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The Best Crappie Fishing In Arizona

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Guide to fishing for black and white crappie.

Crappie fishing in Arizona

Crappie are actually a member of the sunfish family and can be found in many Arizona lakes. Crappie are known by many different local names. Paper mouth, goggleye, bridge perch, slabs and speckled perch, are just a few. Crappie fishing appeals to all ages.

Arizona is a hidden gem for crappie fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to catch both black crappie and white crappie. These panfish species can be found in various lakes and reservoirs across the state, providing anglers with a chance to test their skills and land some impressive catches.

Black crappie, also known as specks, are typically found in deeper, cooler waters. They are known for their distinctive black mottled patterns and their preference for submerged vegetation or woody cover. Anglers targeting black crappie often use techniques such as vertical jigging, casting with small jigs or minnow imitations, or fishing with live bait near structures. Roosevelt Lake and Lake Pleasant are popular destinations in Arizona for black crappie fishing.

White crappie, also known as silver perch, are known for their silvery coloration and vertical stripes. They are more tolerant of warm water and can be found in shallower areas with less cover. White crappie are often found near submerged brush, fallen trees, or rocky shorelines. Anglers targeting white crappie in Arizona lakes such as Alamo Lake or San Carlos Reservoir often use similar techniques as with black crappie, such as jigging or using live bait.

The current state record for black crappie stands at over 4 pounds, caught in Alamo Lake, while the record for white crappie is just over 3 pounds, caught in San Carlos Reservoir. These records serve as a testament to the quality of crappie fishing opportunities in the state.

Whether you're targeting black crappie or white crappie, Arizona offers a variety of lakes and reservoirs where you can pursue these popular panfish species. With its diverse fisheries and the chance to break state records, crappie fishing in Arizona provides excitement and the potential for memorable catches.

Crappie Waters In AZ

Crappie abound in desert lakes including Roosevelt lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, San Carlos Lake, Bartlett Lake, Alamo Lake, Lake Pleasant, Horseshoe Lake and many other lakes and streams throughout the state. All Colorado River lakes offer crappie fishing as well.

Crappie can also be found in city parks and golf courses throughout Arizona.

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 10 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 5.28 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Crappie Fishing Lures For Arizona

Crappie jigs work well in water from 2' to 40' deep, and are the most popular artificial lure for crappie ever. When crappie are shallow, spinners, small crankbaits and underspins are the often very productive. As they move deeper, small spoons are among the top producers if the crappie are active. Review details for the best crappie rig options. Understanding the seasonal movements of crappie can enhance your chances of using these lures in the ideal locations.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Arizona

The state record black crappie came from San Carlos Lake.

Lake Pleasant produced the state record white crappie.

AZ Crappies

Andy Brown shows off a 3.5 lb and a 3.0 lb crappie, two of a nice catch from Roosevelt Lake - March 2012.


Check out crappie information, by state.

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The life cycle of crappie.

The more you know about crappie, the easier it will be to locate and catch them in Arizona lakes and rivers. Visit the crappie fishing page for details about their seasonal migrations.