Crappies eat smaller fish such as the minnows, and other small crustaceans. They grow to sizes as large as 4 lbs. or more. At this size, the crappies will are less prone to becoming prey. However, the smaller sized crappies are not safe from other fish such as the bass.
What Type Of Fish Preys On Crappies?
Bass and crappies are two common freshwater fish; they have some similarities in their migration patterns and feeding behavior. Big bass will not hesitate to eat smaller crappie in the river or lake. The bass also eats newly hatched crappies if they can get to them.
When fully grown, the average sized big bass is larger and weighs more than the crappies (except it is slab crappie). Big bass fish species have been used to check the population of crappies because they multiply very quickly. Farmers in an attempt to check the crappie population will introduce the bass into a pond where the crappies are kept.
The adult bass eats up smaller crappies leaving the bigger slabs which the farmers want to survive. It is also known that bigger crappies can eat smaller ones if they are hungry. These methods of checking the population of crappies should be done carefully to avoid losing all your fish.
If the population of bass cannot be controlled, you may lose all the crappies; they will be eaten by the bass. Breeding two or more species of fish is a common practice by farmers. The selection is made in a way to breed fish that can survive together or where a fish serves as food to another. For example, the minnows are known to multiply very quickly, in a controlled setting; the reproduction of minnows can be sustained to provide enough food for the crappies or bass.
Another common freshwater fish that feeds on crappies is the freshwater catfish. The catfish also grows very large, and they eat a variety of things such as the minnows and smaller freshwater fish like the crappies. Catfish are not usually bred in the same pond with the crappies because of the difference in their sizes at the adult stage. Catfish have also been used to check the population of crappies in farms that grow slab crappies. Only the smaller fish will be eaten, leaving the slabs to thrive in the pond.
Anglers have studied how these fish species behave towards each other; for example, an angler will not waste time searching for crappies in a river where there are many large sized bass. It is very likely all the smaller crappies may have been eaten of forced to find other places to hide from the bass and anglers.
Anglers who go fishing for larger sized freshwater fish have also been known to use small sized crappies as live bait to lure the bigger fish. These larger freshwater fish such as the sturgeons, eels, and small shark species will easily catch the scent of the crappies and take bites.
The typical crappie fish behavior and migration patterns protect them from other larger sized fish that prey on crappies. These large sized fish rarely come to the shores where the crappies spawn. Hence the crappie population can be sustained.