Tenson Scott
2006 McCoy Prize Winner "Best in Show" and 'Cayman Went' Movie Star but a Fisherman at heart!




Tenson talks about his tools of trade, Caymanite and Dirty Joke Necklace



New Caymanite rings by Tenson at NIM Things


Our Rock Caymanite Exhibit at National Museum features a few pieces by Tenson Scott and other artists.

Click on link below for more info about Exhibit.




The art of catching Wahoo without a hook
Published on Friday, August 8, 2008

Tenson Verbon Scott

By Tenson Verbon Scott

My name is Tenson Scott, nicknamed Dagwood, Fisherman, Hardrock. To the fishermen of the Cayman Islands, I, Tenson Scott, have made a big discovery in fishing. I’m 70 years old; fishing is in my blood.

If videos were made of me when I used to go fishing with my boat, it would have always been a top seller in the islands. I never used a fish finder or a depth finder and I didn’t rely on artificial bait to catch Wahoo.

Putting it plainly, I don’t fish by luck. For over twenty years I’ve been trying to get the people of the Cayman Islands to understand how to catch a Wahoo with a button, no hook.

I met a policeman from East End many years ago when I was in Grand Cayman. He was boasting how many Wahoo he had caught and the season had just started. I said to him ‘why don’t you catch a Wahoo without a hook and then you can boast?’

He said ‘you think that I would be that stupid as the Cayman Bracker who said that’. Then I said to him, ‘I am Tenson Scott, the fisherman from Cayman Brac who said that’.

These were his words: “Mr. Scott, if you are really that good you must have lots more great fishing stuff.” I said, ‘Mister, you called me stupid a while ago; what are you going to call me after you hear this’.

Many years ago lots of boats were out in the ocean, fishing around Cayman Brac chumming for Wahoo. A Wahoo came to the boat eating all the free bait that came from the fishermen’s boats. No one could catch that Wahoo so it was nicknamed the ‘floater’.

The policeman said to me:

“I know about him; he is called a ‘Professor ‘ here in Grand Cayman. No one catches him, because he wouldn’t take the line; instead he would just eat all the bait. Don’t tell me, Mr Scott that you caught the ‘Professor’?” so I said to him “Yes”. I told him I had two witnesses that watched me catch him. The policeman said, “I want to look you up when I come to the Brac”.

Many years have passed and I keep talking about the floater, aka the Professor, with a hook. When I caught the floater/Professor with a line, leader, swivel and hook, the style of the hook is called abracadabra, not magic but close. Upon trying to remove the hook from the Wahoo’s mouth I discovered how to catch the Wahoo without a hook. The hook was not hooked in the Wahoo; the fish just had his mouth shut tight and had no plans of opening it.

All fish that catch other fish for food do not open their mouth unless it’s about to catch another fish. When a fisherman or anyone fishes for Wahoo with a hand line without a hook, as long as they do not hold the line too tightly, the Wahoo will not open his mouth; Mother nature teaches the fish that.

How to catch a Wahoo without a hook

Just remove your hook and put a button from your shirt or pants on the leader, then a dead or live bait on, remember no artificial bait. If you are using a rod and reel set your drag to minimum. Pretend your button is a one ‘O hook’, then you should know how much drag to put on, which would be very little.

Catching Wahoo without a hook is a real big thing. As it is known, hooks are released from a fish’s mouth quite often, with the Wahoo being no exception; but without a hook no matter how much a Wahoo takes the button they can’t get away because there is no hook. What the fish is telling you is he doesn’t like the metal.

Most fishermen should realize that baits, which look good to them, may not look good to the fish, so try to fish the natural way. The abracadabra is made up of four things: line, swivel, leader and hook but must be only four inches long. This fishing tactic requires a piece of eight-inch bait that the one 0 hook must be hooked into the end of the bait and pulled right through, even the swivel must come back through the bait. This must be done a few times until it goes in like a stitch then there is no hook, no swivel, and no leader hanging outside the bait.

Two years after I caught the floater/professor the fishermen said to me that they saw the floater that day. Four boats with eight men in them saw him so they said, “Mr Scott, you never caught him”. One week after this, Lawford Tatum and I went fishing in my boat. As we got to the fishing area Mr Leon Brown was there fishing.

Mr Leon said: “There is nothing here only the floater, you told us you had caught him”. I put my line out as usual to fish but he would not take it so I realized there was more than one floater in the sea.

