Big Dan’s Fishing Charters and Riverfront Lodge: Meet the Owners

Homer Alaska fishing charters are abundant, but what makes the charter is the captain and his crew! Look no further than Captain Dan and his crew. They will work hard to make sure you have a great time and catch big fish. Get to know the owners:

Dan Spies | Owner/Captain of the Double Down

Big Dan Spies started his life on a farm in Russell, Kansas. He would wake up early in the morning to get all of his farm chores done so he could have the rest of the day enjoying the free range of the farm. He was taught at a very young age exactly what it meant to be a hard worker.  Dan was a very adventurous kid and to this day looks for adventures in life.

During Big Dan’s teen years his family moved to Kearns, Utah. He went from a school that had a graduating class of 13 to a school with 400 graduates. Football was his passion and where the name “Big Dan” originated. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but the hits were huge. “Big Dan” has stuck with him over the years because everything he does has to be big. For 30 years he has found enjoyment in building homes and saw the finished product as a huge accomplishment. Building was a challenge and Dan always loves a challenge. Construction proved to be a very good career, and for the last 17 years he has owned a successful construction company. In 2009, Dan was given an opportunity to move his construction company to Soldotna, Alaska.  Providentially, since he was ready for a change and wanted out of the rat race that the big city brought, this move proved to be the best decision Dan could have made for his family and himself and Big Dan’s was born.

From Road to Water

The slower paced Soldotna provided exactly the change that was needed. If you have fished in Alaska you know what it is like, and Dan can’t get enough of it. Ocean fishing is by far his favorite. The saltwater quickly became the place he wanted to be every chance he got. After a dozen saltwater trips Dan knew this was something he wanted to do full time, and he knew he would have a lot to offer the industry. He had ideas to ensure the best experience for clients. Dan purchased his first boat in 2013 and spent all his time on the water. Big Dan turned into Captain Dan and Big Dan’s Fishing was in full effect. 

Captain Dan has been part of the Homer Halibut Derby and has had two years in a row with two of the largest halibut caught. During the 2017 derby, Dan caught a monster halibut that was a whopping 251 pounds! Dan is goal-oriented and sets his standards high.  He hopes that he can show guests from around the world a good time and catch a lot of fish, but also have them leave Alaska with a newfound appreciation for The Greatland.

For the last few years, Dan has managed to run both his construction and fishing companies. Now with the support of his family and friends, Dan is moving away from construction to completely focus on his Homer Alaska fishing charters and live-aboard hunting transportation. The quality of the experience is what he strives for.  He makes sure he has the best of everything, from the most comfortable boat, to top of the line gear. The satisfaction he gets from being a captain is knowing he’s helping make memories that will last a lifetime.

Sarah Spies | Office Manager/Owner

Sarah was born in Gresham, Oregon and raised in American Fork, Utah.  She grew up in a large household of 10, the youngest of 8 children. Her adventures started from a young age being surrounded with so many siblings. Family activities were spent enjoying the outdoors whether it be hunting, fishing, camping, four-wheeling, hiking or taking long road trips. Having that type of upbringing led Sarah to always having a desire for adventure. Moving around and starting new is something that has always been a part of who she is.  When it came time to make the decision to move her family to Alaska, it wasn’t a hard one. Leaving her family so far away would be difficult, but giving her young family the opportunity to grow up in such a beautiful state was seen as a blessing. She and Dan had 4 children that would thrive in a place like Alaska.

New Adventure in Alaska

From the moment she arrived in Alaska, she couldn’t wait to share the beauty with others. It didn’t take long for her family to come for a visit. Sarah enjoyed showing them everything that she could while they were visiting. Hiking, fishing, kayaking, and sightseeing were endless activities to share. Word was going around quickly on how Alaska was the place to go; friends soon started to come up as well as extended family, and even co-workers of her siblings, each one contacting her for information on what to do while visiting. She was more than willing to put itineraries together for strangers to help ensure they had a memorable experience. Sarah loves being able to share all that she can with others. Her friends and family would tell her that she needed to be a tour guide or a host because it came natural to her. The enthusiasm she has to share all that she can is boundless.

Big Dan’s Fishing Charters has become a welcoming challenge to her. Her husband Dan is the dreamer and she’s the one who makes it all happen. Captain Dan admits she’s the brains behind the operation. Sarah’s outgoing personality, customer service experience, creativity, and attention to detail is what makes the experience with Big Dan’s Fishing Charters run smoothly.  Dan’s dreams have now become Sarah’s as well. 

Sarah will be the first person you’ll speak with in helping get your trip started, and probably the last person you see before you leave. Sarah is very excited to share all of what Alaska has to offer and looks forward to sharing your experience.

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