Angler of Interest - Rudy Tsukada E-mail
Written by Jon Shein   
Saturday, 21 January 2012 08:22


Salmon 600Rudy with a 36" King


Rudy Tsukada is a  regular on the KFM forums. He's up in Alaska and we enjoy his posts. He's a relative new comer to the kayak fishing scene but he's in a terrific place. Rudy hits the water with an arsenal of equipment including a whole bunch of GoPro cameras.


1)  When did you start kayak fishing?  My first kayak adventure was in 2008. I borrowed a no name sit on top when I lived in Western Washington. I used it to catch rockfish and small lingcod near the jetties off Westport. I was hooked immediately but my work schedule only allowed for a half dozen trips.   I should also point out that despite the name of my blog’s address, I am not a guide.

2)  What was your first kayak and what species of fish did you catch first?  The first kayak I ever fished from was a borrowed “no brand” kayak. Apparently it was a $150 Big Box store special. I caught black rockfish and small lings near Westport, WA.  The first “real” kayak I fished from of my own was a mini-x which that I purchased after a two year hiatus due to a move back to Alaska. I got it off of Craigslist. Although I was told, after the fact by many that a mini-x was a kayak that should strictly be used in small bodies of water like lakes and ponds, my complete ignorance proved to be my "ace in the hole."

3)  What kayak(s) are you presently using now?  My main kayak is a Hobie Outback.  My river and small lake kayak is my Malibu Mini-X.

4)  Where do you do most of your fishing and what species do you target the most?  Saltwater Salmon in south central Alaska is my target of choice currently.

5)  What’s your most unusual catch?  Spot shrimp from 500 ft down.

Salmon net 600Wrestling a nice king into the net

6)  Would you tell us about one or more of your most memorable kayak fishing experiences?  Anxious to try my Mini-X in Alaska, I launched out of Whittier, AK in late March of this year. I caught a very small rockfish. In the rockfish's mouth was a shrimp antenna sticking out. Of course my mind raced to figure out how I could pull shrimp pots from 500ft. I was successful in mounting a full size downrigger that did a great job.  

Determining that these oversized Tupperware were indeed legitimate fishing platforms, I next attempted saltwater kings in Cook Inlet.  In my first five attempts, a friend and I were able to land several small halibut and three king salmon! I couldn't believe it!!

To date my most memorable kayak fishing foray was with a friend I took out fishing. She had lived in Alaska all her life but had never caught a king salmon. First we rented an Aire Tiger inflatable kayak for her and she enjoyed it so much that she purchased a sit on top the next week. She and I, along with two other kayakers entered the 17th annual Anchor Point Calcutta King derby. The four of us were the first kayak entries ever in the derby! 

Less than 100 yards from the launch my friend hooked up.  The king pulled her around the ocean for 15 minutes and despite every effort on my part to lose her fish (I had not yet discovered that it is virtually impossible to net another kayaks fish) we land the beautiful 25 pound king. It made history as the first king ever entered from a non motorized boat in the derby’s 17 year history. Combine that with this being her first king salmon ever from any platform; it was truly a fish to remember. 

I upgraded to a Hobie outback and now have enough range to fish side by side with the powerboats. My mini-x has been relegated to my river drifting kayak. I hope to be able to introduce my two young kids to kayaking using  the mini-x over the next several years. 

All my life I have been an avid salmon fisherman. Mainly because we enjoy eating salmon and typically the fish are larger...and we all love BIG fish!  People are surprised to hear I own two powerboats. Neither came out of storage this year, yet I caught more fish over a longer period of time. I fish ocean conditions in my outback that I would not fish in my smaller 16ft skiff or even my 21ft center console. I feel my outback, all around, is a safer vessel. 

Although I have been fishing for nearly four decades, I cannot believe how one single piece of equipment has transformed my fishing experience in such a positive way.  My success in 2011 can be attributed mainly to time spent on the water and the advice and encouragement I received from the great group at Northwest Kayak Anglers over any type of skill since really this is my first full year, I look forward to the future to see what can be accomplished with my added experience in basically what will be year two of kayak fishing. 

Kayak fishing while having historic importance in Alaska Native culture is still in its infancy here in Alaska in more modern times. I hope through exposure from sites like Kayak Fishing Magazine that I will be joined by many more kayak fisherman this next season in what truly may be one of kayak fishing’s last frontier here in the United States…the GREAT state of Alaska!

Rudy’s equipment list:

Hobie Outback with turbo fins and Sailing rudder

Malibu Mini-x

Kokatat Supernova semi drysuit

Hummingbird 160 depthfinder

Folbe and Scottie rod holders

Yakattack Visicarbon Pro

Penn Fathommaster Downrigger



0 #1 EW 2012-01-23 01:18
Rudy, You the Man!
0 #2 BassAreBoring 2012-01-27 20:35
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
0 #3 charleslabounty 2012-04-02 09:39
If you could give me any information about fishing Cook Inlet in a Kayak, I would be very grateful. I'm thinking Deep Creek and Ninilchek (sp) areas.
Are the currents dangereous? I've been to that area 2 years ago and shore fished.
I have two Hobie Outbacks, but I'm thinkg of switching the the Sport models becaause I think i can strap them vertically to the back of my Minnie RV
and not stick up above the air conditioner. I know they're not as stable as the Outback - but the Outbacks are too heavy to haul up on the roof.
I'm thinking about driving up from Florida in July with my wife. (I have to get through 8 weeks of radiation before I leave - I don't expect to have many side effects in my overall health.)
0 #4 Mark Collett 2012-06-27 10:56
It has been my pleasure and honor to fish with the now famous kardinal-84.You are quite a guy,great sense of adventure,humor ,and not too bad a fisherman.Take care my friend.I hope to share water with you again in the future..

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