Crappie are carnivorous, small freshwater fish found in most North American waters. Crappie minnows are a type of minnow that crappie feed off. These small fish usually grow between 4-6 inches in length and are one of the most popular forms of live bait for anglers.
The life cycle of a crappie minnow is, disappointingly, largely undocumented. Lack of scientific research about crappie minnows has led to anglers doing their own research, with varying degrees of truth. This means that the answer we will give you now cannot be taken as the gospel truth, and simply the conclusion that most expert anglers have come to.
To put it simply, crappie minnows grow into fathead minnows.
The reasons for this are unclear. Whether crappie minnow do actually turn into fathead minnow, or whether they grow into something that resembles a fathead minnow, are unclear.
Fathead minnows are small freshwater fish belonging to the minnow fish family. The most common type of fathead minnow is called the rosy-red minnow, which is most commonly sold as a feeder fish in the United States and Canada.
Fathead minnows grow up to around 10 cm (roughly the same as a crappie minnow), but they are distinctively thicker.
We can assume that the thickness of a crappie minnow that has grown into a fathead minnow is due to its carnivorous feeding habits.
Truth is, nobody has a clear answer to this question. The reasons for this are simple – crappie minnow are most commonly used as live bait amongst most anglers. This means that the lifecycle of a crappie minnow is virtually unknown, because they are used as food to catch larger fish before people can raise them.
What species are crappie minnows?
Crappie minnows are a freshwater fish species that are most commonly used as live bait for catching large fish. These small fish belong to the minnow fish family, and are most commonly found in waters with crappies, including Canada and North America.
As there are so many species of minnows, the lines seem to blur when it comes to distinguishing species. The lifespan and life cycle of crappie minnow, likewise, are unclear due to the fact they are used as live bait so often for larger fish.
Crappie minnows are one of the most favorite foods of the namesake larger fish, the humble crappie. As you can imagine, the reason why crappie minnows are called crappie minnows is because they are most commonly eaten by crappie.
The reason why crappie like to eat crappie minnows so much is mostly because crappie minnows are brightly colored. Crappie are most active in the night, especially during summer, where they rely on the light of the moon (and a clear sky) to navigate through the waters.
The bright colors of the unsuspecting crappie minnow catch the light from the moon, where crappie then turn into aggressive feeders to catch their prey.
It seems a bit odd that crappie minnow spend so much time near crappie considering they are their favorite source of food, but each to their own. Still, crappie minnows are an essential part of the food chain.
What do fathead minnows turn into?
So, we have established that crappie minnow might turn into fathead minnow. But what do fathead minnows turn into?
The answer is more convoluted than you might think. Like all minnow species, fathead minnows are primarily used as live bait and an ideal food source for larger fish. As a result of this, the life cycle of a fathead minnow is largely unknown.
If most anglers have come to the conclusion that crappie minnow turns into fathead minnow (or at least a close resemblance of a fathead minnow), then we can assume that fathead minnow then turns into something, right?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is very unclear. Some minnows, like the Siamese carp for example, can grow up to five feet long. However, not all small minnows can grow to be that large – almost purely because they don’t live long enough to even try.
Here’s where it gets even more confusing. Fathead minnows, along with an array of other minnow species, can be kept in captivity or in a hobbyist’s aquarium.
Surely, with the lack of threats from larger fish, anglers can record what happens to the fathead minnows? Wrong again.
There is such limited research and documentation about what fathead minnows grow into that we can only assume they just grow larger by a centimeter or two.
The reason for this limited documentation is that minnows die so fast. Minnow tanks can be easily overcrowded, which then leads to a depletion of oxygen and excessive heat, which leads to death.
Are crappie minnows actually crappie?
So, if crappie minnows have the same name as crappie, does that mean that crappie minnows are actually crappie?
Sorry to disappoint you even more, but the answers to this question are unclear. As far as anglers and researchers know, crappie minnows are not actually crappie.
Crappie are a type of freshwater fish in the sunfish family. Crappie minnows, on the other hand, are a type of freshwater fish in the minnow family. This means that the species are entirely unrelated to each other.
The reason why crappie and crappie minnow have the same name is most likely because crappie minnow is one of the favorite food sources for crappie.
Whether it’s as live bait when anglers are out fishing, or whether crappie are looking for prey during their nighttime hunting sessions, we can assume that this is the reason why crappie minnow have the same name as crappie.
There is such limited information about what crappie minnows actually are due to their short lifespan. For all we know, they could live for years, but they die so quickly.
Their death is usually caused by predation by other larger fish species (like crappie), or overcrowding in aquariums where too many minnows deplete the oxygen levels.
In short – no, crappie minnows are not actually crappie.