Worms in Crappies: The Nematodes Parasitic Worms

Worms in Crappie
Worms in Crappie

Considering the aquatic habitat where crappies live it is not surprising to find out that some crappies have worms. These are parasitic worms known as nematodes. Common examples of these worms are the roundworms. The parasitic worms found in crappies depend on the fish as hosts for survival.

How to spot worms in Crappies

Not all crappies have worms; you may not even find crappies with worms all through your crappie fishing experience. Some anglers claim they have never seen worms in their crappies so we can guess that maybe worms in crappies can be found in particular rivers or lakes in some regions.

The worms are usually tiny; you will have to look closely to spot them. They are usually red or white, curled up beneath the skin of the crappies. Worms have also been found in the gills and guts in the case of crappies. Making fillets from crappies will also reveal the presence of worms in the crappies during the process because the worms will be easily spotted on the fillets.

How do crappies get worms?

There is a theory that the worms are ingested by crappies when they feed on birds’ poo or snails that have eaten the birds’ poo. It has also been suggested that minnows feed on the worm larvae which get into the crappies when they feed on the minnows.

Are they dangerous?

Crappies basically serve as a host to these worms. If they can find a way into the crappies internal system or intestines, they burrow in and feed. It has been observed that these parasitic worms are not found in the crappies vital organs, but I would suggest you to check properly before getting the crappie cooked.

How to get rid of worms in Crappies

Cooking Crappies before eating

If you spot any worms, I would suggest you not to consume the crappie and make sure every crappie have been properly cooked.

There are many methods of cooking crappies, and almost all these methods require the use of heat which kills even the worms you may not see while preparing the fish.

Soak fillets in salt water

Soaking the cut and cleaned fish parts in salt water before freezing or preparing them for food can also kill the worms.


The worms found in some crappies cannot survive low temperatures. Fortunately, freezing is one of the common methods used for the preservation of crappies. After the crappies have been cleaned and cut, they can be frozen until it is time for consumption.

In conclusion, if you consistently find worms in crappies you catch, you may need to consider fishing in another river or lake if the presence of worms bothers you.


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