After a rash of thefts near the end of last year’s fishing season, Gary Bollmeyer, owner of Gare’s Bait ‘n Tackle in downtown Correctionville, Iowa, placed a security camera inside his bait house, where customers often purchase nightcrawlers and chicken livers using the honor system when no one’s tending the store.

A sign posted in the bait house not far from the Little Sioux River reads: “If you need bait and I’m not here, please help yourself in this little bait shed. Night crawlers are in the fridge. Chicken livers, chubs and shrimp are above in the freezer compartment.”


A notebook is provided for customers to enter their name and the bait they bought along with a container to place the money.

“Please be honest,” is Bollmeyer’s only request.

Despite his trust and plea for honesty, Bollmeyer’s camera nabbed its first culprit this year last week, when it taped someone swiping a $5 can of Sonny’s Super Sticky Channel Cat Bait.

Yep, the stinker stole stink bait.

The Sioux City Journal reports that the sticky-fingered stink bait pilferer has since come forward to confess and apologize for his grievous lack of good judgment. He even paid the shop owner $10—twice the value of the bait—for the trouble he caused.

“He only took one can of bait, but he paid me for two,” said Bollmeyer, who declined to press charges. “I know he felt bad he did it.”

The lesson? Honesty is the best policy.

Even for fishermen.