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Latin name: Pomoxis Annularis (White Crappie) – Pomoxis Nigromaculatus (Black Crappie) Family: Centrarchidae Common aliases: Papermouth, Strawberry Bass, Speckled Bass, Calico Bass Average length: 5-12 inches Average weight: ½-1 pounds Average lifespan: 8 years Spawning: May - June
What is a Crappie?The Crappie is a North American freshwater fish from the Sunfish family. Both White and Black Crappies are similar, only colors and fins are slightly different. It is a very social fish that mainly lives in schools.
Where does Crappie live?The Black Crappie tends to live in shallow areas in ponds or lakes. It likes sandy or muddy bottoms, and appreciates extensive vegetation. It differs from its White cousin only because he’d rather choose deeper, clearer and cooler areas.
How does the Crappie eat?Crappie has a varied diet mainly consisting of smaller species of fish, including the young of their predators (Walleye, Northern Pike or Muskie), but also of zooplankton, crustaceans or insects.
What happens when Crappie spawns?Male reaches maturity around 3 years old, female around 4. Crappie is used to spawning when the water temperature reaches 60°F basically from February to early May according to the location. The male will build a nest on top of sand, gravel or mud in shallow waters, female will come to drop her eggs that will be guarded by the male until they hatch.
Where to catch Crappie in the US?All the US territory Canada
How to catch Crappie? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, jigs, insects, minnows
Latin name: Sander Vitreus Family: Percidae Common aliases: Yellow Pike, Pikeperch Average length: 10-18 inches Average weight: 1-3 pounds Average lifespan: 10 years Spawning: March-April
What is a Walleye?The Walleye is the biggest member of the perch family despite its similarities with pike family; it’s sometimes even called “Yellow Pike”. It is also close to the European Zander, also known as the “Pikeperch”. The Walleye gets its name from the fact that its eyes are glassy and opaque, which will help them see more clearly in dark or rough waters. This makes him sensitive to light, so it will prefer deep areas. Walleye will also prefer cold water over warm. Fished recreationally by sport fishing anglers and commercially for food since it is renowned as a very tasty fish.
Where does Walleye live?The Walleye lives in rivers, streams, lakes or ponds. It oftentimes stays in deep spots to escape the light such as grass beds or inside logs.
How does the Walleye eat?Walleye’s diet depends on many factors like weather, season, time of day. Due to its sensitivity to light, it tends to be more active at night. During the day, it will evolve in deeper areas; at night, it will get to shallower spots. Fry will mainly eat plankton and insects, adults will feed with other fish or crayfish, worms or minnows.
What happens when Walleye spawns?Male reach maturity around 3 years old, female around 4. Spawning happens during springtime, when the water temperature is between 40-55°F. The female will deposit the eggs into shallow water, and then neither she nor the male will protect the babies.
Where to catch Northern Bass in the US?West, Northeast, Midwest, West, South
How to catch Northern Pike? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: jigs, minnows, spinnerbaits, leeches, plugs, spoons, spinners.
Latin name: Perca Flavescens Family: Percidae Average length: 4-10 inches Average weight: 4-12 ounces Average lifespan: 10 years Spawning: Spring
What is a Yellow Perch?The Yellow Perch is a freshwater species characterized by its golden yellow body, its dorsal fins and its black stripes on the sides. It is a gregarious fish that travels in schools.
Where does Yellow Perch live?Yellow Perch is mainly found in lakes and ponds, in still and shallow waters near shore. It will look for bottoms like grass beds, sunken trees or rocks to shelter.
How does the Yellow Perch eat?The Yellow Perch as a fry feeds zooplankton, and then it starts eating invertebrates, fish eggs, crayfish, shrimp and juvenile fish. They are preyed by Bass, Walleye or Pike.
What happens when Yellow Perch spawns?Male perch becomes sexually mature at the age of 1; female matures at the age of 2. During spring, when water is between 45 and 55°F, female will drop her eggs in the form of a long band that can reach 2 meters. This band will be attached to grass beds, branches or roots in shallow waters. Around 10 days later, the eggs will hatch and fry will start their life in school.
Where to catch Yellow Perch in the US?USA Canada
How to catch Yellow Perch? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, jigs, minnows, spinnerbaits, insects, leeches, plugs, spoons, spinners.
