes (speckled perch) (1)nationwide and yields slab size crappie.
BAG LIMITS: Bag limit for crappie (speckled perch) is 25 per person per day. Possession limit is two days’ bag limit per each licensed angler.

(Video) Holy CRAPPIE!! Multiple Speckled Perch Limits on Lake Okeechobee with a LEGEND! Thick Fog!

The black crappie (a.k.a. speckled perch, speck, or papermouth) is a favorite sportfish throughout Florida. It is also a very tasty panfish, and a generous daily bag limit of 25 fish provides a healthy “mess” of fish for many anglers.
Top Florida Crappie Lakes (speckled perch) (2)During warmer months, many speckled perch fanatics locate their quarry on or around deeper, underwater structures that will show on electronic fish finders. Others prefer slow-trolling or drifting in open water with live bait or small jigs, either singly or in tandem, to zero-in on concentrations of crappie. Warm weather fishing at nighttime, in the glow of lantern lights and Hydro Glow 12-volt light fixtures, is also becoming increasingly popular with crappie anglers.

Locating the proper depth at which crappie are feeding is vital. Sometimes they’ll be just a foot or two from the surface, while at other times, they may be a foot or two from the bottom. Figure out their depth preference and you’re in business.

No telling when or where you’ll meet up with these fishing favorites in Florida, as they’re apt to be just about anywhere and everywhere. To simplify the dilemma of where to fish, noted fisheries biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have come up with a list of suggested crappie hotspots for 2006, in no particular order. For more information on Florida’s freshwater fisheries, visit Florida Fish and Game Commission.

Many of Florida’s best crappie fisheries produce consistently year after year. Notably missing for 2006, however, is 450,000-acre Lake Okeechobee. Recently revered by crappie and largemouth bass anglers nationwide, the Big O is currently imperiled by environmental consequences following record-setting Hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005 when devastating storm winds repeatedly wreaked havoc on Okeechobee’s aquatic plant communities. FWC biologists will continue to monitor the lake’s health as it hopefully recovers over time. Meanwhile, were confident that Lake Okeechobee will eventually return to premiere fishing status.

Florida Crappie Lakes

Orange Lake / Lochloosa Lake (located between Gainesville and Ocala)
The water level on Orange Lake is back up after being down for years. As a result, crappie fishing has also rebounded. Crappie was biting in open water through last fall, and they’ll start again when the weather warms up this spring. Crappie in this lake like to hit jigs and minnows. Lily pads are favorite hangouts.
FWC biologists poured some intensive lake management talent into 5,500-acre Lake Lochloosa, while Mother Nature raised the water level back to what it needs to be. As a result, crappie has responded there too. Fish around the lily pads in the southeast and northwest parts of the lake and in the narrow connection to Little Lake Lochloosa when you’re after crappie. Also, the patches of maiden cane are good spots to try when crappie get ready to spawn in early spring.

(Video) Catching Big Specks (Crappie) in Central Florida

Lake Monroe (near Sanford)
The FWC’s habitat-restoration wizards have been tuning up this 9,400-acre sweetie-pie since the late 1980’s, and they’ve got her really purring. Since the Commission lifted the 12-inch minimum length limit in July 2005, anglers have flocked back to Monroe and put up impressive catch rates. Big crappie goes for small jigs, Bream Killers, Hal-Flies, or Beetlespins. Missouri minnows and grass shrimp also work.

Lake Jessup (south of Sanford)
You can wear yourself out catching crappie on this 10,000-acre honey-hole. They run a little smaller than crappie you’ll find in other lakes in this part of central Florida, but there are bunches of them just waiting to get caught on minnows by anglers who drift-fish in the middle of the lake and near Bird Island. Lots of crappies also hang out in the Soldier Creek area and the north end of the lake, where it connects to the St. Johns River.

Lake Talquin (west of Tallahassee)
Think about it. This 8,800-acre reservoir is just outside Tallahassee. It’s where the FWC’s top brass goes fishing, so you know they’re going to make sure this baby doll gets all the attention it can use. Is it any surprise the state record 3-pound, 13 -ounce black crappie was pulled out of Lake Talquin? This lake has lots of submerged stumps and snags, so you don’t want to go hot-rodding around it in a boat. But, if you want to catch some nice crappie, and you’re willing to abide by the 10-inch minimum size limit, you’ll love it here.

