Discover the Largest Crappie Ever Caught

Crappie caught on a micro-jig by a fly fisherman
© Steve Brigman/

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Published: November 7, 2023

Share on:


Crappies are a popular game fish that are part of the Centrachidae family. The two most common species are white and black crappies. They are typically less than a foot long and weigh less than a pound. 

These fish are known to be quite tasty and are a popular dinner catch among anglers. Here’s a bit about the largest crappie ever caught! 

The Largest Black Crappie Ever Caught

Black Crappie Fishing

Crappies most commonly feed in the early morning hours.

©Steve Oehlenschlager/

In the spring of 2018, fisherman Jam Fergust of Paint Rock, TN, was fishing in a small pond. As he felt something tug at his line, he quickly reeled in black crappie. Mature black crappies typically weigh less than 3.3 pounds. 

The Tennessee Toad Scales weighed Ferguson’s catch and it was a whopping five pounds, seven ounces! The original record for the largest black crappie ever caught was in 1985 for a fish weighing four pounds, four ounces. 

Many people are wondering what Ferguson used for bait to catch the massive fish. He reportedly has Triple Threat John Deere grub on his line. Since this catch, several local fishermen have headed to Paint Rock in hopes of reeling in one of these bad boys. 

The Largest White Crappie Ever Caught

Large white crappie

White crappies will eat the young of predators such as walleye.


When it comes to the largest white crappie, let’s travel back to 1975. In the blistering heat of July, Fred Bright cast his reel under the Enid Dam in Mississippi. As Bright felt a pull on his line, a five-pound, three-ounce white crappie surfaced. 

This record has no mention of what type of bait was used. Due to popular fishing bait at the time, many people thought it was a live minnow. There isn’t a lot of information about Bright and his catch, but anglers to this day are still attempting to beat his record! 

Tips For Catching Crappies

Small fishing boats docking at wooden pier in rural area of Lake Conjola, Australia.

These fish are in all of the lower 48 states!


Crappies are known for having extremely soft mouths. Knowing this is crucial since it’s simple to push down on the hook too forcefully when using a bobber or jig to fish. This ends up ripping the fish’s mouth off and missing the hook set. Put the hook down slowly and steadily as soon as you detect a bite.

Crappies go from consuming primarily crustaceans and bugs to consuming fish as they grow in size. Thus, if you’re trying to catch a large crappie, you can try using lures that mimic little fish. Lures like spinnerbaits and beetle-spin work well for capturing crappie. These lures draw focus because they produce a lot of flare and movement.

Largest Crappie Ever Caught By State 

StateWeightLocationAnglerDate Caught
Alabama4 lbs 9 ozLake MartinJeremy S. White5/8/2000
Arizona4 lbs 10.0 ozSan Carlos LakeJohn Shadrick5/12/1905
Arkansas5 lbsLake WilhelminaDonivan Echols6/6/2011
California4 lbs 8 ozClear LakeCarlton, Caro4/26/1971
Colorado4 lbsNorthglenn LakeDaryel Thompson1975
Delaware4 lbs 9 ozs.N/AMarvin Billips5/29/1905
Florida3.83 lbsLake TalquinBen Curry, Sr.1/21/1992
Georgia5 lb 4 ozLake SpiveySteve Cheek3/1/1975
Idaho3.8 lbsCrane Creek ReservoirTrenten Smith7/16/2012
Illinois4 lbs 8 ozRend LakeJohn Hampton5/15/1976
Indiana4 lb 11 ozPrivate LakeWillis Halcomb6/16/1905
Iowa4 lbs 9 ozGreen Castle LakeTed Trowbridge5/1/1981
Kansas4.63 lbsWoodson State Fishing LakeHazel Fey10/21/1957
Kentucky4 lbs 14 ozs.Watershed LakePenny Hopper5/8/2005
Louisiana3.25 lbsRichard C. HartBar Pit1999
Maine3 lbs 9.76 ozMessalonskee LakeQuinn Warren2/12/2022
Maryland4.4 lbsFarm PondJason D. MorrisonN/A
Massachusetts4 lbsJake’s PondJames Crowley6/2/1905
Michigan4.12 lbsLincoln LakeE. Frank Lee4/30/1905
Minnesota5 lbsVermillion RiverTom Christenson4/23/1905
Mississippi5 lbs 3 ozEnid ReservoirFred Bright7/31/1957
Missouri5 lbsCallaway CountyJohn Horstman4/1/2006
Montana3 lbs 10.88 ozTongue RiverGene Bassett5/10/1996
Nebraska4 lbs 8 ozFarm PondALLEN PAAP JR.6/15/2003
Nevada3 lbs 2 ozLake MeadHenry Herman5/29/1905
New Hampshire2 lbs 15.84 ozs.Great East LakeBrian O’Day5/3/2016
New Jersey4 lbs 8 ozPompton LakeAndy Tintle6/18/1905
New Mexico4lb 9ozBlack RiverOscar Buck6/5/1905
New York4 lb 7 ozSleepy Hollow LakeRoy Isaac8/21/2021
North Carolina4 lbs 15 ozAsheboro City Lake #4Dean Dixon4/27/1980
North Dakota3 lbs 4 ozLake OaheN/A6/20/1905
Ohio4.5 lbsPrivate LakeRonald Stone5/24/1981
Oklahoma4 lbs 15 ozKingfisher Co. PondFrank Robinson5/4/1991
Oregon4 lbs 12 ozGerber ReservoirJim Duckett5/20/1905
Pennsylvania4 lb 3 ozHammond LakeRichard A. Pino6/22/1905
Rhode Island3 lbsWatchaug PondR. Sevegny7/1/1976
South Carolina5 lbs 1 ozLake MurrayMrs. H.P. Owens5/2/1905
South Dakota3 lbs 9 ozHughes Co. Farm PondGary Ernst4/28/1974
Tennessee5 lbs 7 ozRicheison PondLionel Ferguson5/15/2018
Texas4 lbs 9 ozNavarro Mills LakeG.G. Wooderson2/14/1968
Utah3 lbs 2 ozQuail Creek ReservoirMike Flickinger6/15/1905
Vermont3 lbs 8.5 ozLake HortoniaFrancis T. Geoffroy5/28/2005
Virginia4 lbs 14 ozLake ConnerE. L. Blackstock4/8/1967
Washington4 lbs 8 ozLake WashingtonJohn W. Smart5/1/1956
Washington2 lbs 12.8 ozColumbia RiverDon J. Benson7/21/1988
West Virginia4.05 lbsMeathouse ForkLeonard Edgell5/24/1905
Wisconsin4 lbs 8 ozGile FlowageN/A8/12/1967
Wyoming2 lbs 5.44 ozBoysen ReservoirEdward Hausauer6/19/1905

Share this post on:
About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.