Latin name: Micropterus Dolomieu Family: Centrarchidae Common aliases: smallie, brown bass, brownie Average length: 10-18 inches Average weight: 1/2-2 pounds Average lifespan: 12 years Spawning: April to June
What is a Smallmouth Bass?The Smallmouth Bass is a freshwater species that is very popular for its fighting spirit, which is why it is one of the most sought game fish. It has an elongated body that is usually browner than largemouth. It also has 2 spiny dorsal spins that are connected (unlike largemouth bass) that help it protect itself against predators. Its jaw lines up with the middle of its eye, which eyes are usually red.
Where to catch Smallmouth Bass?Smallmouth Bass can be found in rivers, lakes, streams or ponds, but in deeper water than the Largemouth. Its favorite spots will be in clear, calm water with rocky bottoms and places to hide such as rocks, vegetation, roots or sunken trees.
How does the Smallmouth Bass eat?Smallmouth Bass is an omnivore fish whose diet evolves over time while he matures. Freshly hatched bass will mainly eat zooplankton, insects or small crustaceans while adults will have bigger preys like small fish, crayfishes, frogs… Unlike its largemouth brother, smallmouth mostly finds its food below the surface of water.
What happens when Smallmouth Bass spawns?Smallmouth reaches maturity around 3 years old. Spawning usually starts when the water temperature remains around 60°F from late April until early July. In the southern US states, this process usually begins in March until June. The male starts by creating a nest in a shallow sand or gravel bottom. This is where the female will drop its thousands eggs that will be protected by the male until they hatch (from 2 to 6 days according to the location on the US territory) and even for several days after they became fry.
Where to catch Smallmouth Bass in the US?Northeast, Midwest, West, South
How to catch Smallmouth Bass? What bait and tackle should we use?Many technics can be used since this is one of the most intelligent freshwater fish able to recognize and avoid some lures after only one encounter with it. A lure that is brand new will surely work. Mostly used are: insects, minnow, soft plastics, spoons, spinners, jigs, spinnerbaits.
Latin name: Oncorhynchus mykiss Family: Salmonidae Average length: 12-16 inches Average weight: 2-8 pounds Average lifespan: 5 years Spawning: Spring
What is a Rainbow Trout?The Rainbow Trout is a freshwater species from the Salmon family. Native to North-America, it has been introduced to every continent except Antarctica. It has an elongated body and gets its name from the colors of its skin since both silver sides present a pink band in their middle.
Where does Rainbow Trout live?Rainbow Trout lives in rivers, streams and lakes. It will prefer clear and cold waters with gravel bottoms; however it is capable adapting to Great Lakes water or even saltwater, in this case, it is referred to as a “Steel-Head”.
How does the Rainbow Trout eat?Rainbow trouts are predators, so they will eat insects, larvas, crustaceans, small fish or even fish eggs.
What happens when Rainbow Trout spawns?From 3 years old, Rainbow trout will start spawning during springtime. First job is to find a place to dig a depression in the gravels where it will lay its eggs. After a male comes to fertilize them, the female will cover them with gravels for protection during spawning until they hatch around 21 days after. Steel-head can live in saltwater for two to three years and then come back to fresh water to spawn.
Where to catch Rainbow Trout in the US?USA Canada
How to catch Rainbow Trout? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, spoons, spinners.
Latin name: Esox Lucius Family: Esocidae Average length: 24-30 inches Average weight: 3-7 pounds Average lifespan: 10 years Spawning: February to April
What is a Northern Pike?Northern Pike is a freshwater predatory species found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is carnivorous, thus it lives alone most of the time, generally lurked in grass beds where it can quietly wait for a prey to get close enough to strike it. The pike has a long, slender body with aerodynamic fins, which give it a great propulsion force. Known as an ambush predator, it can strike at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour leaving no chance for its prey with its 500 sharp teeth (on its jaws, palate and tongue).
Where does Northern Pike live?Northern Pike can be found in rivers, lakes or ponds, where it favors grass beds or sunken tree stumps in still waters as hiding places.
How does the Northern Pike eat?Northern Pike is a carnivorous fish whose food habits evolve while he grows: freshly hatched fry feed mainly insects and zooplankton, while adults eat bigger preys like small fish (including small pikes), amphibians, birds or rodents. It is a good regulator for forage fish population. 17% of what it eats will be directly turned into muscle.
What happens when Northern Pike spawns?Male reach maturity around 2 years old, female around 3. Spawning usually starts when the water temperature is around 45°F from February until April. Pike is a phytophil species, which means it will always choose a vegetal breeding ground to lay their eggs. Only 0,5% of the eggs will survive since neither the male nor the female will protect them during incubation.
Where to catch Northern Pike in the US?West, Northeast, Midwest France – Russia – European lakes Canada
How to catch Northern Pike? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, plugs, spoons, spinners, minnows, spinnerbaits.
