All the Crappie Records by State, Plus World Records (2024)


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Updated: October 2024

Here they are, the state record crappies caught in 48 of our 50 states in one easy chart you’ll find below.

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has certified two of the state bests as world records for black crappie and white crappie, making the United States the top place on the planet to catch huge slab crappie.

Crappie are one of the most popular panfish in the country, thanks both to their scrappiness on the water and their tastiness on the table. We have a bit more information on crappie at the bottom of this article, below the records table.

We’ve assembled the 48 state records kept across America, so you can easily check on states where you fish or perhaps find locations where these panfish grow to exceptional sizes.

By the way, only Alaska and Hawaii don’t keep game fish records for crappie, which are among the most popular panfish in America.

Crappies fare best in waters that may cool down in winter but warm up enough to spawn and forage starting in the late winter to spring.

World Record Crappie

The world record black crappie is a reasonably new record.

Lionel “Jam” Ferguson landed his giant 5-pound, 7-ounce crappie in a pond in Eastern Tennessee’s Loudon County in the spring of 2018.

The world record white crappie, a 5-pound, 3-ounce slab that came out of northern Mississippi. By contrast, this is a decades-old record that Fred Bright set at Enid Lake back in the summer of 1957.

More Giant Crappies

As you might guess, 5-pound crappie are quite rare, but several other states also have records that officially tipped the scales at or barely above that mark. Here are some of those standouts:

Tennessee: Besides the world record for black crappie, Tennessee’s state record for white crappie also reached rare proportions at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. That fish was caught at a private pond in Dickson County, west of Nashville, in 1968.

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South Carolina: The Palmetto State is the only other place where the official records for both common species top 5 pounds.

The South Carolina state record black crappie hit the 5# mark on the nose when it was caught at Lake Moultrie back in 1957. The biggest official white crappie was slightly larger at 5 pounds, 1 ounce, and was caught at Lake Murray even longer ago, in 1949.

The following states also have certified record crappie weighing 5 pounds on the nose:

Arkansas: Black crappie caught in 2011 at Lake Wilhelmina.

Georgia: White crappie caught in a Bibb County pond in 1984.

Minnesota: Black crappie caught in the Vermillion River in 1940.

Missouri: Black crappie caught in a private pond in 2006.

As you can see from the 5-pounders above and all of the state records listed below, the majority of the nation’s largest crappie come from states in the southern half of the country.

That huge Minnesota slab from another era is an outlier from a more northerly state, where many of the records are in the 4-pound territory, give or take.

Are There Bigger Crappies?

Will anyone ever catch a larger crappie?

If you ask some, it’s already happened. They will say the largest crappie ever caught isn’t even on this list. Exhibit A: The huge crappie that Lettie Robertson caught in Louisiana in 1969. It was weighed at 6 pounds. And then her family ate it.

Unfortunately for Lettie, neither a clear photo nor a fish biologist could irrefutably identify the crappie species, which now is required by the IGFA to set a world record. The state of Louisiana also tracks records for both crappie types and doesn’t recognize this crappie of unknown species for its records.

However, the record still captures the imagination of crappie anglers everywhere. While most state officials recognize the IGFA’s records, Lettie’s crappie continues to stand with the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

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State Record Crappie (Table)

The following table lists the state records kept for the 48 contiguous U.S. states that sport reliable crappie fishing (no state records for crappie are kept in Alaska and Hawaii).

As you will see, many states keep records for both black crappie and white crappie. A handful only recognize one of the species or often crappie more generally. A few states also celebrate records for a third, less-common hybrid type of crappie.

I have deliberately simplified the following table to include just the types of crappie and record weights set for each state.

But there’s lots more.

Under RESOURCES in the table, click the state’s fishing records link to find the angler’s names as well as the locations and dates of their catches. Those state resources include many species of fish, not just crappies. They are updated regularly.

Also under the Resources column, look for the Best Crappie links for your state. Where available, clicking those links will take you to our favorite crappie fishing spots in that state, where you might just catch your own record slab. More are coming very soon.

Sources: Various state fisheries agencies or record-keeping organizations.

More About Crappie

I love crappie fishing. And I won’t lie: It’s because these fish are fun and easy to catch for anglers of all skill levels.

In my home state of Oregon, I can catch them at the park pond down the way, though they’re usually a little small and I drop them back in. Or I can make a road trip halfway across the state to Prineville Reservoir or (better yet) clear across the state to Brownlee Reservoir and fill up on filet-worthy slabs.

And I bet if you live in the Lower 48, you have many of the same spots where you can do much the same.

Depending on your region or your slang, you might hear crappies called many names.

Sure enough, that calico bass in Connecticut, that Sac-a-lait in Louisiana, and that papermouth in the fishing magazine are all crappies. Other monikers for these same fish include white perch, speckled perch (a.k.a. “speck”), speckled bass, and several other nicknames.

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When we talk crappie, we’re talking about black or white crappie, by far the two most common types. They can and often do live side by side in the same waters. And, honestly, most of us don’t really care much which species we catch unless we’re setting a record

There also are hybrid or triploid crappies that mix the genes around from the species, most often produced in hatcheries but some hybridization has occurred in the wild as well. You may have noticed in the state records table that Illinois (hybrid), Mississippi (Magnolia or blacknose) and Nebraska (triploid) keep records for these less common, genetically mixed crappies.

While black crappie tend to favor clearer water and white crappie seem to have an advantage in more turbid conditions, it’s really common to find one or both species in your state or even in the same lake or slow-moving river.

Catch More Crappie

Crappies are suckers for any lure that looks like a smaller fish. Crappie jigs in various styles and colors are the classic artificial crappie lure, but small spoons, spinners and crankbaits will all do the job. Even fly anglers can get in on the action, especially with streamers that mimic minnows.

Where allowed (not in my home state!), a live minnow is the closest thing to irresistible when it comes to catching crappies. I’ve also caught them on worms, mealworms and other natural baits.

Of course, if you want to catch more crappies, we’ll hook you up.

Besides following the links in the table above that take you to some of the best crappie spots you’ll find in selected states, be sure to read the crappie fishing tactics and tips in our simple guide.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>