Long Island Traditions
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John Remsen Jr.: Bait fisherman


The Remsen family of Freeport goes back to the late 1800s, when Alanson Ellison began fishing on the south shore. A bayman, Alanson taught his grandchildren the skills of building traps, fishing, and maintaining the family bay house at Brandt Point, where he operated a bait station during the 1950s. His grandchildren started working on the bay, and learned to build garveys, a traditional boat used by south shore baymen. Today John Remsen Jr. works on the bay part-time, trapping killies and other indigenous species. He and his father also build garveys for area baymen.