73 Years, 4 Generations, 1 Iconic NW Outdoor Store

Photos by Verle’s LLC

Verle Schreiber’s business grew from the ground up. Literally. In 1948, he started out with a hearty supply of nightcrawlers plucked from the Colwood Golf Course in Portland to start Verle’s Bait. Over the ensuing years, Verle added tackle, rods and reels, hunting and camping gear, outboard motors and boats to his offerings as his store continued to grow.

Verle’s third location until 1999 was on Olympic Highway North in Shelton.

Now, more than 70 years later and in its fourth generation of family ownership, Verle’s LLC has become one of the biggest, most respected marine and sporting goods stores in Western Washington. Located on Highway 101 just south of Shelton, Verle’s sits on 3.5 acres with 7,000 square feet of tackle and sporting goods retail space, an additional 7,000-square-foot service shop, and hundreds of boats on site year-round.

Second and third generations carry on the family legacy.

A “one-stop complete outdoor recreation store,” their lineup of boats, gear and accessories has an authentically Northwest focus, says Michelle Schreiber, retail sales manager. For instance, Verle’s is a “top 5 dealer” of Hewescraft Boats, the number-one-selling heavy-gauge aluminum boat in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Alumaweld Boats, specializing in premium welded aluminum fishing boats and based in White City, Oregon, is another top-seller. They’ve also sold Smokercrafts for almost 40 years.

Verle’s has all the fishing, hunting and firearms gear anyone would be looking for. Here are views inside their current location.

Verle’s carries a wide selection of new and used boats from these brands and others, as well as motors from Yamaha, Suzuki, Mercury and more. Whatever you’re looking for, they have a huge inventory, the knowledgeable sales staff to help guide you, and the maintenance technicians to get you back on the water.

With their beginnings as a bait seller, Verle’s has you covered when it comes to fishing tackle, gear and, yes, nightcrawlers (always on special for $1.99/a baker’s dozen).

“We have everything to fish all species of fish in the Pacific Northwest,” says Schreiber. “Forever popular brands grace our shelves: Lamiglas, Fenwick and Penn rods, to name a few, along with tackle by Luhr-Jensen, Blue Fox, Mack’s Wedding Rings. And of course, some local favorites: Leo flashers, Beau Mac gear, Cleardrift plastic baits, Big Al’s Fish Flash, and the ever-popular Berkley PowerBaits.”

Verle’s also has a wide selection of hunting gear for the upcoming seasons. “Our sporting goods retail side of the business has been over-the-top busy with firearms sales this past year, along with ammunition and reloading supplies,” adds Schreiber. “Our knowledgeable pro-staff are gun enthusiasts that love to share their passion of the shooting sports with new gun owners, helping them choose the one that suits their needs the most.” And what to do with all those fish you catch from your new boat, and the game you take with that new gun? Verle’s sells Smokehouse Products’ Big Chief Smoker, available in top or front load, including a bag of smoking chips. Also in stock are all the flavors of wood chips and wood chunks, along with brines by Scott’s, to make some super-yummy smoked fish and jerkies.
Whether you are shopping for a new boat, that certain fishing lure, necessary boat maintenance or just want to get the latest fishing report, stop by Verle’s LLC today.“Being a local, fourth-generation family business, we have earned how to take great care of our customers, going that extra mile to make them happy,” says Schreiber. “Our staff are locals who know where to fish, go boating, and can help you with all your fishing questions, help get you set up to go hunting, and more.”

There are hundreds of boats to choose from at their current location on Highway 101 in Shelton.

Editor’s note: For more information, visit verles.com.