I’ve only gone freshwater bass fishing a handful of times in the last five years. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. I love to catch fish, so it doesn’t really matter where it happens. It’s just that most of my gear and my whole routine is around saltwater. That being said, the one really good fresh-bass trip I’ve had in recent years was when a buddy named Marco called me from his boat. He was on a lake just minutes away from a job site where I was working. Marco said come on down, he would pick me up dock. He had live crawfish to use as bait. The crawfish were money. I tied a dropshot rig, pinned on a bait, and flipped it next to a dock piling. First cast and bam! Game on.

I never found out where Marco got that bait. If I knew, I’d have gone back by now, it was that much fun. It’s no wonder that Kelly Hutson has no problem selling all the crawfish he can catch. Find out where he sells catch in this Outdoor Life article.

bait_hutsonKelly Hutson was intent on becoming a computer programmer when he enrolled at California State University in Chico. However, when a friend showed him how to catch crayfish out of a rice field, Hutson hit the delete button on the computer science degree.

“It was 1986 when I first went out with my buddy. I realized, man, you can make a lot of money doing this. Plus, you don’t have to sit staring at a computer screen all day. And you can avoid big cities altogether. So I was all in,” he says.

In 1987, Hutson bought a small johnboat, and along with fishing the rice fields for wild crayfish, he started plying nearby rivers. Eventually, his rounds would take him all the way to the Sacramento River and the California Delta, and over to the Feather River that feeds Lake Oroville.

Photos: Outdoor Life