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Jacksonville fisherman creates 24/7 bait vending machine

At the dock without bait? At 4 a.m., you may be out of luck. That's the problem Buddy Strickland wanted to solve.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville fisherman is now an businessman solving a fishy problem.

In 6 months, Strickland has reconfigured two vending machines where fishermen can get frozen bait any time of day. It's called Bait Til' Late.

Picture this. Its before dawn. You’re heading to the marina for an early morning fishing trip. 

As you load your boat, you realize something.

"I was weary-eyed at the boat ramp and I noticed I forgot the bait," Strickland said. "So I turned around and tried to hit a couple local bait shops, all of them were closed so I was unsuccessful. I had to go all the way back to the house and on the way back I thought if there was a service that offered bait 24/7, that would be great for all local fishermen in the Jacksonville area.”

A fish-tale as old as time, but it was an idea that sparked something new in Strickland. He started a new business that you’ll wish you thought of first.

"We bought it as an ice cream machine and then we modified the shelves to be able to hold bait," Strickland said. 

Bait Til' Late takes cash, card, Google and Apple pay.

"It keeps the bait at negative 5 degrees so there is no outside smell and you don’t have to worry about your bait spoiling," he said. 

Strickland’s goal is to be at every marina in the state. Two down, many more to go.

His two machines are at Palms Fish Camp and Fort George Island Marina.

Strickland also delivers bait directly to customers in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Fernandina Beach. 

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