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Finding Minnesota: Minnow Shots Down The Hatch

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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NELSON, Minn. (WCCO) – Since the other fish in the lake already see them as snack food, minnows do the job of luring “the big ones” to the hook.

Who knew they could also lure humans into a bar?

The Corral Supper Club in Nelson, Minn., celebrates the fishing season with Friday night shots – with a splash of minnow.

“I’m a little nervous to tell you the truth,” said Kristin Klemenhagen of Alexandria, as she nervously eyed the fish tail sticking out of her shot glass. “I’m hoping it stays in, you know — doesn’t come back out (of my mouth).”

For $7, willing participants get a shot of booze or pop with a minnow inside, and a celebratory T-shirt that declares “I Shot The Minnow.”

Corral’s owner, Ken Jensen, started the tradition eight years ago.

“The first year, I ordered 100 T-shirts, thinking that was going to be it for the whole summer,” he said. “And I ran out by two hours after I started it.”

They started with live minnows, until the Minnesota Department of Health intervened. Now, they get them frozen and specially wrapped.

Jensen said he expects to sell 6,000 to 8,000 minnow shots between next weekend and Labor Day.

One customer, Terry Loeffler, said he has taken part every year from the beginning.

“I’ve seen families — grandpa and grandma and the kids all come down here and have their pictures taken while they’re doing this,” Loeffler said.

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