Crappie and perch are popular panfish that feature flaky, yet firm white meat and are enjoyed by people across the country. Both fish go after the same type of bait and lures, but there are noticeable differences between both. This means that if you are deciding what type of fish to catch, it’s important to know what they look like and their characteristics before you go out fishing.
Read also: White Crappie vs Black Crappie
Crappie vs Perch
Crappie: Crappie is grouped into the family called Centrarchidae, which is the same as large and smallmouth bass along with sunfish. They have their own genus called Pomoxis, broken up into two groupings. The white crappie is Pomoxis Annularis while the black crappie is Pomoxis Nigromaculatus.
Perch: Perch are in the family called Percidae, which is related to the sauger and walleye fish. In addition, they are the only species in their genus and the yellow perch are part of Perca Flavescens.
Crappie: You’ll find that crappies have a slightly green coloring to their upper bodies, but this will depend on the water where they live. Otherwise, their bodies are white with a silver-tone that feature black stripes or sometimes black flecks depending on the species. A black crappie tends to have flecks and spots over the sides and back while white crappie usually features stripes.
Perch: Most perch have backs that are green in color which turns into orange or yellow depending on the species and then ultimately white on their bellies. Many perch have seven or eight stripes of dark green running down their sides. While the tail is usually green, the pelvic, anal, and pectoral fins are often bright orange in color.
Crappie: This fish is noted for its large dorsal and anal fin which sports from six to eight spines depending on the individual species. Compared to perch, crappie has a flatter and taller body shape which makes them easy to distinguish.
Perch: Perch, most notably yellow perch, are shaped more like torpedoes and have two dorsal fins, not one as with crappie. Yellow perch are also longer than crappie and the larger ones have a noticeable hump on their backs. Otherwise, they are considered more streamlined compared to crappie in terms of their shape.
Both perch and crappie spawn in the spring, but that is about the only similarity.
Crappie: The crappie spawn in water that is around seven feet deep, give or take a foot. However, this may vary depending on the clarity of the water itself. You can find crappie spawning on sandy, clean bottoms of water where the males create a nest which is bowl-shaped. The females will select a mate and then lay their eggs into the nest. The males will guard the nest until the eggs hatch and the young swim on their own accord.
Perch: The females scatter their eggs on weeds as the males fertilize them. From that point, the eggs are on their own as neither the male or female will guard them.
Although similar in some ways, there are considerable differences between crappie and perch that is important to know.