Quietly propelling a boat with “push sticks,” rather than oaring, keeps the noise level down so as not to scare off fishermen’s prey. Such a sight is not as common these days, however Frank Sound is still a favorite spot for fishermen who cast their nets from the shore. They are after sprats, a favorite bait fish which very much resembles a sardine in looks, size and taste.
Sprats travel in large schools with other fish and swim continuously throughout the day. As well as being used for bait, they are also eaten and are recognized for their nutritional value as they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, considered beneficial to the human diet.
Locally they are a favorite when seasoned with salt and pepper, then deep fried until they are so crisp you can eat the entire fish from head to tail.
The South Coast Bar and Grill in Breakers regularly features sprats on their menu.
This image is from the book “The People Time Forgot” by George Nowak. Individual prints can be purchased at the Cayman Islands National Archive, profits from which are used to support projects of the Cayman Islands National Museum.