What makes us special? Our team! Each individual truly cares about our guest family, your experience, and is committed to helping to protect the animals and ocean that we all love. Here's a bit about some of the familiar faces you may encounter:
Christina is a life-long Virginia Beach local who handles all the behind the scenes operations for Rudee Tours. Maintaining the day to day operations, scheduling groups for private charters, handling the finances, and advertising are just a few of the many responsibilities she has. She has been here since the beginning of Rudee Tours creation and knows all the ins and outs of the company. Throughout the years she has worked with the company to make it into what it is today. She keeps Rudee Tours a well-oiled machine, which has led it to be a successful and popular, local business. Outside of work life, Christina has been married for over 30 years, is a proud mother of two sons, two beautiful daughters in law, and grandmother to 4 amazing grandbabies!
For Captain Skip, boating a is lifelong passion, and a family affair. From one of the most well-known fishing families on the East Coast, no one knows more about the local waters & navigation of our area than this third-generation captain. After earning his Captain’s license 35 years ago, Skip perfected his skills at Rudee Inlet and Pirate’s Cove racking up the fishing records. He’s in charge of operating and running our fleet of head boats, in addition to overseeing the Virginia Beach Fishing Center. Dedicated to protecting the oceans and fisheries, he serves on several advisory panels for the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. You’ll frequently find Skip aboard one of our eco-excursions for marine mammals, which is quite fitting as he helped to start whale watching in Virginia Beach.
Captain Mark has spent nearly his entire life learning the fishing business. Being second generation waterman, he’s more familiar with the water than many others. He grew up and began fishing in Gloucester, VA helping his family and father with their fishing company. Knowing how to catch and find fish seems like second nature for Mark. After obtaining his 100 Ton Master’s, he began steadily running boats and has been with the company for over 25 years. He’s a staple at the marina, and works tirelessly putting customers on the fish nearly every day. To add even more emphasis to uncanny ability to locate the top spots to fish, he holds the World Record Yellow Edge Grouper weighing in at 46lbs and 2oz. His son, Tyler, is never far from his side learning the business from the best.
Captain Wes carries on the family tradition being a fourth-generation captain alongside his dad, Skip. After spending his young life learning from the best of the best, he added the title “Captain” before his name at the age of 20. Wes has immense knowledge of the fleet and of the fishing grounds in and around Rudee Inlet and Virginia Beach, as he was practically raised on these vessels. He’s a jack of all trades, and keeps our boats in pristine condition with his impressive welding skills and engine work. He is a well-respected captain, and when he is in the wheel house you easily could mistake him for an “old salt”, with his talent on the water. During the summer, you’ll usually spot him aboard his favorite warm weather office: the Rudee Rocket!
If you’ve checked out the incredible photos from our trips, you’re undoubtedly already a fan of the photographer. Kristin is the talent behind those stellar snaps! In addition to her mad picture-taking skills, she’s passionate about educating the public and showing our passengers the importance of protecting our ocean’s inhabitants. Kristin graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Marine Science. She quickly found the perfect way to put her studies to work and joined our team. For the last 14 years, she’s helped our passengers learn about the diversity off of our coast and really enjoys watching the reactions of our visitors experiencing dolphins and whales for the first time. Kristin has a keen eye for photo-identification, and helps to maintain our catalog where we are learning more about the animals we see!
Alexis is a lifelong animal lover and ocean advocate. Upon finishing her graduate work in psychology, biology, and education at North Carolina State University, she landed right where she belongs: here at the beach! Alexis believes that each of our excursions serve as an unrivaled platform that not only allow our guests to learn about the marine environment, but functions as an important step in creating action to protect coasts and oceans around the world. You’ll frequently spot her alongside our guests smiling giddily, squealing in glee (guard your ears), and gripping the rails with excitement and joy at the sights and sounds we are treated to on our trips. Alexis just recently checked obtaining her Captain’s license off of her to-do list, so you may also see her behind the wheel as we are learning more about the animals and their homes.
From northern Indiana, Kyle is relatively new to life on the salt water. You’d never know it, as he’s right at home here in Virginia Beach. He’s been working on commercial and recreational fishing vessels for the last several years, and has also logged extensive time on Lake Michigan. Whether you’re inshore or 60 miles offshore, you’ll see him working the deck of his home away from home: the Rudee Angler. Time away from the “office” is usually spent in a similar fashion as his time on the clock- out on the water, and fishing!
