In September 2014, Rudy Tsukada of Anchorage set a goal for kayak angling—catch a king salmon every month for a year.
Tsukada recently landed his twelfth king in Cook Inlet out of Homer from his kayak, achieving his goal of catching a salmon every month for a year.
“(June and July) were the toughest months, and the fish I caught were very small,” says Tsukada. “I finally had to launch from the Port of Anchorage and paddle to the mouth of Fish Creek, but I hooked up. The July king was a jack, but it wasn’t about huge kings, it was about using the kayak as a flexible platform to catch kings year-round.”
The angler fished aboard a 12 1/2-foot, sit-on, pedal-driven Hobie Outback kayak. Fishing from a kayak allowed Tsukada to fish more often during the winter months, when weather keeps most anglers off of water because of poor road and launch conditions.
“Catching kings from September to December is pretty normal, but by January the opportunities get limited due to the winter weather,” he says. “The fish are there. It’s just getting to them.”
The mild winter and lack of snow last winter helped Tsukada keep fishing during the winter months. Still, he got chilled to the bone on several occasions during his quest.
Tsukada says he caught his best fish, a 16.2-pound chinook, in March to win the kayak division of the Homer Winston King Salmon Derby.