Tenoroc / Mosaic Fish Management Area (Polk County)
Fishing for crappie on Tenoroc, a 7,300-acre Fish Management Area near Lakeland, can be a rewarding experience, especially during cooler months. With lakes ranging in size from seven to 227 acres, anglers will have plenty of areas to dunk a bobber with a minnow or jig. Schooling fish can often be caught using this rig near deep drop-offs and underwater humps. Casting a small Beetlespin lure or jig tipped with a minnow can also produce some nice stringers of fish. Try Lakes 3,4,5, and F for some of the best action. Call the Tenoroc office at (863) 499-2422 for more information or to make reservations, because these lakes are only open to fishing four days a week.

Lakes within the 1000-acre Mosaic Fish Management area near Ft. Meade in southern Polk County, have some mighty fine crappie populations. A dozen lakes on the area range in size from 10 to 200 acres and many have shorelines with an abundant supply of woody brush, treetops, and vegetation that are perfect targets for placing a well-hooked minnow under afloat. Trolling deeper areas with this rig can also be productive, especially during the winter months. Casting a small Beetlespin or jig into deeper areas can also produce fish at times. Try Pine Lake East, Coulter Lake, and Haul Road Pit for some of the best action. The area is only open to fishing four days a week and it’s first-come-first-serve – but don’t worry, you’ll always have a spot somewhere. For more information, please call (863) 499-2421 ext.104.

(Video) Florida Crappie Fishing

Lake Istokpoga (near Sebring)
This lake may best be known for its largemouth bass fishing, but others know that winter is the prime time to catch crappie in this 28,000-acre fishing wonder. From November through Ap
ril, anglers troll open water with Hal-Flies, doll flies, spinner jigs, and Napier jigs to locate schools of crappie and then rack up the numbers. When the water temperature stabilizes around 65 degrees, crappie moves into bulrush and spatterdock along the shoreline to spawn. There’s a trick to catching them when that happens. Move slowly through the vegetation in three to six feet of water and thoroughly cover the holes and pockets among the vegetation with a crappie jig.

Lake Kissimmee (east of the city of Lake Wales)
It’s not just a famous largemouth bass fishing spot. A few years ago, you wouldn’t have seen 35,000-acre Lake Kissimmee on this list, but . . . BOOM . . . things changed about four years ago, and crappie fishing here has been excellent ever since. Anglers are catching big ones too. Some of them throw the 10-inchers back, and say things like “That one was tiny.” To catch your share of crappie in this lake, fish with minnows and jigs along the grass line and offshore. The deeper holes off the grass lines are good spots too.

Lake Marian (southeast Oceola county, east of Lake Kissimmee)
This is the lake to fish when you want to catch lots of crappies, and you don’t care if they’re not the biggest fish you’ve ever seen. They’re big enough at 9 inches or more though, and they’re packed into this 5,739-acre lake; so, it’s not hard to find them with minnows, small jigs, and such. Troll, drift fish whatever works for you, and go home and have fresh fish for dinner. Then, just for fun, call your friends up north, who are in the middle of a blizzard, and rub it in about your fishing trip.

Lake Weir (South Marion County)
This is another lake on the rebound that is producing very good crappie catches. Located near Weirsdale, this 5685-acre lake is somewhat atypical, with lots of depths exceeding 20 feet and irregular bottom encounters. The FWC refurbished many old fish attractors and built several new ones this summer and anglers are already utilizing them successfully. For productive GPS coordinates of these attractors, contact our fishery biologists at 352-732-1225. Most anglers use minnows and grass shrimp near the attractors, but some will drift the open waters too.

West Lake Tohopekaliga (South of the city of Kissimmee)
In addition to its fame as a nationally acclaimed largemouth bass destination, Lake Toho has quickly gained a reputation in central Florida as a super spot for big and abundant crappie. Quite a few FWC “Big Catch” crappie (minimum 14 inches in length or 2 pounds in weight) have already been reported this year and fall catch rates approached 2 fish per hour. Anglers are having the most success on FWC fish attractors with Hal Flies (most any color) and minnows. For GPS coordinates of the fish attractors on Lake Toho, contact our fishery biologists at 407-846-5300.

