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How old is a big crappie? how to tell. #14013913 05/28/21 09:44 PM
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the age of a crappie can be determined by counting the rings in the occular (eye) socket.
would like to see examples from different lakes.
maybe some measurements, weights, and occular ring counts.
it would be interest in to make lake to lake comparisons.


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Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14013992 05/28/21 11:02 PM
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I’ve never heard of that before. It would be interesting to know if that’s an accurate way to age them.There was a study I once read that tracked crappie growth in an impoundment in Arizona (I believe). It found that they could reach 13” in 4 years. I would guess the growth rate would be somewhat close to that in TX.

Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: Shady15] #14014051 05/29/21 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Shady15
I’ve never heard of that before. It would be interesting to know if that’s an accurate way to age them.There was a study I once read that tracked crappie growth in an impoundment in Arizona (I believe). It found that they could reach 13” in 4 years. I would guess the growth rate would be somewhat close to that in TX.


This procedure came directly from a state wildlife biologist.

There can be many variables that affect growth rate, such as baitfish populations, competition from other crappie, and other species of fish, flooding, drought, UV light intensity,. on some lakes with an abundance of crappie, they are known to cannibalize their young. no 2 lakes are the same and can change from season to season, and year to year.

Last edited by leanin post; 05/29/21 12:06 AM.

COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14014577 05/29/21 03:02 PM
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True about no two lakes being the same, I guess my point is they should be growing year round in Texas similar to Arizona. The study also said it requires 14 years for one to reach that size in Rainy Lake, MN, which probably wouldn’t be a good comparison.

Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14014665 05/29/21 04:51 PM
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Interesting! Neat thread. thumb



Side Note: I always went by the length of a fish to get a "ball park" on the age! hmmm


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Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14014763 05/29/21 06:36 PM
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I demand to see their fishing license ! roflmao

Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: Shady15] #14014772 05/29/21 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Shady15
True about no two lakes being the same, I guess my point is they should be growing year round in Texas similar to Arizona. The study also said it requires 14 years for one to reach that size in Rainy Lake, MN, which probably wouldn’t be a good comparison.



in central texas lakes, our crappie tend to be mostly white crappie on most lakes, but not all. our crappie tend to grow long and slim, like racehorses. Now if you go to cedar creek, the fish are more round, like pie plates. alot more girth and body weight. It is said that white crappie grow faster than black crappie, and tend to have heavier weights. In central texas we have lakes with tremendous baitfish populations, plenty of deep water for shad to go in winter, usually mild winters where many survive , lots of nutrient rich water. due to several creek and river inflows.. So I wonder what the difference is. we get just as much sun as north texas lakes, north texas actually gets colder, have a nice baitfish population, good spawning areas, moderate fishing pressure, but our crappie dont seem to achieve the size and weights that north texas crappie do. After catching thousands of crappie on waco, belton, stillousy, granger, LBJ, ect, I have never caught a true, solid 2 lb crappie. close, I caught a 1.98 on waco in deep water on waco in winter one year.
I know people catch 2 plus pound crappie regularly of navarro mills, cedar creek, texoma, ect.
What exactly is it that makes this possible? Has the larger fish just eluded me all these years? The black crappie record for belton is less than 2 lbs. the white slightly over. I hear of folks who have caught 2 lbers plus, but never seen one , so its really an anomaly. Maybe I dont fish enough in early winter, when the fish are heavy, or spring when they are heavy with eggs though ive caught plenty and spend enough time in these months to get a chance.
The only thing that makes sense to me at this point, is that there are slightly different strains of crappie, or there are specific, factors that we dont understand, in different lakes that affect thier growth rate, ability to put on weight, and overall condition.
Belton fish have decent body compositions, but nothing like the fish on cedar creek. the thicker ones dont seem to have the length and the longer ones dont seem to have the girth. on waco, belton, stillousy, granger, 10 and 11 inch fish are hardly worth keeping, most years, you just dont get much meat yield. even longer fish on waco some years., you can clean 12 fish and not even fill up a one quart bag. My thoughts are that waco has way too many crappie in it, but not belton. on the other hand, Belton has thousands of submerged timber lines since the lake was raised 25 feet many years back, that 90 percent of the anglers never fish. Maybe there are alot more fish than I thought there. I know you can fish 1000 exposed pieces of timber, and not catch a fish, but hit the right tree, and bingo .when the lake was low, when me and fellow anglers were discussing belton, we didnt ask, what depth they were at, we asked,, "timber or brush"
The best fishing on belton tends to be in drought conditions, and I believe that more timber is exposed, and we fish more of it. with the lake at normal pool, 90 percent of the timber we usually fish is submerged, and its harder to find, and stay on one or 2 single trees with traditional sonar.
I believe livescope is going to open up a whole new level of understanding of many lakes in the future.
Big fish tend to be loners, or in pairs, and gather near isolated cover or structure in my experiences.


