New bait shop hopes to lure in customers

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Brian Kimball recently opened Muddy Minnow Bait on the dock below McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden. The location is accessible by foot and by boat. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Muddy Minnow offers minnows, creek chubs, bullheads, leeches, night crawlers, wax worms, red worms and spikes.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A new bait shop on McGregor’s riverfront hopes to lure in customers with convenience and selection. Brian Kimball opened Muddy Minnow Bait on the dock below McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden around two weeks ago, filling a need in the community for both locals and visitors that he said hasn’t been met since Fiddler’s Bait Shop closed five years ago.

“You have to drive 20 miles to get bait anymore,” he said.

One weekend in July, he roadtripped to four places before finding what he needed.

Brian’s wife, Lisa, who’s the manager at the Beer and Bratz Garden, said she and the staff there frequently receive calls asking where people can get bait.

“I hear it all the time,” she remarked, “so this made perfect sense.”

Brian is selling minnows, creek chubs, bullheads, leeches, night crawlers, wax worms, red worms and spikes at Muddy Minnow.

“If you can fish with it, I can get it,” he assured.

A small amount of tackle, such as hooks and bobbers, is also available.

Brian is even offering fishing tips.

“I’ll tell anyone where I catch stuff,” he said. “If you go and catch fish, then you’ll come back and buy more bait.”

Brian said he plans to add signage in the coming weeks, to make his location more visible. The spot, he noted, is convenient for both foot and boat traffic.

“You can even pull right up to the dock,” he said.

“If you’re at the landing, you can grab your bait at the same time,” Lisa added.

Muddy Minnow Bait is currently open Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brian said he can be reached by phone, at (563) 880-5622, if people would like assistance outside the normal operating hours.

“If I’m nearby, I can come and open it,” he said.

He plans to remain open throughout the winter, keeping the same hours for the ice fishing crowd.

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