(Video) Best Crappie Fishing Florida Tips Techniques

(Video) Central Florida Crappie Fishing

FAQs

Top Florida Crappie Lakes (speckled perch)? ›

Florida Crappie Lakes
  • Orange Lake / Lochloosa Lake (located between Gainesville and Ocala) ...
  • Lake Monroe (near Sanford) ...
  • Lake Jessup (south of Sanford) ...
  • Lake Talquin (west of Tallahassee) ...
  • Tenoroc / Mosaic Fish Management Area (Polk County) ...
  • Lake Istokpoga (near Sebring) ...
  • Lake Kissimmee (east of the city of Lake Wales)

Where is the best crappie fishing in Florida? ›

Lakes and rivers such as the Lake Talquin, Kissimmee Chain, St. Johns River, and Okeechobee are world renown crappie destinations. Unlike other parts of the southeast, Florida does not have white crappie (Pomoxus annularis). Go here for black crappie fishing spots.

Is speckled perch the same as crappie? ›

The most common name Florida folks know this fish by is “Speck” or Speckled Perch. The moniker Black Crappie is used primarily by non-Floridians and others refer to it as Calico Bass. By either name, Black Crappie or Speckled Perch is highly sought after by fisherman making it one of the state's top fish.

Where are the speckled perch biting? ›

1 Around Lakeland, at Saddlecreek, specks are biting in deep water around 20 to 30 feet. Bluegill are biting crickets in the back side of the park. Bass fishing is good around the banks on topwater frogs early.

What's the limit on speckled perch in Florida? ›

25 Crappie (speckled perch). 20 Striped bass, white bass, and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which only 6 may be 24 inches or longer in total length.

Which lake has the biggest crappie? ›

Enid Lake, Mississippi

Enid is where the world record white crappie of 5-pounds, 3-ounces was caught in 1957, so this lake holds a certain mystique when discussing crappie fishing. It's often overlooked as there are so many top destinations for crappie in the state of Mississippi.

Where is the best crappie fishing right now? ›

  • No. 7 Kentucky Lake, Tennessee/Kentucky.
  • No. 6 Santee Cooper, South Carolina.
  • No. 5 Lake Fork, Texas.
  • No. 4 Alabama River, Alabama.
  • No. 3 Arkabutla, Sardis and Enid Lakes, Mississippi.
  • No. 2 Lake Washington, Mississippi.
  • No. 1 Grenada Lake, Mississippi.
  • *** Why the South Dominates Trophy Crappie Fishing ***
Mar 19, 2015

How old is a 3 pound crappie? ›

A white crappie of that length will probably weigh 0.3 pounds and be 3.8 years old. At fourteen inches, the typical black crappie weighs 1.7 pounds and will be 14.3 years old. A 14-inch white crappie will be 1.4 pounds and 9.1 years old.

What month do crappie spawn in Florida? ›

Spawning Habits – Spawning occurs from February to April when water temperatures reach 62 to 65 degrees. They nest in colonies. Circular nest are fanned by males over gravel or soft-muddy bottoms and frequently around submerged vegetation in waters from three to eight feet deep.

Why are speckled perch called crappie? ›

And, I never understood why one of my favorite fish to catch would have such a “crappy” name. Turns out, the name comes from the French Canadian phrase “crapet-soleil.” Translation? It means sunfish.

How do you get speck in Florida? ›

The consensus is to find holes up to 25 feet deep in the river bends or drop-offs in the lakes. Minnows and jigs just off the bottom get into the specks. Night fishing at the Howey Bridge on State Road 19 attracts speck anglers year-round. Water levels are sufficient to allow launching at nearby ramps.

How big is speckled perch? ›

They are a fast growing fish. The average Crappie is 4" to 8" long and 1/2 to 1 lb, with a record catch of a whopping 19" and 5 lbs. They feed at dawn or dusk and will come near the shore at those times. They feed on insects, smaller fish, crustaceans, and zooplankton.

Do crappie eat bass eggs? ›

Crappie spawns at cooler temperatures than other sport fish, giving them a head start on their growth. This may sound like a good thing, however because they spawn and hatch earlier, and in higher number than bass, they eat a majority of the forage fish, and even the young bass offspring.

What is the best time of year to catch crappie? ›

The best time of year to catch crappie is during the spawning season which takes place from February-May. During the spawn, both male and female crappie move from deep locations into shallow and concentrated spawning areas. This makes them very easy to target, as they are actively feeding and defending their nests.

What's the best way to catch speckled perch? ›

During warmer months, many speckled perch fanatics locate their quarry on or around deeper, underwater structures that will show on electronic fish finders. Others prefer slow-trolling or drifting in open water with live bait or small jigs, either singly or in tandem, to zero-in on concentrations of crappie.

What is the best color jig for crappie? ›

Chartreuse Is The Best All Around Crappie Jig Color

Chartreuse is an extremely popular fishing lure color for a reason. Not only does it look like a fish underwater, it also works in both clear and stained water. Chartreuse is a color you definitely need in your arsenal.

Where is the crappie Capital of the World? ›

Chief among them is Alabama's Weiss Lake, which is known by many as the “Crappie Capital of the World.” Although Weiss has experienced a couple down years in productivity, it's still kicking out 2 and 3 pound fish to anglers longlining crankbaits or live bait along channel bends and points.

What state has the biggest crappie? ›

This California slab is the most recently caught record crappie on our list. Dave Burruss, the owner of Clear Lake Outdoors in Lakeport, California, was fishing on Feb. 17, 2021.

What crappie gets bigger white or black? ›

Black Crappie tend to grow larger than white crappie overall. They are usually thicker and more dense than White Crappie.

What is the best crappie bait? ›

Minnows, worms, insects—just about anything can catch a crappie's attention. You don't have to worry about the color of the bait, and you're only throwing them what they would be eating anyway. Minnows are hands-down the favorite used by most, and some even tip a jig with a live minnow for a double-whammy.

How do you catch big crappie instead of the little ones? ›

5 Strategies to Catch Big Early-Season Crappies
  1. Fish Open Water, Too. Cold-water crappies often hold on deep cover and structure, making them difficult to pinpoint. ...
  2. Toss Giant Jigs. ...
  3. Try Bass-Size Lures. ...
  4. Tap the Tailwaters. ...
  5. Fish the Storms.
Feb 1, 2004

What's the biggest crappie ever caught? ›

The black crappie would weigh an astonishing 5 lbs 7.68 oz, making it not only the new Tennessee state record (previously held since 1985) but the world record.

What size crappie is a keeper? ›

Re: What is a keeper size crappie? Minimum 9", but prefer 10" or bigger.

What's considered a big crappie? ›

While most anglers would consider any fish over 12 inches to be a slab, crappie can grow much bigger, especially in the south. Here is the list for the largest crappie caught in every state in America. Ben Curry Sr. 3.68 lbs.

How do you catch crappie in March? ›

Crappie take small plastic jigs, jig-and-spinner combos and live minnows. But the one you chose to try often makes the difference between a good day and a great one. Lures are often better for quickly covering shallow spawning areas, and they can enable you to find fish fast.

How do you fish for crappie in Florida? ›

Central Florida Crappie Fishing - YouTube

How do you catch crappie in 50 degree water? ›

Set the jigs at different depths and use a wind sock to drift along the secondary channel. By March, most Southern crappie waters have warmed into the 50s. When the water temperature is 50 to 56 degrees, most crappies will be found staging on flats ranging from 6 to 15 feet deep.

What do Cajuns call crappie? ›

Sack of Milk is the English interpretation of “sac-a-lait”, the Cajun French name for crappie. The fish are called “white perch” in north Louisiana, but in both places they are so esteemed for their mild, sweet flesh that the Louisiana legislature has declared them the official state freshwater fish.

Are crappie fish good to eat? ›

What is this? They are known for their distinctive taste. Crappies are safe to eat and known among the most delicious species out there. They have high amounts of healthy fats – also good tasting, but they also provide lots of protein, so they are great from a nutritional point of view.

What is another name for speckled perch? ›

Black crappie--also known as speckled perch or speck--is a popular game species and the only crappie variety native to Florida.

Are specks good eating? ›

Whether you call them calico bass, BC, white or black crappie, specks, perch or oswego bass, they make for great fishing and eating.

