I saw one of these frozen bait vending machines near a local tackle shop and posted a photo here the other day. I wondered, who came up with this idea? And how does it work? So, in the spirit of bringing you news and information you can’t find elsewhere, here is the story behind the frozen bait vending machine.
“It was a culmination of many people, some of whom had family members who were fishermen,” said Tom Gautsch, eastern regional sales manager of Fastcorp, the frozen vending machine company that makes it. ”They thought our ice cream machine would be perfect for selling frozen bait.”
The vending machine is a chest freezer with a robotic arm that vacuums the selected product from inside to deliver through the opening port. Baits are stocked by different venders that vacuum seal the baits before freezing them. The machine I saw sold peanut bunker, spearing, as well as pre-fabricating rigs for bluefish, striped bass, and blackfish.
Would you buy from a frozen bait machine? If you fish with bait, and the tackle shop’s doors are locked, and the fish are biting…
What about quality? Well, the shelf life in the machines for ice cream is 18 months. Said Gautsch, “As long as somebody doesn’t unplug the machine, the bait should last a while.”