Stop in soon, and let's talk fishing!

Who's Behind Blue Ribbon?

Blue Ribbon Open House 2019

Blue Ribbon Open House 2019

Our Mission

Our mission at Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle is to provide the tools, tackle, bait and fishing knowledge that will help anglers achieve fishing success. We take great pride in creating a friendly and open atmosphere in the shop. In addition to having an extensive line of tackle, we also carry a great variety of live bait that suits every angler's needs. When you leave our store, we want you to feel well-prepared and properly equipped before heading out to launch your boat or drill holes in the ice on your next fishing adventure.


Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle was originally established in 1981, but was purchased by Josh Stevenson in 2004. Josh had first started working at Blue Ribbon when he was 14 years old, and when the store went up for sale after his graduation from the University of Minnesota, he jumped career tracks to make his lifelong dream of owning a fishing store a reality.

Josh enlisted the help of many skilled friends and acquaintances, and together they spent countless hours renovating the store. He also expanded the inventory to reflect his love of musky fishing in particular. Under Josh's leadership, and thanks to nationally broadcast television shows like “The Hunt for Big Fish” with Larry Dahlberg, and frequent coverage from local news outlets, Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle has become a popular destination for area anglers.


A number of years ago, Josh booked a fishing guide trip ( with the Hockey Operations department of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club. That day on the St. Croix River, he met his soon-to-be wife, Laura Kinzel, who was the Executive Assistant for the department at that time. Since getting married, Josh and Laura have worked together tirelessly, developing new skills and pursuing new opportunities to make Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle the best it can be. Josh works long hours tending the store in the winter months and even longer hours during the guiding season, both on the water and in the store. Laura has taken on website content management, bookkeeping, and is also helping with product fulfillment for the online store. There are always plenty of challenges for a small, family-run business, but Josh and Laura are fully invested in the fishing industry, and are hopeful that future generations will continue to appreciate the natural resources that we as anglers are fortunate enough to enjoy.

Keep an eye out for pictures of their daughters, Anabelle (2012), Emma (2013) and Naomi (2015), as they learn their way around a boat...and before long, a baitcaster!

Thank you

We know you have unlimited retail options, especially considering the magnitude of today’s online marketplace. So when you purchase live bait, tackle or propane from us, or when you wear a Blue Ribbon hat or t-shirt around town, or when you proudly display our logo on your vehicle or boat, we want you to know we appreciate your support! If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to email us at

Whether you’re heading to the lake for muskies or just panfishing with a youngster, we've got you covered at Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle!