Meet Our Machinery
May 18, 2023
St. Croix Social Media Manager, Blake Tollefson, drives angler engagement
Sporting one of the best beards in the recreational fishing industry, Blake Tollefson of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin has one of the most-recognizable faces in the fishing biz. “I do get a lot of comments on the beard… especially from some of the folks on St. Croix’s Marketing Team,” Tollefson says. “I guess it’s a nice compliment.”
Tollefson is a regular face on fishing social media pages from St. Croix Rod, Eurotackle, Norfin, Marcum, and the other companies he works with, as well as on his byline for popular publications like Midwest Outdoors and Outdoor News, for whom he contributes regular fishing articles. The notoriety of Tollefson’s beard is only exceeded by his work ethic, humble nature, fishing and communications abilities, creativity, faith, and love for his family.
Tollefson has served as St. Croix’s Social Media Manager for the past three years or so. He is also on St. Croix’s pro staff as a content creator and is a field tester on the company’s Product Development Team.
“As St. Croix’s Social Media Manager, I’m involved in helping the Marketing Team develop its annual campaign calendar, then crafting social media posts that help our anglers engage with those topics,” Tollefson says. “Our social media content comes from a lot of different places, but mostly from our photo and video shoots and from our vast pro staff – we’re blessed to have a really diverse and talented group of anglers on our staff.”
Tollefson says the campaign themes are really just a way for the St. Croix team to outline the seasonal, relevant fishing topics that anglers are interested in seeing and engaging with. “The goal is to post unique and interesting content that keeps anglers excited about fishing opportunities and aligns with St. Croix’s core values – speaking humbly as an authority on fishing-rod design and manufacturing, emphasizing family values, and improving the angling experience. That’s pretty much what we do on our end,” Tollefson says. “Ultimately, it’s all about creating opportunities for engagement with other anglers.”
An avid angler who spends more than 100 days fishing each year, Tollefson grew up a walleye angler in Moose Lake, Minnesota. “Today, I still fish for walleye, but I definitely consider myself a multi-species angler. I love to fish for smallmouth and trout, but panfish are my favorite – specifically, crappies,” he says. His favorite rod is the St. Croix Legend Elite Panfish 7’0”, light power, extra-fast action spinning rod (LEP70LXF). “I think it’s the best and most versatile panfish rod ever made. It’s insanely light and sensitive. I’ve used a lot of panfish rods in my life, but never one like this.”
Tollefson is a busy man. He works a full-time job for a Wisconsin utility company in addition to all the part-time work he undertakes in the fishing industry. When he isn’t working, fishing, or crafting St. Croix social media posts, he’s either writing fishing stories, taking fishing photos, or spending quality time with his wife, Danika, and two-year-old daughter, Baker. “Thankfully, my wife and daughter like to fish, too, so we spend a lot of time together on the boat, and even on the ice,” Tollefson says. “I also enjoy hunting when I have the time.”
Tollefson says one of the best parts of being a part of the St. Croix family is the opportunity it affords to connect with so many great people and anglers. “I get to work with a lot of super people and a bunch of incredible anglers,” he says. “Among that group, there’s a couple people who I’ve always looked up to and respected who don’t get enough credit for what they do for anglers and angling. Tony Roach is one of them. He’s from my hometown, and after more than 20 years of guiding in Northern Minnesota, he’s still at the very top of his game – one of the best fishing guides in the world and one of the very best people you could hope to meet. Joel Nelson is another. Joel works a full-time job outside of the fishing industry like me, but also writes, speaks, and advocates tirelessly for anglers.”
Follow Blake Tollefson – and his spectacular beard – on Facebook and Instagram @btollefsonfishing.