I've done a lot of crappie fishing in my lifetime, but not the last 8 or 10 years. As far as I'm concerned, there just isn't any better eating than crappie. Blue gill and some of the other perch might rival crappie for taste, but it's hard to find big enough of those.
I like Crappie, but they are awfully bony. We used to catch them a night, fishing from the dock with a lantern. We used a cork and baited with minnows. I caught two one day with a casting rod and a white lure called a River Runt Spook. They were both maybe 12 or 14 inches long and weighed about 2 and 1/2 pounds each. Yummy!
I am hoping to go after some crappie next week when my dad visits. I have a 20' boat and live in brackish tidal water, and we normally run downriver to chase after the saltwater fish. But based on fishing reports, I think we'll head upriver with some small minnows and chase after crappie and perch instead.
Here's a shot from my fish finder last week. I don't know what all those fish are down there, but I think even a lousy fisherman like me could catch something there.
Gar are also starting to run here. I have never hooked one on purpose, but have had several hang on to a lure with their long toothy bills up until they got close to the boat. Weird looking fish. Supposed to be excellent eating but very difficult to clean, and their egg sack is poisonous and needs careful handling.