If you travel around crappie fishing circles in Northeast Louisiana, you probably heard about how good a crappie fisherman Farmerville’s Rick Hill is. 

But you won’t find him spider-rigging in the front of a big fancy boat. Nor will you find him on the trophy stand at any crappie tournaments. 

None of that is for him. 

Where you will find him regularly, however, is using the cleaning station at “Hill’s Perch” almost every single day during  prime crappie time. 

On Lake D’Arbonne, where crappie is king,  Rick Hill is top of the heap — and he rules with a sharp jig hook and an open livewell.

Hill almost always fishes by himself, but he’s helped numerous crappie anglers find their way around the lake, taught them how to catch fish and even brought them along to demonstrate his techniques in person. 

I told him if he ever wanted to go give somebody a lesson, I was a willing learner. So I was happy when a text message came through telling me the time was finally right.

Feeling the bite

We headed out up the D’Arbonne arm of the lake with the idea of fishing some of his best spots. February on Lake D’Arbonne and most large North Louisiana reservoirs is a special time. 

It’s when big schools of crappie stay in the deep channels, suspended about 10 to16 feet deep in 20 to 30 feet of water. It’s also when crappie start migrating from the edges of sloughs and creeks onto flats, staging for spawning. 

And it’s when some of the front-runners are already scoping out their