Latin name: Esox Maskinongy Family: Esocidae Average length: 20-40 inches Average weight: 3-20 pounds Average lifespan: 15 years Spawning: Mid-April to Mid-May
What is a Muskie?Muskellunge, also called Muskie, is a freshwater predatory fish, often confused with the Northern Pike. As the pike, it is a carnivorous species that mainly lives alone in Northern America. It has an elongated body and a flat head just as its cousin the pike, but main difference is the colors of their body. His mouth is full with needle-like teeth.
Where does Muskellunge live?The Muskie lives in clear streams, large rivers and lakes with a lot of vegetation where it can wait for preys lurking in grass beds, sunken logs or brush piles. He is more comfortable in cool waters.
How does the Muskie eat?Just as the Northern Pike, Muskie is a carnivorous. As a fry, he feeds zooplankton, and then, as an adult, eats the preys that will come by his way: small fish, frogs, ducklings, mice…
What happens when Muskie spawns?Male reaches maturity around 4 years old. Muskellunge spawns during the late spring when the water temperature approaches 55°F. The male finds a rock or sand bottom for the female to drop the eggs. As the pike, a very small portion of the eggs will make it because the male and female have left them without protection during the 10 days of spawning.
Where to catch Muskellunge in the US?North to Northeast USA Canada
How to catch Muskie? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: jigs, plugs, spoons, spinners, minnows, spinnerbaits.
Latin name: Micropterus Salmoides Family: Centrarchidae Average length: 4-25 inches Average weight: 1-3 pounds Average lifespan: 15 years Spawning: April to June
What is a Largemouth Bass?The Largemouth Bass is a freshwater species that is very popular for its fighting spirit, which is why it is the most popular freshwater game fish. Its strong oval body has 2 spiny dorsal spins that are separated by a dip (smallmouth bass as no space between its spins) and that help it protect itself against predators. Its upper jaw extends to or beyond the rear edge of its eyes, which is why it is called “Largemouth”.
Where does Largemouth Bass live?Largemouth Bass can be found in rivers, lakes or ponds. Its favorite spots will be in shallow, warm, calm and clear water. It will choose weed beds, sand bars or sunken trees when the water is warm, and will go deeper when waters are colder.
How does the Largemouth Bass eat?Largemouth Bass is an omnivore fish whose diet evolves over time while he matures. Freshly hatched bass will mainly eat zooplankton, insects or micro crustaceans while adults will have bigger preys like smaller fish, crayfishes, frogs…
What happens when Largemouth Bass spawns?Male reach maturity around 4 years old, female around 5. Spawning usually starts when the water temperature remains around 60°F from late April until early July. In the southern US states, this process usually begins in March until June. Male experiences a body change for a 2 weeks period since the upper part of the mouth and eyes become red. The male starts by creating a nest in a shallow sand or gravel bottom. This is where the female will drop its thousands eggs that will be protected by the male until they hatch (from 2 to 6 days according to the location on the US territory) and even until several days after they became fry.
Where to catch Largemouth Bass in the US?Northeast, Midwest, West, South
How to catch Largemouth Bass? What bait and tackle should we use?Many technics can be used since this is one of the most intelligent freshwater fish able to recognize and avoid some lures after only one encounter with it. A lure that is brand new will surely work. Mostly used are: insects, minnow, soft plastics, spoons, spinners, jigs, spinnerbaits.
Latin name: Salvelinus Namaycush Family: Salmonidae Common aliases: Lakers, Mackinaw, Togue, Gray Trout Average length: 24-36 inches Average weight: 10-40 pounds Average lifespan: 12-20 years Spawning: September – December
What is a Lake Trout?The Lake Trout is a freshwater char species from the salmonidae family with a long, slightly round body like its cousin’s salmon and trout. As its name implies, it will spend its entire life into lakes.
Where does the Lake Trout live?The Laker prefers large, deep cold lakes with high oxygenation level.
How does the Lake Trout eat?Its diet will vary according to its age, size or locality. It will mainly eat zooplankton, larva, crustaceans, clams, snails, and fish.
What happens when Lake Trout spawns?Mature between 5 and 8 years old, the Lake Trout’s spawning occurs during autumn. Female will choose rocky bottoms to broadcast her eggs that will fall between the gravel, which will protect them during incubation. Eggs will hatch in late winter or spring. Lake Trout is known to sometimes hybridize in nature with the brook trout; such hybrids are called “splakes”.
