THOMAS A. KVAMME- Union-Times
FORESTON – Beginning Thursday (today) Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be joining with area residents and dignitaries as the 2017 Minnesota fishing opener draws near.
The city of St. Cloud will serve as host for the event as
community hosts gather on the Mississippi River, eagerly awaiting the opening of this time-honored tradition.
Various community activities are scheduled throughout the greater St. Cloud area, running through Saturday, including a community picnic.
While anglers get in the act with the opener on Saturday, an individual well known around these parts will fill a familiar media role once again as a radio host, talking up the opener.
These days, when not out guiding, hunting or fishing, Chris Kuduk makes his home in Foreston.
He notes he has been guiding for “some 40 years,” and used to live at the lake.
Kuduk, 58, a 1977 graduate of Brooklyn Center High School, spent his youth learning the fishing trade at a very young age.
He indicated he had been up to Wigwam Bay, while driving launches and small boats at a very early age.
That experience led to him earning his captain’s license at around “16-17 years of age.”
HALL OF FAME
All of his time on the water paid off with his induction into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2011.
He continues to work as a small boat guide on Mille Lacs, where he also drives launches for a number of resorts.
His Hall of Fame status, along with the fishing and outdoor activities, has led to him serving as a host of a radio station (KTLK) out of the Twin Cities.
On iHeartRadio, broadcast out of St. Louis Park, he talks about outdoor adventures on AM103.
Along with the broadcast, Kuduk indicated a podcast is in place from 1-2 p.m. each Saturday, while the show is aired live on Sunday mornings as well.
The talk is about anything in the outdoors, including chats with the Duck Commanders from Duck Dynasty fame.
Other guests include the Linders in Brainerd, others in northern Minnesota, along with North and South Dakota.
Over the years Kuduk has made a number of friends who now chat about hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, hot cars, along with “everything.”
Kuduk spent a few years working as the manager of the Milaca High Rise and townhouses, before purchasing a farm in rural Milaca.
A while back, he simply opted to go “fishing full time and never looked back.”
His children, Joe and Jenna, are both graduates of Milaca High School.
Joe resides with his wife and family, consisting of a boy and girl in Mankato, while Jenna makes her home with her husband in Bowlus that includes a boy and a girl, giving Kuduk four grandchildren.
Kuduk pointed out the youngsters have already shown an interest in outdoor activities.
ON THE LAKE
While he would like to see the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allow for keeping two walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake, he doesn’t see his business slowing down any time soon.
While the bass season hasn’t opened yet, “my customers are old-school and still like to go out there and catch the big ones and take pictures,” Kuduk said.
He added, “there’s no shortage of walleyes in that lake.”
Meanwhile, he will continue with his full slate of activities, that includes doing a number of kids events.
Throughout the season one of his sponsors is the Cornerstone automotive group out of Elk River, and his bright blue pick-up can be seen from a distance in Milaca, sporting fishing decals.
His love for fishing and the great outdoors has earned him the title as being a “reel character.”