The Largest Black Crappie Ever Caught in Ohio was a Shimmering Behemoth

black crappie
© M Huston/

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: September 13, 2023

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These fish prefer warm waters with muddy bottoms. They like a quiet environment with plenty of cover. They’re early risers, preferring to feed in the morning. Those who catch these fish learn their routines and behaviors to ensure a successful fishing trip. Discover the largest black crappie ever caught in Ohio!

Black Crappie Overview

Black crappie, once full-grown, measure anywhere between 10.8 and 19.3 inches. The absolute heaviest black crappie with a published weight came in at just under six pounds. These fish inhabit a variety of water bodies, including reservoirs, ponds, and freshwater lakes. In the water, they gravitate toward vegetation, which provides them with cover. They may also cozy up underneath a fallen tree. Typically, these aren’t solitary fish.

They prefer to band together in schools. An untrained eye may confuse white crappie with black crappie. However, you can distinguish black crappies by the blotches and different speckles found throughout their bodies. This pattern is what sets them apart from white crappies. They also have more spines on their dorsal fin. Whereas white crappie may only have six spines, black crappies have seven or even eight spines.

4 black crappie

Black crappies have irregular splotchy patterns on their bodies.


Ronald Stone kept the secret of which private pond he fished from for many years.

Largest Black Crappie Caught in Ohio

The largest black crappie caught in Ohio weighed four pounds and eight ounces. It measured 18.125 inches long and was caught on May 24, 1981, in a private pond by Ronald Stone. Stone was only 17 years old at the time. He had a strong love for fishing that would even pull him out of school just so that he could wet a line. It’s been several decades, and his record still stands in the state of Ohio. He kept the secret of which private pond he fished from for many years.

However, once he reached age 49, he let it be known that it was actually a five-acre pond in the Burbank area that produced his trophy fish! There have been attempts to dethrone Stone for the largest black crappie caught in Ohio and in 2020, a mysterious story emerged in headlines. The photo alluded to a catch in Ohio that weighed five pounds and was 21 inches long. However, the story was later debunked.

woman fishing in pond in spring

The largest black crappie caught in Ohio weighed four pounds and eight ounces and came from a private pond.


Largest Black Crappie Caught in the World

Lionel Ferguson, affectionately known as Jam, set the world record for the largest black crappie. This fish weighed 5 pounds and 7.68 ounces. He caught it at Richeison Pond in Tennessee in 2018.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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