Casey, the self-proclaimed “Dolphin Whisperer”, is right at home where you’ll frequently find him- on our speedboat, the Rudee Rocket! He’s been a part of the Rudee Tours team for 9 years, and was originally a mate on our fishing boats. He traded his hooks for his microphone, and his favorite part about the Rocket is that each trip is different and you never see the same thing twice! On Casey’s rare time off, you’ll regularly spot him in his kayak fishing the hot spots of Rudee Inlet.
Taryn fell in love with the ocean at an early age, despite growing up in landlocked Kentucky. After graduating with a degree in Marine Science from Eckerd College in Florida, she found her way to Virginia Beach. Here, she’s living the dream sharing her love for marine life with visitors from all over the world. You’ll typically find her with her camera in hand snapping photos of some of the stellar sights we experience in our floating office.
Joyner, a native Virginia Beacher (we just coined a new term!), fits right into our fleet-family. A hard worker with positive vibes, he jumps right into the fold however needed. He’s rocked the winter boat work like no one’s business, charms the guests on our cruises, and knocks it out of the park on our fishing trips. His mom, who operates a local must-see hangout, the Coastal Café’, helped to direct Joyner in our direction, as she’s been a long-time member of our guest family on our fishing trips. When not working, you’ll still find Joyner living on the edge… surfing, rock-climbing, and of course, with a rod & reel in his hand.
Having worked as a mate aboard our fishing boats since 2015, you’ll likely recognize this friendly face who continues in the family tradition. Growing up helping her father, Captain Rusty, living the salt life comes easily for Haley. You’ll spot her on our fishing trips inshore and offshore, rocking her signature smile while helping folks to untangle lines, unhook fish, and bait up. As she’s more comfortable at sea than she is on land due to her frequency out floating, you’ll find Haley spends her time not working doing the same thing… fishing!
coming REEL soon...
Rusty grew up right here on Rudee Inlet and fell in with the head boat crowd in the business infancy. He worked on the deck for many years before earning his Captain’s license in 1985. After working all phases of the fishing business, he branched into the tugboat industry. There, Rusty has been a captain for 22 years, and has been in Philadelphia with Vane Brothers for the past 13 years. His schedule with them allows him two weeks a month home to work for Rudee Tours in any capacity needed. A true team player, he is willing to run any of the boats and trips, and will pitch in on the upkeep and repair end of things. The Fishing Center is a family affair for Rusty. His daughter, Kylie, works in the office and his daughter, Haley, is often by his side working on the fishing boats. His wife Sheri, whom he met at the Fishing Center in 1995, is along for the ride on the boats more often than not as she is an avid ocean lover.
Charlie is a familiar friendly face you’ve likely encountered at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, and aboard our fleet. He’s been on the water most of his life, and that’s where he’s most comfortable. Charlie began fishing at an early age, and has been hooked ever since. The experience is quite evident as he’s earned the Virginia Expert Angler Award… twice! The citations are also piling up with over 15 awards for 8 different species. If you don’t see him with his rod & reel, you’ll find him making sure things operate smoothly around the marina, or behind the wheel captaining one of our boats.
From the day he was born, Captain Robby was destined to be a head boat captain. As a second-generation captain, he was raised on the docks and waters off Cape Henry. After school and during summer break, the marina was the only place he wanted to be. The seasoned captains and deckhands took him under their wings, preparing him for the day he would become a deckhand and eventually a captain. After years of experience, he received his 100 Ton Master’s license at the age of 20 and has been running boats ever since. There’s no other way he’d rather spend his days than watching an angler catch their first fish or a seasoned angler catching “THE BIG ONE”. Home, for Captain Robby, is on the water along the coast of Virginia Beach at the helm of a head boat.
Ethan, an avid angler, has been a proud part of the Rudee Tours family for many years. Our regular deep drop fisherman love him, as he is skilled with either a rod or a gaff in his hands. In addition, Ethan has impeccable knife skills, and is one of our top fish preparers. As a dedicated dockhand, he works hard to maximize your fishing time on the water. He can be seen spending endless time on our boats keeping the tackle in superior shape. As a former varsity wrestler for high school, in his spare time, he likes to exercise and can be seen running by the marina when not out on trips. Ethan recently signed with the Marines, but you’ll still have a chance to witness his impressive skillset when he’s in town.
If you’ve been on site with us, you’ve undoubtedly been charmed by the reigning force of our premises: Rudee Inlet Catch of the Day, or better known as Mahi to most of her fans. In addition to providing smiles (and frequently kisses) to each face she encounters, Mahi also enjoys hunting, swimming, and boat rides- dolphins are her favorite!