I said: “Well, my friends, today you will see for yourself how good I am”. Mr Leon laughed and Mr Lawford shook his head. The floater was about 55lbs. I took out of my fish box my little abracadabra gadget, and gave him two pieces of free bait to get him right up to the boat.

Mr Lawford did not agree on giving out the free bait because he did not realize how important the two free pieces were. The Wahoo then took the third piece which was my abracadabra gadget. Mr Lawford shouted to Mr Leon, “He got it into him”.

Mr Leon said: “It is impossible for anyone to hook the floater, he must be into another Wahoo”. So Mr Leon then threw about 10lbs of free bait.

Mr Lawford tried to stop him from throwing so much but it was no use. After we caught the floater I told Mr Lawford to open the Wahoo mouth and get my abracadabra out.

Mr Lawford said: “His mouth is locked, give me your big butcher knife” and then he gave a big shout saying, “if this fish had opened his mouth he could have gotten away”.

I said: “Yes, I know because that is how it was with the first one you all said I didn’t catch”.

Next season, John Scott (Johnny), a great fisherman, and I went fishing and we found another floater. Johnny did not believe what he had heard about Mr Lawford and myself catching the floater, so I fished at this floater the same as I did with Mr Lawford using the abracadabra gadget.

When Johnny put the floater in the boat with the hook stick, I told him to open the floater mouth and take out my hook. When he did so Johnny shouted to me, “If this fish had opened his mouth he would have been long gone,” because the hook dropped right out in the boat.







Bobby Sheehan


Jim Ritterhoff (screenplay)
Bobby Sheehan (screenplay)




Cayman Went is the story of Josh Anders, a fading Hollywood underwater action star whose life takes on new meaning when he’s forced to spend time with the eccentric, endearing inhabitants of Cayman Brac and their local dive community.


 (Credited cast)

Robin Weigert Rachel
Jeffrey DeMunn Rodgers Bowman
Susan Misner Darby Thomas
Mike Lombardi Josh Anders
Peter Maloney Seaver
Tuffy Questell Lawson Peakes
John Speredakos Miles Baskin
Laura Ford Policewoman
Lisa Barnes Max’s Mom
Franklin Ojeda Smith Aniston Turnkey
Pete Wiggins Max
John Mainieri Hans Kopechne
Tenson Scott Himself



Hollywood comes to Cayman Brac
Published on Friday, February 1, 2008




The movie that ‘came and went’
Published on Friday, February 29, 2008     

One of the final scenes in “Cayman Went”The cast and crew of the independent movie “Cayman Went” are getting ready to leave Cayman Brac at the end of this week, but they will leave behind an island that has been buzzing with the excitement of being a part of the movie business for the past two weeks.A story about Cayman Brac, with environmental protection as a major theme, “Cayman Went” has been shot on location since the crew arrived in mid-February, filming scenes around the island, many of them including local Brackers as extras or even with small speaking parts.“This is the talk of the town and will be for a while,” said local businessman Elvis McKeever, who has a small part in one scene shot on Public Beach (look for the guy cooking at the grill).

“Everyone is excited – they’re all stopping and looking at what’s going on. This is a real good story and a good promotion for the Brac,” he said. But where did the idea for a movie here come from?

According to Jim Ritterhoff, one of the partners of Cayman Went LLC, the company making the movie, it all began with a few stories and a lot of laughs one night at the Captain’s Table Restaurant back in 2002.

Mr Ritterhoff is also a partner of New York marketing and entertainment company, Chowder, and he was on the Brac at the time to shoot part of a television commercial for the Department of Tourism.
That night, he got to chatting with Moses Kirkconnell (now Sister Islands MLA), who told him about some of the hilarious things that happened on the Brac, particularly in the diving community, and they joked about making a television show like Cheers (a popular sitcom) set on the Brac.

Well, that conversation was the spark that inspired Mr Ritterhoff to write the outline for “Cayman Went” when he got home, and later the first draft of the script for a project that has taken six years to come to fruition.

Despite its slow start, production is now intense, and the man with the responsibility for making sure it all goes smoothly is Producer Gil Wadsworth.

Having been on the Brac since early November, Mr Wadsworth has become a familiar face on the island. As well as scouting out locations and generally preparing for the two weeks of filming, he also found local people to appear in the movie.

