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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.

Dave Christenson

General Manager

Dave has a great love and appreciation for the outdoors, and has fished with his father (a Wisconsin-based fishing guide) since he can remember. He has learned many techniques throughout his career of fishing different species, and enjoys everything from fishing with kids on family trips and chasing big bluegill, crappies and walleyes, to his main love of catching big muskies! (His favorite techniques for fishing muskies are topwater and sucker fishing.)

Having spent the last 5 years in sales within the fishing and hunting industry, Dave has appreciated the opportunity to talk and live his passion. In the last few years he has also been fishing bass tournaments and continuing to expand his knowledge of fishing.

Dave guides in the Twin Cities metro area, up north, and into Wisconsin, and truly enjoys introducing others to fishing or teaching them new techniques. He is also an extreme ice fisherman and spends a lot of the winter targeting big gills and crappies, in addition to walleye, perch, and pike. Dave says a monster bluegill through the ice can be as thrilling as a huge musky!

His extreme love for fishing also inspired him to making plastic fishing baits, great for ice fishing and summer. (Dave’s Wedgees / Top Water Tackle). Dave looks forward to talking fishing with you! 

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.


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.

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.


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.


Dan Swendsen ECommerce Marketing

Dan Swendsen

Marketing Director

Fishing and hunting across the Midwest for 20+ years, Dan rarely passes up an opportunity to get outdoors. Whether it's chasing trophy musky at the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods, kayak fishing for big bass near the Twin Cities, or anything in between, Dan takes the outdoors seriously (while not taking himself seriously). 

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Dan polished his marketing and sales skills in brand marketing and eCommerce roles for several large brands, where he was fortunate in being able to combine his love of the sporting world and growing businesses.

Since joining the Blue Ribbon team in 2017, Dan has been continually seeking how Blue Ribbon can better serve its loyal customers at the Oakdale, MN location and online shoppers across the U.S. and Canada. If you'd like to get a hold of him, you can contact Dan here