Perch vs Crappie

Perch vs Crappie | Know The Difference Between Perch & Crappie

When it comes to tasty and flaky white fish meat, perch and crappie always have a close confrontation. Both come from the panfish family and are widely regarded as two of the most delicious fish items across North America and Europe.

Although both fish has developed a similar liking for lures and baits, and despite people considering them alike, there are noticeable and prominent differences between the two.

That’s why we have researched the fish market and talked with the experts to find the actual differences between perch vs crappie.

So, if you were previously confused about the two and always picked the wrong one for dinner or launch, it’s your lifetime chance to eliminate such disparities.

Are you up for it?

Perch vs. Crappie: The True Differences

Perch and crappie are widespread due to their softness when cooked. Hence, people love having the two fish at their dishes. However, there’re significant differences between crappie and perch in terms of family, size, color, taste, and many more.

What Is Panfish?

We have already mentioned that perch and crappie are categorized as panfish. So, before we move to see their distinctions, it would help if we know what does the word ‘panfish’ means.

A common panfish refers to a game fish that people can eat and will not grow more than the size of a pan. It is popular among anglers since the size of these fishes permits easy to catch without violating the state laws.

Its size also allows cookers to cook the fish whole in the pan. The most common panfishes are perch, crappie, candlefish, rock bass, minnows, and mountain whitefish.

Now let’s get to see the premium differences between perch and crappie.

Fish Family

Perch comes from the Percidae fish family. It is directly linked with the famous walleye and sauger fish. Interestingly, perch is the only available fish species from its genus. You might be thinking, then where does the Yellow Perch come from?

Well, yellow perch species are known as Perca Flavescens, a different family. You can see our article on how to catch white perch.

Crappie comes from the Centrarchidae fish family. Furthermore, your other favorite small and largemouth bass and sunfish belong to the same family. Their genus is known as Pomoxis and has two various groupings.

Body Shape

Crappie is widely noticed mainly because of its anal fins and large dorsal. The anal fins come from the six to eight spines, and it varies on the two species. Crappie also has a streamlined, taller, and flattened body shaped compared to the familiar yellow perch.

Another distinctive feature of crappie’s anal fin is that it ends with a round lobe making them easy to identify.

Perch or yellow perch, on the contrary, has a body shape similar to torpedo. Also, perches are taller than crappie. Furthermore, you may notice a big hump on the large adult yellow perches back that makes them easily identifiable.

Another noticeable difference between the crappie and perch lies in the number of anal fins. While crappies have two paddles, yellow perch comes with one regular fin.

Color Variations

The most common crappies are often seen in slightly green colors, but it only covers the upper part of the crappie body. Also, the green color will depend on the kind of water body the fish lives.

However, the most common color for crappies is white. It incorporates a beautiful silver tone. And depending on the two species, you might also see black flecks or stripes on the crappie body that makes them much colorful.

Perch, on the other hand, has a greenback. But it can vary anywhere between yellow to orange, which depends on the particular species you get. However, the belly part of the perch is entirely white. You can also find dark green stripes in the sideline of the perch.

Finally, the pectoral fins are mostly of orange colors while the tails have a green coloring.

Therefore, you can anticipate more color variations in a perch than in the crappie.

The Spawning Habit

Although the regular spawning session for perch and crappie is spring, they bear distinctive dissimilarities when it rests on the spawning habit.

For crappie, despite a slight dependence on water transparency, the usual spawning depth is between 6 feet to 8 feet. Crappie males like a water bottom with sand and clarity on it. Once the male crappie reaches the spawning ground, it creates a nest that resembles like a ball on the bottom of the water bodies.

Then the female will inspect the nest and lay eggs on the one they feel safe. The female crappie, however, will leave soon, and the male takes the responsibility of guarding and hatching the newborns until they can swim freely.

Perch, nonetheless, has a more straightforward spawning system. They mate during the early part of the year when the water temperature is slightly hotter. Then, the female lays eggs on the weed and scatters them. Lastly, the male fertilizes them.

Want to know what happens after the fertilization takes place?

Here’s the twist-

None of the female and male cares about their offspring. So, after the fertilization, both leave the eggs almost immediately- cruel, I guess!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

are crappie and perch similar?

No, perch and crappie are different. While perch comes from the walleye family, crappie commonly belongs to the widespread sunfish family. Perch also has a better fighting attitude compared to the crappies and so, are popular sport fish.

are bluegill and crappie the same thing?

No, they are two different species of sunfish. Crappie has two variations, firstly the black crappie and, secondly, the white crappie. Bluegill, otherwise, is a different species, just like dozens of others from the sunfish family.

why don’t stores sell crappie?

Crappies are wild fish. So, according to state law, it is illegal to breed and sell crappie in the stores for commercial purposes.

Perch vs Crappie


Crappie and perch both are popular panfish. Similarly, anglers love the fighting spirit of the two widespread gamefish. Nonetheless, when it comes to perch vs crappie, the distinction mainly comes in size, shape, color, and spawning habit.

Despite having some noticeable dissimilarities, both fish have loveable features. You will enjoy watching them in the wild.

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