The Emerald Island Mothership concept began with the the Highliner Lodge’s owner, Steve Daniels’ vision of providing the proven best fishing opportunities for his guests. His singular ambition… to have the Highliner Lodge known as the very best fishing lodge in all of Alaska! Choosing the name, “HIGHLINER” for the lodge, which literally means the very best fisherman, he has been unabashed about this ambition.
The Highliner Lodge’s phenomenal success was made possible by channeling Steve’s passion for this vision and his knowledge that the Highliner Lodge was closest to the very best fishing grounds in all of Alaska. The Highliner Lodge adopted the motto, “Closest to the Fish!” As a 40 year veteran of commercial fishing, he knew this fishing location was vastly superior to the rest of Alaska and that he could prove it with published statistics from Alaska Department of Fish and Games and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The Highliner grew from a one boat operation with 12 guests in 2005… to 6 boats and 300-400 guests in 2015! What is truly remarkable about this, is that he accomplished this while most well established lodges lost many guests and more than a few formerly successful lodges went out of business during the Great Recession. Some might rightly conclude that this is proof enough that the fishing must be vastly superior at the Highliner Lodge!
In his quest to make the Highliner the best, he conceived of the Emerald Island Mothership Operation to place his guests even closer to the fish than at the Highliner. By moving the accommodations (the Emerald Island), essentially a floating lodge, and locating the vessel in a sheltered harbor 5 to 10 minutes from the best halibut and salmon fishing in Alaska… he could reduce the time his guests spent in transit to and from the fishing grounds every day. This saved at least two hours each day that could be added to the fishing experience! The goal was to add 2-3 hours of active fishing for his guests every day. More time fishing results in catching more and bigger fish!
2016 was the successful inaugural season for the Emerald Island and we are constantly upgrading and improving the operation.
While there are some yachts, that do some fishing side trips with small charter boats, we believe the Emerald Island is the only mothership operation with full sized charter boats operating in Alaska!
Steve and his Mom in 1976 with “his” first king salmon, a 52 pounder!
To read more about Steve go to the Highliner Lodge “About us” webpage.