Where to catch Lake Trout in the US?Northeast – Midwest - West
How to catch Lake Trout? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, spoons, spinners, jigs, insects.
Latin name: Salmo Trutta Family: Salmonidae Common aliases: German Brown Average length: 8-15 inches Average weight: 4-8 ounces Average lifespan: 12 years Spawning: October through November
What is a Brown Trout?The brown Trout is a freshwater species from the Salmon family that firstly appeared in Iceland, Europe, Western Asia and northwestern Africa. It was propagated within North America in the late 1800’s. Its tolerance to warmer waters is higher than either brook or rainbow trout. Its body color fades from an olive back to a yellow belly, dotted with black and red spots.
Where does Brown Trout live?The Brown Trout can be found in cold water mountain streams, larger rivers, ponds or lakes. Compared to its cousins rainbow and brook, the brown trout can inhabit deeper and darker waters where they can find low light intensity.
How does the Brown Trout eat?Brown Trout’s diet evolves while it grows: one less than 12 inches will feed mainly insects, above this size, it will also eat prey items like crayfish, smaller fish (including other trout), mollusks, frogs…
What happens when Brown Trout spawns?Brown Trout usually spawn from October through November when the female deposits its eggs into a shallow nest dug into some gravels while a male fertilizes them. The nest will then be covered by gravels by the female for protecting them during the hatch.
Where to catch Brown Trout in Northern America?USA Canada
How to catch Rainbow Trout? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, spoons, spinners.
Latin name: Salvelinus Fontinalis Family: Salmonidae Common aliases: Speckled Trout, Spotted Trout, Brookie Average length: 10 inches Average weight: 1 pound Average lifespan: 5 years Spawning: late summer - fall
What is a Brook Trout?The Brook Trout is a freshwater species from the Salmon family that firstly appeared in the Eastern United States. It is referred to as an indicator species of the waters’ health since it can only live in very healthy waters. A brook trout has a dark-olive colored side with yellow and red spots, and it is usually smaller than other trout species.
Where does Brook Trout live?The brookie can be found in streams, creeks and lakes, although it can be found in the sea as well, in this case it can be called “salter”.
How does the Brook Trout eat?Young brook trout feed on plankton and then changes while growing: as an adult, it will eat insects, worms, crustaceans, amphibians or minnows.
What happens when Brook Trout spawns?Brook trout spawning occurs during late summer or fall (October and November) according to the water temperature. The female digs a depression in the gravels where it will lay its eggs while a male comes to fertilize them. The female will then cover them with gravels as a protection until they hatch.
Where to catch Brook Trout in Northern America?The Brook Trout is the state fish of Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and New York. It can also be found in some provinces of Canada (from Georgie to Hudson Bay).
How to catch Brook Trout? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: artificial flies or live insects, spoons, spinners.
Latin name: Salmo Salar Family: Salmonidae Average length: 25-30 inches Average weight: 8-12 pounds Average lifespan: 2-5 years Spawning: October - November
What is an Atlantic salmon?The Atlantic salmon comes from the Salmon family, cousin of the trout, which has a slim body covered with very shiny small scales whose color varies according to the fish development. Native to the northern Atlantic from Connecticut River to Quebec, Iceland and Southern Greenland, it also occurs from the Arctic Circle to Portugal. It is a migratory fish that will live in various environments throughout its life. Atlantic salmon is in decline in the US and is listed as an Endangered Species. Five other salmons’ species come from the Pacific Ocean: Chinook, Chum, Pink and Sockeye salmons. Basically, they often are bigger and can be found easily in the northern American waters.
Where does the Atlantic salmon live?Atlantic salmon will spend its early years in a freshwater river with gravel bottoms. It will then start its migration to the sea where it will spend between 1 to 3 years. When it is ready to spawn and has got big and strong enough, it will start his journey back to the spot where it was born in freshwater.
How does the Atlantic salmon eat?Young salmon mainly eats plankton, whereas adult salmon feeds on insects, small invertebrates, and small fish. In the sea, it will feed bigger and bigger preys like fish, shrimps, squids… As soon as he gets to its river’s estuary, it will stop eating for a period of up to 6 months.
What happens when Atlantic salmon spawns?During the late fall, salmons get to their spawning ground and drop their eggs that will stay covered with gravels until March/April. After they hatch, they will go deeper in the gravel nest during 5 to 6 weeks before getting out to their real life.
Where to catch Atlantic salmon in the US?North-west America, Canada, Europe.
How to catch Atlantic salmon? What bait and tackle should we use?Mostly used are: flies, spoons, spinners, spinnerbaits, live bait.