2 posts categorized "Fishing"


What exactly is Marinated Conch?

For years, people in the Cayman Islands have been eating marinated conch. You see it on virtually every menu as an appetizer. But what exactly is this sea creature? How is it prepared? Where do you find it? 


The Queen Conch is a large marine-living mollusk. It is a soft-body animal with a hard shell as protection. They achieve full size at about 3-5 years old, with a maximum size being about 12 inches long. They live in the sandy region near reef habitats. They start in shallow water, but then move to deeper water until it is time to lay eggs at what time they return to shallow water. They are able to move around by use of their foot, which ends in a pointed shape. This allows them to move in a leaping motion along the sea floor.

How does this relate to your trip to the Cayman Islands? When you head out on a snorkel trip, they almost all involve a stop to dive for conch. These beautiful shells are often hard to find because the bright pink side is face down and the top is often the same color as the sand and covered in algae. Once your group finds about 5 of them, the captain begins the process of marinating them for a tasty appetizer. Yes--I said marinating. Not cooking. Did I forget to mention that marinated conch is not cooked. It is perfectly healthy to eat the firm conch meat raw.

Click here for great video: Captain Gleason cleans conch meat

At this point, the captain takes a screw driver to disconnect the conch from its' shell. After disconnecting it, then it slides right out of the shell and is ready to be cleaned. (see video above). The best piece of meat to eat is the firm white meat that gets sliced into fine pieces and marinated. They say the conch is marinated in a "secret-recipe", but it seems to be a little lime juice and pick-a-peppa sauce. It is served with saltines for a real Caribbean Treat.

The only thing to keep in mind is that there is now a conch season because it is on the endangered species list. They are only able to catch and serve conch from November 1st to April 30th. So if you want to experience the marinated conch experience when you are on your snorkel trip, make sure you go down during the right time of year. It is truly a delicacy that everyone should try.


Fishing in the Cayman Islands

For those of you that love to fish, the Cayman Islands offer some great fishing opportunities. The fishing in Cayman can be thrilling for both beginners and advanced fishermen. Much like people think of baseball as “America’s Pastime”, Caymanians think of fishing as their most popular sport. As a visitor to the island, you will have many different options for your special fishing experience. While every fishing charter company is slightly different, they all accomplish the same thing. The most popular fishing spots are in the North Sound off of Grand Cayman. There are two different types of fishing trips you can experience, reef fishing and deep sea fishing.

The only type of fishing I have ever done is reef fishing, simply because I don’t have the patience for deep-sea fishing. The nice thing about fishing along the reef is there are plenty of fish, which leads to a lot of action on the boat. There are many different types of fish you can catch in the shallow waters inside the reef. Some of these fish commonly include triggerfish, grunt fish, puffer fish, and red snapper. Reef fishing can be more exciting than deep sea fishing because fish are a lot more plentiful and you are certain to catch some fish. It is pretty neat to watch the locals use their extensive experience to outwit the fish.

Trigger Fish

Red Snapper

Another type of fishing is deep sea fishing, which is going “outside” the reef barrier and into the sea, where it drops from 10-20 feet to thousands of feet very quickly. Once outside the reef, it is not uncommon to catch wahoo, marlin, mahi mahi, and tuna. However, due to the depths of the water out here, it is a little more hit and miss. You could spend the entire day fishing and only catch a couple fish. However, catching a huge tuna could be pretty thrilling. It really is just a matter of preference.

Keep in mind that every time out could produce a different type of thrill. For example, while reef fishing one time, we were able to catch a 4 foot barracuda, which was quite the thrill. Most of the fish are good eating fish, including the barracuda. (An interesting note about the barracuda: In order to test if it is edible or poisonous, you place a chunk of it on the ground, if ants flock to it and eat it, it’s perfectly edible, if ants stay away from it, then you better stay away from it too.)

Barracuda being reeled in

Teeth of the barracuda

That is some good eating fish

The best part about the boat charters is they will clean up the fish into nice boneless filets for you to take back to your condo to fry, bake, or grill your very own ‘catch of the day”.


I’m not much of a fisherman back in the United States, but once in awhile I like to head out to the North Sound and see what we can catch. Nothing beats fishing in the hot sun of the Cayman Islands.