Crappie vs Trout: The Differences Between Crappie and Trout

Crappie vs Trout
Crappie vs Trout

Two of the most popular freshwater fish in North America are crappie and trout. They can be found in the many rivers, lakes, and streams across the US and Canada. And both are treasured for their good taste, making them a desirable catch.

But what are the differences between crappie and trout? That is an important consideration if you are trying to catch either fish. Knowing their appearance, feeding habits, and the like will help you make the best-informed decision about which to pursue.

Crappie vs Trout


From the genus Pomoxix, crappie are part of the sunfish family known as Centrarchidae. Popularly known as pan fish, there are two types of crappie, white and black. Crappie tend to be smaller fish averaging three to four pounds when becoming adults. The differences between white and black crappie are minimal as both fish have spines along with the same general shape. Only the coloring with black crappie having spots instead of stripes are the notable differences.

Crappie are carnivorous and eat insects, crustaceans, and even their own young. You’ll find crappie relatively inactive during the day, but they feed at dawn and dusk.


Belonging to the genera of Salmo, Salvelinus, and Oncorhynchus, trout is a subfamily of the larger Salmonidae. This means that trout are closely related to salmon and char. You can find most trout in freshwater lakes and rivers, although some species such as the steelhead can survive in the ocean for years at a time. Yet the same steelhead that stay in freshwater are called rainbow trout.

Differences Between Crappie and Trout

Although there are some similarities, crappie and trout are quite distinctive in their appearances. While both white and black crappie are quite similar in appearance, the different types of trout have wide variations in their color and patterns depending on where they live. This is because trout that live part of the time in the ocean may return to streams and lakes with a silver color. While other types of trout may have a more distinctive camouflage

Trout have fins, but not spines like crappie. They tend to be a little longer and thinner in terms of their overall shape. When put side by side, the physical differences between crappie and trout are quite apparent.

The diet of trout and crappie are similar, but crappie will eat its own young. Otherwise, trout tends to be carnivorous eating insects, smaller fish, mealworms, shrimp, and eel. Because crappie are confined to freshwater areas, they tend to feast mostly on smaller fish.

Crappie also tend to be the same size while trout, because they consist of many different types, may vary considerably. Lake trout for example can become quite large with the current record being 72 pounds. They can also be relatively small, such as Golden Trout of which the record is 11 pounds.

The differences between crappie and trout are quite apparent in terms of their physical size, coloring, and overall shape. However, they do share some similarities in terms of what they eat, and both are considered quite tasty. However, the crappie may have the edge in terms of taste because some trout are boney in nature.



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