In the early years jigging wasn’t as popular as it is today. The big draw was cheap minnows. The big competition was a bait shop on 61, at the drive in theater near Rains Road. The owner would haul his own minnows and cut out the middle man. So, I did the same but selling minnows to break even is the trick. I would buy minnows not sized. We sold minnows the same way we bought them, by weight.
If you could keep down the dead minnow syndrome you could come out. A customer would come in and ask for 3 doz. So, you would weigh out the minnows and it never failed, they’d look in the bucket and say that’s not 3 doz. Then I would said make it easy on yourself, double or nothing. What’s that mean? If there’s less than 3 doz. they’re free, but 3 doz. or more and you pay double. Being the minnows weren’t sized the house always won. You would get to do this at least 3 times before they’d catch on.
We’d pay 1 cent per minnow and sell them for 3 cents.
The big trick was keeping the minnows alive. First plenty of fresh water. Your drain would be 2 inches lower than that of the tank. You would have a flow restricter that was a 2” pipe over a 1” pipe. The 2” pipe had 15 1/4” holes, and the top was at your desired depth of the vat. Minnows have scales. Sun light let’s the minnow see each other and the males fight for the right to mate with the females. The top 2” of the tank collect all the waste the minnows put out and that’s why you have to leave a flow of fresh-water, without chlorine or it will kill the minnows. The water needs to be 55 degrees, so you need a cooler in the water that’s like a water AC unit. You also need antibiotics to treat the minnows, to keep them from getting sores from fighting. All that and you can make money selling minnows but only if you do all these things.
Also there was boat and motor rentals. Someone rents a boat and motor, but doesn’t pay attention to ya about how to crank an outboard motor. About half would be towed in, mad as hell because the motor won’t crank. So double or nothing come’s in again. You’d ask did you listen to me about the motor? Show me if it will crank. They would, but it wasn’t the way I told them and I’d say watch. I’d twist the throttle 2 times, hit the chock, and pull it one time. It would crank up every time.
Double or nothing; he’d owe me 50.00 instead of 25.00. Some fishermen will be mad as hell then, so you’d play “get like me”. Nobody knows about “get like me” but me. I made it up. You say we both get a coin flip, and I tell the fisherman he has to have what I have to win. It never fails as them who won, because whatever it is you say you lost. They are too embarrassed because they don’t understand. Half the time you let him win because he is a good sport. You know they always lose and the good sports it’s up to you 50/50.