Mr McKeever he met, where else, but at the Captain’s Table, and Garston Grant, the owner of CB Rent-a-Car, who plays the chef at a bar in the movie, he “discovered” when he went to arrange insurance for the rental cars.

“I never did any acting before but I think I can do it okay,” he admitted a few days before acting his big scene on Thursday. Not only does he have a part, but his business will also feature in Cayman Went.
In return, Mr Grant said he offered the crew special deals and supported the project wherever he could.

Local dive operation Indepth Watersports features prominently in the movie, and owner Craig Burhart and staff member Carl Nash appear as underwater doubles for two of the main characters.

“It’s nice that Cayman Brac can get recognition for having some of the best diving in the Caribbean and for us to be able to showcase some of the beauty of the island,” said Mr Burhart.

“It’s the biggest thrill to be able to interact with so many industry professionals – these are some of the best in the industry – and they’re all so enthralled by the island. I expect all of them to return.

“Because of the excellent standard of photography, when this movie is done it will show the Brac at its best, and people who see the movie will want to come here,” he added.

Meanwhile, the very presence of the film crew has been a boon to businesses across the island, especially hotel accommodation and rental cars.

Lenny Neckerman said he and his staff at the Captain’s Table have been up at 4:00 am each morning to deliver breakfast to a crew by 5:30 am, as well as lunch mid-day. In the evening, they serve dinner to the group – and drinks at the bar to people coming out to see the stars and meet with the crew.

“Gil has done everything he can to get local people involved,” said Mr Neckerman, noting that Brackers of all ages have been given small parts in the movie, from senior citizen Harvey Pierson, known to most as the General, to 11-year-old Jacob Scott.

“There’s a guy with a real strong will to get things done,” said Mr McKeever of Mr Wadsworth. “He’s a fun guy to talk to – down to earth and smooth as ice.”

“I am so pleased that the people of the Brac have had this great experience,” said Mr Kirkconnell. “This is nothing but good for this island, and I hope everyone from ‘Cayman Went’ enjoyed their time on the Brac as much as we enjoyed having them here.”

 Hanging out with the Stars





Opening Night photos by Nicola Clarke

Thanks to Debra and her crew from the National Museum for a wonderful display set up!




Click on page to make it bigger as seen in the Bracker or click on web link




‘Sea beaf’ Dirty Joke Necklace Another Version

‘Sea beaf’ Earrings

‘Sea beaf’ 2-piece Dirty Joke Necklace


Horse Conch

Horse Eye


Caymanite braclet 

Caymanite braclet

Caymanite ring

Caymanite necklace

He talked about what they were used for in the old days.“The nicker was used as a marble when children could not afford to buy real marbles but it was the fun and enjoyment [of it],” he said. In terms of jewellery, the knickers he said is used to make a necklace called the Nicker-Mouse. The design takes the form of a mouse head or the famous ‘micky-mouse appearance and mentioned that the name nicker mouse could not be confused with anything else, neither could anyone sue him for using a particular name.








Whelk Heart



Caymanite braclet




Caymanite earrings

Caymanite earrings

Caymanite horse shoe necktie pin

Nicker earrings


Caymanite necktie pin

Caymanite earring

Caymanite earrings

Whelk earrings


 Whelk earrings

Tenson is very particular about a set of earrings having almost the exact lines and shades of color true every piece of Caymanite is slightly different. One has to know how to slab it and mark it just right.  He even tries to match whelk shells, which is almost next to impossible to get the black and white patterns matching but he still tries. He commented the other day that he must have been getting old because the two-piece dangle whelk earrings were not as perfect a match as he would have liked but after some thought would still put them in the show.  In turn gave them a special touch in the middle so that there is a small pearl effect to catch the light, which adds a sparkle to the front of the earrings. Particular indeed but that is what makes his pieces no matter the material of such high quality and in demand.

Mr. Tenson is now on the last of what he considers the good pieces of Caymanite (hard, fully formed) that he has in stock.  Has lots of what he calls bad Caymanite (soft, has holes or cracks) and refuses to use the less than perfect pieces. Even if he is almost finished a piece and find any of the bad items in that piece he will discard it and start on the process all over again with another piece or item depending on material he is working with. Therefore no pen holes nor cracks which he uses his fingers and magnifying glasses to check. 



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