As one of the most popular panfish in the country, the idea of doing anything but eating crappie may sound strange to some. While some throw their crappie back into the water and most others enjoy cooking their delicious catch, there are some anglers that do something entirely different with their crappie – using them as bait.
Can Crappie Be Used as Bait?
Despite being somewhat controversial, crappie certain can be used as bait, particularly when fishing for predator species that eat crappie. However, because crappie are such a popular panfish, the idea of doing anything other than eating a crappie is certainly viewed as a waste. That’s not to say that crappie aren’t a very good baitfish when the occasion calls for it!
For this to work you need to prepare the crappie into cut bait. As the name suggests, cut bait is when you simply cut up a fish and use it for bait. It’s a popular method for catching larger predatory fish, with catfish species like blue catfish known to regularly bite on cut bait.
Of course, not all anglers want to use their crappie as a cut bait but there is a growing number that are seeing just how effective it can be. After all, we humans love the taste of crappie so much that it should be little surprise that other fish love the taste!
There are certain species that this will work for though, predominantly the natural predators of crappie.
Also, be mindful of daily catch limits when using your crappie for bait – it’s completely legal providing you’re not exceeding the daily limit and possession laws. In most states this is 30 crappie per day, you must catch them legally using a rod and reel, and they must be within the size restrictions.
To be safe, always check the local laws regarding daily crappie limits and whether they can be used as bait – some states are stricter than others, so be sure to do your homework first!
Which Fish Eat Crappie?
We all love to catch and eat crappie – and we aren’t the only ones that do!
There are various predatory fish that eat on crappie, namely larger species that dwarf the much smaller sunfish. Crappie are great food for other fish much in the same way that they’re great to catch.
For instance, they are found in large groups, are catchable day and night, and are found throughout the entire year. This makes them a very appealing meal to a variety of fish species – many of which you can lure with crappie cut bait!
There are several types of freshwater fish that eat crappie, including:
- Largemouth Bass
- Great Blue Heron
- Channel Catfish
AS you can see, these are mostly larger freshwater fish that have the capabilities of eating the much smaller crappie. With such incredible spawning rates crappie sometimes need predatory fish introduced to avoid overpopulating the water!