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Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14014775 05/29/21 06:48 PM
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maybe someone can make this thread a sticky topic, and folks can post info abt the lake they caught a fish at, size, and age.
All sizes and species of crappie, even the magnolia, black variant , to get a accurate sampling from size to size, and black to white variables.
I may go fishing this weekend, and try to examine a few, to see what I find. whose in? thumb


COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: Drycreek3189] #14014787 05/29/21 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189
I demand to see their fishing license ! roflmao



engineers and PHds in texas dont need a license for almost anything, thier credentials are thier license.
The right sheepskins carry alot of clout.
License,, we don need no stinkin license . haha


COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14014858 05/29/21 08:42 PM
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The last information I was given from a TPWD fish Biologist was that it takes and average of 3 years in Texas for a crappie to be a legal 10" fish and average life is 6 years.

Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: DLALLDER] #14014877 05/29/21 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DLALLDER
The last information I was given from a TPWD fish Biologist was that it takes and average of 3 years in Texas for a crappie to be a legal 10" fish and average life is 6 years.





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Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14015071 05/30/21 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by leanin post
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189
I demand to see their fishing license ! roflmao



engineers and PHds in texas dont need a license for almost anything, thier credentials are thier license.
The right sheepskins carry alot of clout.
License,, we don need no stinkin license . haha



I think you missed the point. I believe you asked how to tell how old a crappie was. smile

Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: DLALLDER] #14015463 05/30/21 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DLALLDER
The last information I was given from a TPWD fish Biologist was that it takes and average of 3 years in Texas for a crappie to be a legal 10" fish and average life is 6 years.


thanks for that info,several biologist say one year to reach 10 inches, , so what gives? this is why I suggest we do our own study. I understand the info you were given, but I highly doubt it takes 3 years, unless a large majority of the fingerlings get eaten by predators, which is possible.
Its time to solve this scooby do mystery, ha


COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: leanin post] #14015467 05/30/21 03:53 PM
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the fish hatchery in athens texas may have some info, though they are being raised in a controlled environment. might call them sometimes. also wondering what the do with the hatchlings, as most texas lakes are not stocked with crappie

Last edited by leanin post; 05/30/21 03:54 PM.

COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
Re: How old is a big crappie? how to tell. [Re: Drycreek3189] #14015479 05/30/21 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189
Originally Posted by leanin post
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189
I demand to see their fishing license ! roflmao



engineers and PHds in texas dont need a license for almost anything, thier credentials are thier license.
The right sheepskins carry alot of clout.
License,, we don need no stinkin license . haha



I think you missed the point. I believe you asked how to tell how old a crappie was. smile

I get it. ha last I heard there not cooperating,., lol


COMING SOON! .. THE STICKLE HOOK " the stay level sickle hook". sits level in the water with all knots.! Provides better hook sets and more natural jigging motion. No more adjusting the knot, gluing , or tying loop knots that cause the hook point to tangle in the loop, or worse knick the line.. The jighook that will make all others obsolete !
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