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#2746827 - 01/10/12 04:57 PM
What size range is "keeper" for crappie?
Vitreus Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 421
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
I generally fish for walleye wherever I go, but this weekend I will be targeting some crappies. The DNR survey shows that 5% of the population is between 0 and 5 inches, 89% of the population is between 6 and 8 inches, and the remaining 6% are between 9 and 11 inches. What should be kept for eating and what should be thrown back?
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#2746866 - 01/10/12 05:51 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Vitreus]
Bigslugger Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 795
Loc: Silver Creek, MN
Depends on if you like eating crackers then the 6"-8" otherwise if you like fish 10"-11". Anything bigger should go back for the sake of breeding stock and keeping genetics.
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#2746867 - 01/10/12 05:51 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Vitreus]
rkpolaris Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 94
Loc: Montrose MN
I like 9" and up
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#2746890 - 01/10/12 06:13 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: rkpolaris]
Brad B Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 2863
Loc: Monticello, MN
anything between 8 to 10 inches is my keeper range when I feel like eating some.

Catfishing is not a hobby it is a way of life.

Clam Powerstick

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#2746920 - 01/10/12 06:36 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Brad B]
Stick in Mud Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 4149
Loc: Saint Cloud area
It all depends on your preference....Lots of guys seem to use 8'' as their minimum size, but I guess it depends on the lake, too. I live around St Cloud, and if you didn't keep any crappies until they were 9'' or bigger, you wouldn't keep very many. smile

Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.
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#2746930 - 01/10/12 06:43 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Stick in Mud]
KrabbyPatties Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 1250
Loc: MN
Keeping smaller fish and returning larger ones is better for the fishery. Keeping little ones isn't so bad if you don't care what other people think of you and you don't have anywhere to brag. wink

I've noticed one other thing--not to generalize too much here, but for the most part, non-anglers, women, and kids seem to prefer the smaller, crispier "potato chips" you get from smaller fish over big slab fillets. Lower in contaminants too. My dinner tonight was fresh-caught perch probably not even as long as my hand but they were good!
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#2746939 - 01/10/12 06:50 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Stick in Mud]
herefish101 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 749
Loc: North metro
9-12 above 12 and their to big, below 9 and they cook in 10 seconds.

If you dont try, you will never succeed
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#2746940 - 01/10/12 06:51 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: KrabbyPatties]
Stick in Mud Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 4149
Loc: Saint Cloud area
That's funny, Krabby...I completely agree. I'm more apt to keep smaller panfish than I am larger ones, but I do always worry what someone will think if he sees my bucket.

Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.
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#2746948 - 01/10/12 06:56 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Stick in Mud]
live4chrome Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 521
Loc: duluth mn
10-11 for me, anything bigger than 12 goes back down. then again I fish waters where a 9" is a baby:)
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#2746960 - 01/10/12 07:02 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: rkpolaris]
BigDogRob Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 383
Loc: Meeker,Crow Wing
I hope you are referring to the crappies,
Sorry I couldn't resist...
I usually don't fish for them, but would say the one's I have kept were usually around 11"

Fighting your child for your flasher isn't time well spent. Maybe time for another...hint hint.
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#2746961 - 01/10/12 07:02 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: live4chrome]
Rippinlip Offline

Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 2225
Loc: Outside somewhere
Try to shoot for that 9-11" mark.

Livin' the dream!
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#2746980 - 01/10/12 07:17 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Stick in Mud]
KrabbyPatties Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 1250
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: carmike
That's funny, Krabby...I completely agree. I'm more apt to keep smaller panfish than I am larger ones, but I do always worry what someone will think if he sees my bucket.


Don't! I love having a few little panfish, perch, or even a redeye in my bucket--especially on these warm days where you don't need to hide in a shelter! Even if I'm CPRing nice fish as well, if someone rides up and asks how the fishing is, I can show him my bucket of 6.5" sunnies with a fat rock bass on top and say, "Well, you can see I'm getting pretty desperate!" I used that line again TODAY as I pulled a 6" perch out of my bucket.

