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Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle Store Staff

 Josh Stevenson

Owner & General Manager (since 2004)

Before Josh could apply to grad school in pursuit of a master’s degree (after graduating from the University of Minnesota), he had the rare opportunity to make a lifelong dream come true. The bait store he had worked at since the age of 14 was up for sale. With characteristic passion and determination, Josh switched career tracks and purchased the store, applying his accumulated knowledge and enthusiasm to the creation of a reinvigorated “home base” meeting place for area anglers.

Josh’s life has revolved around fishing since he first learned to cast from the shores of Tanner’s lake. He established his own successful guiding service nearly 20 years ago ( and caught the Minnesota State Record Tiger Musky in 1999. If you’ve seen Josh on television, perhaps on one of the episodes of “The Hunt for Big Fish” with Larry Dahlberg, or on the local news, you already have an idea of Josh’s enthusiasm when it comes to fishing and helping others catch the fish they’re after. Josh has high expectations of his store and his staff, and he wants you to have a memorable experience whenever you walk through the doors of Blue Ribbon. When he’s not out fishing or at the store, Josh is likely at home spending time with his wife, Laura, and daughters, Anabelle Emma, and Naomi.

Travis Hultgren

Assistant Manager, Buyer, Pro Staff Member

Travis has been fishing muskies and other game fish in Minnesota and Wisconsin for more than twenty years.

Travis' incredible enthusiasm, coupled with his farm-grown, friendly personality make him easy to talk to, and you’ll appreciate his natural ability to teach you how to become a better fisherman. He has placed in multiple tournaments and placed first in three, the latest being the 2011 George Wahl Memorial Musky Tournament. Travis also hand-ties and assembles some awesome lures as Owner and Manufacturer of Musky Mafia Tackle. Once you meet Travis, you will know why Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle is so happy to have him on our staff.

Bernie Krenner

Sr. Sales Associate

Bernie was a Math teacher in the North St Paul School District, retiring several years ago, and fully retiring from substitute teaching three years ago. He is extremely happy to be back in the Bait and Tackle business with Blue Ribbon.

Bernie has been fishing since the age of seven starting with a drop line over the side of the boat seeking Sunfish. By the age of eleven, he was after Bass, and his passion for fishing has grown ever since.

That passion has taken him to the Amazon River in South America, fishing for Peacock Bass, and to Mexico, fishing for Largemouth Bass. Bernie has also gone north into Canada many times seeking Smallmouth Bass and Muskies in Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods and several other lakes. He has also been on numerous fishing expeditions all over the US. Bernie, like any good fisherman, will be glad to describe the fish he has caught and how he caught them in great detail if you ask him. Or even if you don’t ask.

Bernie’s experience with retail bait sales began at age 12 when he sold minnows and worms at his Dad’s bait shop on Rice Street. He has progressed to his current Senior Sales position where his worldly experience will help select the best bait and equipment for whatever fishing is desired, except maybe for the Loch Ness Monster. With his Math background, he can even make change without the cash register’s help.

Andrew Landstrom

Sales Associate

Andrew has the unique ability to look you straight in the eye and tell you exactly what you need in a friendly, no-nonsense way. We were lucky enough to have him on staff for 3 years before he joined the Marine Corps, and now we're lucky enough to have him back.

Andrew Ching

Sales Associate

Andrew has been fishing ever since he could hold a rod. He fishes for just about everything in Minnesota, but primarily targets trout in Southeastern Minnesota. He attends Eagan High School and plans to study fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota. He also hunts deer and waterfowl on his Grandpa's farm in Lake Elmo.

Max Friedrich

Sales Associate

Max has enjoyed fishing since he was little and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others to help them learn more about the sport. Max enjoys fishing for all species of fish but Big Muskies and Big Northerns are his favorite species to target. Ever since Max caught his first muskie he has been hooked to fishing.

Come into Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle and Max will be glad to share his knowledge about fishing and get you what you need to get started!

Jennifer Hartigan

Sales Associate

Jennifer grew up fishing at her family cabin in Hackensack, MN. Her favorite thing to fish for is panfish. She especially loves to talk to the kids that come into the bait shop and to see the excitement they have for fishing!

Jennifer loves exploring and trying new lakes, but her favorite lakes are Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and metro lakes.

Laura Stevenson

Website Content Editor, Bookkeeper

Laura is excited to be a part of the action-packed small-business world, and is happy to contribute by writing content for the website and online store, communicating with Blue Ribbon online customers and Mighty Musky Guide clients, and managing the bookkeeping. Her three daughters, Anabelle, Emma and Naomi, ensure there is plenty of time for other activities as well, such as playing outside, climbing around in daddy's boat, and leaving plenty of cheerios on the floor for mom to step on.