“Quality merchandise and great service”
— that’s the pledge that Axel Englund made when he started
his store in Astoria in 1944. Since then, the business has
expanded to seven retail locations on the west coast: West Port WA,
Ilwaco, WA, Astoria (their main office), Newport, Charleston, Crescent
City, CA, and Eureka, CA.
I spoke with Mark Fleck, Store Manager for Englund
Marine in Charleston, about the family-owned business that he works
for. Mark started out in the Charleston store when he was in high
school, working during the summers. He then transferred to Crescent
City in 1986 and stayed there through 1994, when he took over as the
store manager in Charleston. His brother manages the Newport location,
one cousin is president of the company now, and another cousin
heads up their raft repacking facility.
When I asked Mark to describe a typical day at the
store, he replied, “part of the beauty of this job is that every
day is different, every week is different, and every month is
different. Nothing is ever the same. Our commercial fisheries are kind
of our ‘meat and potatoes’ because they’re open year
round, whereas our recreational fisheries tend to be more seasonal
through the summer. Over many years we’ve diversified our
inventory to more accommodate the recreational boater.”
Mark continued, “a big part of what we do is wire
rope rigging and cable, not necessarily at the Charleston store but at
the company as a whole. We do rope splicing, and make hydraulic hoses
of all types. We carry all kinds of foul weather clothing and
boots. We also stock clothing sizes to 5X and boot sizes to 15.
In addition, we have a life raft repacking station in Warrenton (close
to Astoria). All commercial fishing vessels are required to have their
life raft service annually. We unpack them and repack to make sure
they’re safe We’re fully licensed and our repackers
are certified for each brand of life raft we pack.”
Englund Marine’s industrial department carries a
range of supplies from drills and routers to welding supplies and
fittings. Their knowledgeable staff has the know-how to get anglers
started and equipped with all the items they need. They also have the
hottest new gear for tuna fishing to clam digging.
When I asked Mark what he sees in the future for the
company, he replied, “I’m a ‘glass is half
full’ kind of person so I always stay on the positive side.
We’ve had a tremendously healthy ocean for the last several
years, so we’ve been able to benefit from strong stocks.
There’s been an increase in the shrimp harvest, crab is more
cyclical and fluctuates more, but our overall value on crab has been
way up. We’re seeing an upswing in our salmon fishing, really
healthy bottom fish, and tuna’s been strong.”
Mark finished with “What is most fun about this
job is our customer base. We have the hardest-working family-owned and
operated businesses (boats). We have a great rapport and relationship
with our customers and we work hard to keep their business.”
Englund Marine is open 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday-Friday,
and 7:30 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday during the summer. They close
at 3:00 pm on Saturdays during the winter. They’re located
at 91146 Cape Arago Highway in Charleston. Give them a call at
541-888-6623 and get started on your way to enjoying the bounty of our
beautiful Pacific Ocean!