blackcrappieBlack Crappie

Black Crappie are one of San Diego’s most prevalent freshwater fish, and also widely considered the best eating. They are found in nearly every fresh body of water in San Diego, including the San Diego River. Lake Hodges, El Capitan, Henshaw, and Lower Otay are the most popular and typically best producing lakes in the County for large Black Crappie. Lake Cuyamaca has a huge population of undersized fish, and at times can provide non-stop action (until you reach your limit of course) in the warmer months. If you’re planning a trip with young anglers, and want to keep them entertained, this is one of the best bets in the entire County.

Because they feed on relatively everything in the lake that they can fit in their mouth, they can be caught many different ways. Their habits mirror those of Largemouth Bass, in the Spring they can be found in shallow water and can be “sight-fished” from their spawning beds. In the Summer they are typically found suspended in deeper water schooled up around bait fish. In the transitional months leading into Spring and Summer they can be found more closely related to points within the lake.

Crappie jigs, small grubs such as a Kalin’s Triple Threat and small spinnerbaits are often effective in landing trophy-sized Black Crappie.

Lake Records

LakePoundsMonthYearAngler
Cuyamaca2.50  
Diamond Valley3.47  Jesse Mena
Dixon2.5625March2014Tasi Tautala
El Capitan3.75March1987
Hodges3.50April1987
Lower Otay3.37February1992
Miramar2.18April1990
Morena2.00  Rex Simpson
Murray3.00April1995
San Vicente3.68March1970
Skinner2.81April1998Randle Waters
Sutherland3.25March2002
Wohlford3.50April1982Delbert Carter
Wohlford3.50February2016Randy Eddo