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Fishing Is In Our Blood

Carrying on the long time Remsen Family tradition in loving memory of our Co-Owner’s grandfather, John Remsen Jr. of Freeport, who passed away in June 2020.

The Remsen Family Tradition

John Remsen Jr. was born in 1933 and comes from a long line of Freeport fisherman. He was the fourth generation to work on the bay. He learned skills from his great grandfather like catching bait fish using handmade killey pots. He also enjoyed duck hunting, fishing for fluke, flounder and trapping crabs.

John was one of few men who built garveys on Long Island. Garveys were a necessity for baymen and recreational fisherman to navigate the shallow waters of Nassau and Suffolk County. “About 25 years ago, when you went over the parkway and looked out to the bay, you saw 10 to 15 guys clamming. All of them needed a garvey and it was a business they made a good living out of” said John Remsen. He built his first boat in 1954 at 21 years old. “I started it as a hobby and it turned into a vocation.” In his lifetime he built about 100 garveys, duck boats and row boats for local baymen.

In 1954, his parents built a bay house opposite the Town of Hempstead Marina where Long Creek meets Woodcleft Canal. For 30 years the family ran a successful bait station from their bay house.


John enjoyed teaching his skills and knowledge to his children and grandchildren. He taught them all he knew about working on the bay, building boats, making traps, fishing and maintaining the family bay house. His son, John Remsen III works on the bay part-time trapping killeys for local bait shops. His grandson and our co-owner, John, will be on the boat using his skills and licenses that were grandfathered down to him to catch fish for us daily.

At Foolish Fish we want to carry on the tradition of the Remsen family’s love for boating and fishing.

In Loving Memory Of John Remsen Jr

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