7 Core Differences Between Crappie and Bluegill with Similarities

What is the difference between crappie and bluegill?

Crappie and bluegill are fish species that people catch without noticing the type of fish they have caught. They are the first to catch many American anglers.

The species look similar but still, there are some features on their bodies that make them appear different from each other.

The main difference between crappie and bluegill is that crappie is slender in shape while bluegill has a rounder shape.

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Differences Between Crappie and Bluegill


Comparison Table (Crappie vs Bluegill)

Characteristics Crappie Bluegill
Shape They are slender in shape. They are more rounded in shape.
Mouth They have larger mouths. They have smaller mouths.
Gill cover Their color is either white or black. They have bluegill covers.
Size They are larger and heavier. They are smaller and lighter.
Taste They are less tasty They are tastier.
Head They have blocky heads. They have sleeker and more angular heads.
Geographical location They are found in Eastern parts of the United States. They are found in coastal areas of the United States.
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What is Crappie?

Crappie is classified under genus and not species. However, most people treat it as a species. They are mostly found in Eastern parts of the United States.

They are white and black in color and in most cases, they are treated as sports fish. They have arched backs and an upper jaw that extends below their eyes.

Their fins on both dorsal and anal are similar. They spawn between the May and June months of the year. The males make a nest in the shallow ends of water for the females to lay their eggs there. The eggs take between 2 to 5 days to hatch.

They are fertile breeders and they tend to be overpopulated. If the population is not controlled, then there may be a high population which may come along with challenges.

They are less active during the day hence they feed on dawn and dusk. They have pure flaky white flesh that has made them be known by anglers as tasty fish.

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They have a diverse diet. They feed on small fish. They also eat crustaceans, insects, and zooplankton. The young ones typically feed on larvae and crustaceans. They live to about 15 years old.

What is Bluegill?

Bluegill is a species mostly found in the coastal areas of the United States. They grow up to 12 inches long and can weigh up to 4.5 pounds.

They have dark spots on their dorsal fins and have vertical bars along the sides. They have dark green olive backs. Their bellies range from yellow to orange.

The adults feed on larvae and aquatic insects while the young ones feed on planktons. As compared to crappie, bluegills are tastier, they have more flavor and their flesh is firmer and flakier. This is the reason why they are mostly liked by anglers.

They have sleeker and more angular heads. They have smaller mouths with thicker tissue. Their bodies are rounder as compared to crappie.

Main Differences between Crappie and Bluegill

  1. Crappie has larger mouths while bluegill has smaller mouths.
  2. Crappie has slender bodies while bluegill has rounder bodies.
  3. Crappie’s gill color is either white or black while bluegill’s gill color is blue.
  4. Crappie has blocky heads while bluegills have sleeker and angular heads.
  5. Crappie is larger and heavier while bluegills are smaller and lighter.
  6. Crappie is less tasty while bluegills are tastier.
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Similarities between Crappie and Bluegill

  1. They are both popular.
  2. They are both tasty.
  3. They are both considered to be panfish.
  4. They both spawn during the spring and males protect the nest of eggs until they hatch.

In Conclusion

However, much crappie and bluegills have similarities, they equally have differences. The two are considered to be panfish although they are found in different places.

Crappie is larger and a little bit heavier as compared to bluegills. Although they are larger, they are less tasty hence angular go for it because of the amount of flesh they possess.

The main feature that makes crappie different from bluegill is the shape.

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