Theresa Weiser is the owner of Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. dba Wild Strawberry Lodge. She has been on the water for most of her life, growing up on the Oregon coast and beginning her career as a deckhand on charter boats in her teenage years. From that experience, Theresa knew that she loved fishing and all the thrills associated with it. So in 1978 she came to Alaska and never looked back. For several years, she worked on a couple of commercial trollers and longline vessels and at a fish processing plant, Icicle Seafoods—getting a taste of the Alaska commercial fishing industry. Then in 1985 she moved permanently to Sitka, Alaska—home of world class fishing for King Salmon, Silver Salmon, and Halibut.
About five years passed, as Theresa became an entrepreneur and built a strong business of curing and marketing salmon eggs for salmon, trout and steelhead fishing. In the spring of 1990, she sold her bait business and earned her U.S.C.G. 50 ton Master’s Captain License.
Shortly thereafter Theresa became an entrepreneur again as she partnered up with three others and started Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. That was the beginning of her Captaining experience, providing first class fishing and full service packages to people who love to fish. In 1993 the business moved to the current location adjacent to Thomsen Harbor, with Theresa and one partner. Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. dba Wild Strawberry Lodge became solely Theresa’s business in December 2005.
Theresa and her husband, John Belcher, (captain of the “High Roller”) have two beautiful daughters—who also love fishing. Because Theresa is a mom as well as a business owner, she strives to provide a quality vacation environment she can be proud of. With the awesome meals, laid-back surroundings, and terrific staff seeing to their every need, clients often describe Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. / Wild Strawberry Lodge as their “home away from home.” Many of her clients are now her good friends, and they return year after year to delight in more great fishing and relive past good times. In fact, the many friendships Theresa has developed with her clients are one reason she absolutely loves her job.
During her 28 plus years running charters, Theresa has personally trained numerous captains and deckhands, showing them how to provide top-notch service and get on the fish. She takes special pride in her guides being both strong King Salmon moochers and excellent at pulling in the halibut.
Inside the Wild Strawberry Lodge, she has everything running smoothly, with a gourmet dinner chef, friendly client coordinators, competent office staff, trained housekeepers, and all the others who will do whatever it takes to make sure you have the best fishing vacation ever! The name Alaska PREMIER Charters is not taken lightly; Theresa has the experience, know-how, and staff to ensure your lodging and fishing experience in Sitka will create everlasting memories.
Johnny Belcher has been one with the sea for as long as anyone can remember. Starting as a commercial diver at age 14, and eventually moving on to Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. in 1996, Johnny rarely seems to leave the water. Johnny has also been a commercial halibut long-liner for over 10 years, which has given him ample experience in the migration and distribution patterns of halibut. As an all-time winner of the McGyver award, and with his natural flair for good fishing stories and non-stop entertainment, fishing with Johnny is a unique experience.
Emiliano Zapata Mural Commissioned by Belcher Family
Johnny Belcher, who grew up in the Emiliano Zapata colonia (neighborhood) and Yelapa, recently commissioned a mural of Emiliano Zapata that graces the outer walls of his house in the Puerto Vallarta colonia, at the corner of Calles Jacarandas and Francisco Madero. The Belcher family planned this mural as a gift to their neighborhood, and out of respect and admiration for the heroic figure for which it was named.