It's a good way to discourage competition. wink

And I've never been very good at worrying about what other people think.
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#2747021 - 01/10/12 07:46 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: KrabbyPatties]
fishuhalik Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 3526
Loc: Katy, TX/Nashwauk, MN
sometimes i prefer to eat those little 7-8"ers. it's like fish crackers! sure does take alot of em for a meal though! usually it's around 9" though.

Take 'em"!!!!!!

PSN tag: fishuhalik56
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#2747043 - 01/10/12 07:58 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: KrabbyPatties]
Vitreus Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 421
Loc: St. Cloud, MN
Originally Posted By: KrabbyPatties
Keeping smaller fish and returning larger ones is better for the fishery. Keeping little ones isn't so bad if you don't care what other people think of you and you don't have anywhere to brag. wink

I've noticed one other thing--not to generalize too much here, but for the most part, non-anglers, women, and kids seem to prefer the smaller, crispier "potato chips" you get from smaller fish over big slab fillets. Lower in contaminants too. My dinner tonight was fresh-caught perch probably not even as long as my hand but they were good!


It does make sense, for the health of the fishery, to keep the small ones and spare fish that have the genetics to produce large offspring.
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#2747057 - 01/10/12 08:08 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Vitreus]
marshmallow Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 07/15/08
Posts: 319
Loc: Minneapolis
It's just Me in The House.. I Like The "14 - 17" Inch Speckled Fish .. Nah.. Just Jokin' .. "9 - 12" Inch For Me ..Got A "15" On The Wall ..
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#2747084 - 01/10/12 08:22 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: marshmallow]
fishersofmen Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 2795
Loc: Buffalo
8"-12"
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#2747148 - 01/10/12 09:03 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: fishersofmen]
blackdog1101 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 1250
Loc: Lake Minnetonka
I keep about 8" - 10". My outstretched hand is about 8.25" from thumb to pinky, so thats how I measure a keeper.

"Be careful where you fish, who you fish with, and what you catch."

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#2747153 - 01/10/12 09:07 PM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: blackdog1101]
Stick in Mud Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 4149
Loc: Saint Cloud area
That's pretty wise, Krabby...I'll have to use your trick. smile

At the very least, keeping them in the bucket prevents anyone who's walking near the fishhouse from seeing all the fish I've thrown on the ice!

Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.
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#2747284 - 01/11/12 05:18 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Stick in Mud]
dan z Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 3390
Loc: mankato minnesota
like to keep the 9"-11" sometimes smaller, sometmes larger depends on the fishery

How many days till 1st ice?
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#2747382 - 01/11/12 07:44 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: blackdog1101]
tsande00 Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1317
Loc: MN - Wright County
Originally Posted By: blackdog1101
I keep about 8" - 10". My outstretched hand is about 8.25" from thumb to pinky, so thats how I measure a keeper.


+1 same here. My outstretched hand is 9" and in the past if the tail to head didn't reach pinky to thumb tip back down the hole it went.
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#2747393 - 01/11/12 07:53 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: tsande00]
ENMIFDAD Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 116
Loc: New Market
I wonder how many guys like me just took out the tape measure and measured their hand???

I don't mind keeping the 7" crappies. My son will put them in the bucket when I'm not looking anyway. He like to feel like he is providing for the rest of the family!

Elko New Market Ice Fishing DAD
ENMIFDAD
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#2747396 - 01/11/12 07:55 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: tsande00]
OnAFly Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 5017
Loc: Centerville, Mn
I have marks on my scoop at 6, 9, 12 inches. I would keep 9-11 when I would keep them.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.
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#2747438 - 01/11/12 08:28 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: OnAFly]
EBass Offline

HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 6061
Loc: Eden Prairie, MN
9-11" If I keep them that is.

Experience is knowledge, everything else is just information.


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#2747468 - 01/11/12 08:49 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: EBass]
Hartley Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 47
Loc: your fishing hot spot!
Good luck finding 9-11 inch crappies in the metro area!
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#2747485 - 01/11/12 09:05 AM
Re: What size range is "keeper" for crappie? [Re: Hartley]
Jim Uran Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 5016
Loc: Lengby/Waubun
10 to 13" depending on the lake, but for me, I definitely throw them back if they are under 10".

2 Corinthians 5:17
The measure of a great angler isn't in how full his bucket is!!
jimuran1879@gmail.com
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