Dealing with stink bait mess
That doesn't surprise me at all that your clients want big fish. I don't see the point of traveling to ND and hiring a guide to catch eater fish. Big fish...Yes.
I'll admit the stinkbait prices are getting ridiculous around here. Fortunately, I have friends in the right places and the only ingredient I have to buy cost me $56 last year and should be enough to get me through this year.
By the time people get to me that is all they want is big fish. One two times have I had people prefer to catch eater fish in the nation's best trophy river.
For the record I use cut bait almost exclusively. My bait bill is usually about the same as the gas bill.
I'm in the same boat with Svitreum with baits. People around here just want catfish and numbers of them. I bought my first boat on Presidents day of 98 and have had 1 person request to fish for big channels/flatheads in all these years.
When I go cat-fishing I want to catch cats and only cats.
The few times I fished the Wisconsin River for cats I used cut bait and caught only cats, big ones at that. It depends on the body of water I suppose, and whether or not you wish to be "entertained" with other undesirable species.
As much as I like my bait, I would never just use it. The cut bait, live bait, shrimp, frogs, hoppers, and crawler guys all have their days where they come out on top.
I use Land O Lakes dip containers. When using liquid it runs to the bottom. Then I just put a snap swivel in the line and unhook set the messy stuff in it and put the lid on. These containers would work well even with a paste or dough bait to keep it out of the way.