Are there crappie in Lake Tarpon? ›

Lake Tarpon is a lake near East Lake. The most popular species caught here are Largemouth bass, Black crappie, and Bowfin.

What does speck fish taste like? ›

Some say that it tastes similar to bluegill. Crappie has a softer texture and a milder flavor. For me, the taste is mostly affected by the water that the fish came from. For the most part, crappie have a very mild flavor.

What do they call crappies in the South? ›

In Louisiana, it is called sacalait (Cajun French: sac-à-lait, lit. 'milk bag'), seemingly an allusion to its milky white flesh or silvery skin.

What is a gold crappie? ›

Golden Crappie: When it comes to golden crappie, they are the rarest of the crappie species, with one or two documented cases and a handful of legit pictures in circulation. Sometimes it is referred to as albino crappie, it is mostly gold sometimes with a black lining from its lips all the way to the dorsal fin.

Are crappie and white perch the same? ›

Overall, their bodies are silvery white with black stripes or flecks depending on the species. White crappies have distinct stripes; black crappies have spot and fleck marks over their back and sides. Perch have greenish backs fading to yellow or orange and which then turns white on the stomach.

How old is a 10 inch crappie? ›

Crappie Yearly Growth Chart
AgeLengthWeight
2 Years7-8 Inches.2 LB.
3 Years9-10 Inches.5 LB.
4 Years10-11 Inches.8 LB.
5+ Years12+ Inches1.25 LB+
1 more row

Will crappie take over a pond? ›

After stocking a pond, you may not have many crappie for several years. Then suddenly, for reasons that are not clear, the crappie population will explode and fill the pond with small, hungry crappie. When a swarm of young crappie enter a pond, they eat all of the food needed by both bass and bream.

What is the size limit for crappie in Florida? ›

Perdido River: 10 black bass; 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (only 5 of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length); 30 crappie (speckled perch, all of which must by 9 inches or longer); 50 panfish (does not include crappie, possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species).

What is the best time of year to catch crappie? ›

The best time of year to catch crappie is during the spawning season which takes place from February-May. During the spawn, both male and female crappie move from deep locations into shallow and concentrated spawning areas. This makes them very easy to target, as they are actively feeding and defending their nests.

What's the best time to go crappie fishing? ›

The best time to fish for crappie is at early dawn and dusk. But during the colder months it can be at the warmest time of day in the afternoon. Crappie generally feed most actively in low light, so this leaves the night as another great time to catch them as well if you have the opportunity.

Are there crappie in Lake Tarpon? ›

Lake Tarpon is a lake near East Lake. The most popular species caught here are Largemouth bass, Black crappie, and Bowfin.

What is the best bait for crappies? ›

Minnows, worms, insects—just about anything can catch a crappie's attention. You don't have to worry about the color of the bait, and you're only throwing them what they would be eating anyway. Minnows are hands-down the favorite used by most, and some even tip a jig with a live minnow for a double-whammy.

What is the limit on crappie in Florida? ›

25 Crappie (speckled perch).

What color crappie looks best? ›

Orange-white is good at times, but all-white is not so good. In stained water, low light, all-brown, brown-orange, black-lime and all-black have been consistent performers for my best crappie action. In stained water with a heavy algae bloom, the best colors are chartreuse and orange.

What time of day are crappie most active? ›

The best time of day for crappie fishing is just after sunrise as well as an hour before sunset during warmer months. Nighttime can also produce good crappie fishing during warmer months. During colder months, midday, when the air temperature is warmest, seems to work best for both black and white crappie.

Videos

1. Crappie Fishing AKA Speckled Perch (Catch and Cook)
(Challenging The Outdoors)
2. Speckled perch / Crappie fishing Lake Okeechobee with jigs (Tutorial)
(LitiGATOR645)
3. CATCHING A BUNCH OF SPECKLED PERCH!!!!!!
(REELIN WITH RED)
4. The BIGGEST CRAPPIE EVER CAUGHT on VIDEO?!
(Ty PigPatrol)
5. "Some Crappie Winter Speckled Perch Fishing: A Slide Show by Paul Nosca"
(canoeingocklawahaman)
6. 3 Crappie Fishing Tips Guaranteed To Catch Crappies From Shore!
(Dominate Fishing)

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