So I took a trip to Grand Cayman for spring break, here’s some thoughts on the trip and fishing there.
Bluestriped Grunts and Slippery Dicks sominated everywhere, but particularly on the beach near the condos where we we were staying (North Pointe Condos). My first fish of the trip was actually this Bar Jack (Lifer 1 of 17 for the trip), and my first Slippery Dick quickly followed.
Also from the beach near the condo throughout the week I found French Grunt, Schoolmaster Snapper, and Sergeant-major. My dad also found a redear herring which he tossed back before I could take a pic. My biggest heartbreak of the trip also occurred here as a spotted eagle ray I sight-fished grabbed my bait and proceeded to spool me and break off. (My heavy reel was shot by two Southern Stingrays earlier in the trip, which I’ll get to in a minute)
After the beach the next place I tried was the boat ramp at Old Man Bay. Tons of Bluestriped grunts and a few sergeant-majors. Also barracudas that didn’t care for anything.
Governor Russel Beach has amazing snorkelling (Peacock Flounder, Whitespotted Filefish, etc, etc) but all I found with a hook and line that was new was this initial phase Bluehead, a species remarkably common on the island.
The boat launch at the south end of Frank Sound Rd had good fishing. A massive school of small permit lived under it and I greatly enjoyed them on the ultralight. I also found my lifer Slender Mojarras and even picked a mottled out of the bunch one morning.
This is the second stingray who destroyed my what was left of my reel, leaving me with just 4lb test with five days left in the trip:
The first stingray was at Starfish Point, near the Kaibo Yacht Club. This is it:
This isn’t far from stingray city (here). They feed stingrays with squid there. My dad was throwing a sabiki of squid and a bag of it with at his feet. This ray came in and decided to beg (They come and place their heads on people). This was not expected and only funny as no one got hurt. I decided to give the stingray some hooked squid (ethics of a tame ray and horrified children be damned). It went on a run and spit my hook, and my reel shortly thereafter started acting up.
Near the erosion barriers here there were more Schoolmaster and Sergeant-major. Also lots of needlefish around. I became obsessed with microing a needlefish the first few days and gave up one evening after trying one school for hours and went to watch the sunset.
I spotted one lone needlefish there. It inhaled the fishbites and i flung it onto shore where the hook promptly fell out. My jaw dropped when I saw the lateral line.
This was no ordinary Atlantic Needlefish. This was a Timucu!
Near georgetown I fished some tidepools (near the wreck of the gramma) I learned a few lessons:
Night-sergeants don’t care for anything and I wasted two hours on a trio of them
Dusky Squirrelfish are the sharpest, spiniest critters to swim in the sea and I walked away with bloody hands because of them
Sandals are not appropriate footwear for ironshore (I am now treating multiple infected wounds because of this last part)
But the fish were cool in the tidepools:
Antilles Frillfin, Dusky Squirrelfish, Hardhead Silverside,Yellowtail Samselfish, Cocoa Damselfish, Beaugregory
Smith’s Cove also had cool tidepools, especially because of this tiny Caribbean Sharpnose-Puffer who I hooked 6 times before catching (Note all the fishbites he spit out.)
Didn’t have much luck casting out here despite amazing snorkelling, casting got Slippery Dicks and French Grunts.
The East End was my favorite fishing though. Casting lures at a construction site I hooked this bonefish. This was on four pound test and I was terrified I was going to lose it, but eventually it came in.
The dock at Collier’s beach was interesting. I spotted three morays, and gave all three ample time with the bait and all three I found were just holding on not hooked as I tried to lift them onto the dock (I fought one out for under a rock for over three minutes. They have lockjaws)
I got a number of species here:
Longspine Squirrelfish, Bluehead, Slippery Dick
French Grunt, Sergeant-major, Atlantic Needlefish
Island Frillfin, Horse-eye Jack, Bemruda Chub
My last trip fish was also here, a satisfying end:
Some other notes for those who might be considering a trip there:
Read Rc6750’s notes here, apparently the environmental zone is expanding soon (or so the radio said)
Everything is expensive, but some places are worse. And by some places I mean Chilsom’s grocery. 8 USD for 4 squid.
Bait is hard to find, I recommend bringing fishbites.
Security when leaving is slow and tedious (they looked at every hook). Plan extra time so they can sort through your gear on your departing flight.
As far as I can tell there is no fishable public spot with the endemic Gambusia and Limia. I found them on some National Trust property so maybe some with less regard/fear for laws will get one (Mastic Trail and Botanical Park)
Also thanks to UconnFishhead for all the ID help
Here’s some other pics of scenery and wildlife: