There was a time when the craft of fishnet weaving was a common sight in the outlying districts. Cast nets were most popular and it took patience to make them and strong men to use them.

Cast nets work best in water no deeper than their radius. Casting is best done in waters free of obstructions. Coral and branches cause tangles and can rip nets.The net caster can stand with one hand holding the handline, and with the net draped over the other arm so that the weights dangle, or, with most of the net being held in one hand and only a part of the lead line held in the other hand so the weights dangle in a staggered fashion.

The net can be cast from a boat or from shore, or by wading. Once filled with fish, it took strong arms to pull in the catch.

In these photos shot in the mid-’70s, an East End fisherman’s calloused hands weave a gill net (left) and fishermen prepare to go out to sea in East End (right).

These images are from the book “The People Time Forgot” by G Nowak. All proceeds go toward museum projects.

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  1. I seen the most laughable cast net throw in history of throwing a cast net. One day my brother-in-law, not a Caymanian, tried to throw a cast net and threw himself off the boat, his legs even opened like the net suppose to do along with the net. I wanted to laugh but I couldn’t, but he agreed then to take some instructions from me.