There are many stories why bananas have been thought of as bad luck on boats. This is only one of the nautical superstitions that I know of and is particularly prevalent amongst watermen. Many stories have banana oil rubbing off on ones hands and “spooking" the fish; therefore the fish don't bite. There is always the story of a crew member slipping on the banana peel left on the deck. Some say that bananas give you the runs so you are always in the marine head and can't catch fish because you are busy "draining the pipes". Many other stories are told about bad luck and bananas, however the one that I find most plausible is a historical one.

Back in the days of the transatlantic crossings by wooden sailing ships many hazards would befall the captains, crew and passengers. Disease, pirates, shipwrecks, storms, etc., claimed the lives of a good percentage of the captains, crew and passengers attempting the dangerous voyage. Needless to say, a transatlantic crossing in the 17th and 18th centuries was a very risky endeavor. Often the vessels would stop along the way in tropical islands to gather provisions such as food and water. There the passengers and crew would often purchase wooden crates of bananas from the locals and bring them aboard the ship. These crates would have all manner of critters in them such as bugs, spiders, vermin and snakes.
These critters would make their way into the bilges of the ships, multiply, and then find their way into the captain's quarters. The captains circulated the rumor that bananas were bad luck in an attempt to keep the critters off the ship and out of their cabin. The crew and
passengers were more than eager to follow suit because of the inherent risk of the crossing. So, if the captain announced prior to the voyage that bananas were bad luck and not allowed aboard the vessel, everyone complied. You must remember that these were the days of burning witches and the like, so superstitions were taken very seriously.

Watermen are a mysterious lot. While we are known for our simple pragmatism, we also have many odd quirks. Superstitions have been prevalent on almost every vessel I have worked on. I feel that this is due to the nature of a waterman in that he sees the randomness of the world around him juxtaposed with the rhythmic, seasonal flows of nature and then tries to reconcile these observations into some sort of personal and/or environmental order. As Stevie Wonder (a blind man) pointed out so eloquently: "When you believe in things you can't
understand, that's superstition".

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I actually tagged a fish in a smaller lake and between me and my friends we caught the fish 6 times in one summer. Fish aren't that smart, 4 of those times we caught it on the same lure a white double tailed grub.
I once caught "the legend" as we now call that great fish. Fishing for crappy in a very deep bay (max depth 3 feet over 5ish acres), when a monsterous wake formed behind my 2'' minnow. Then WHAM, a Gar pike took it and went for a run. after fighting it for 10 minutes on my 10lbs line/lite rod, my buddy was able to get both hands on its tail, I dropped my rod and wen for the buisness end. It took most of our combined strength to lift it into the boat. "The Legend" 46'' long and 37pounds! As if that wasn't enough, when I went to retrieve my lure, I realized that the flashes that I had caught out of the corner of my eye was in fact a plethora of lures still lodged in its mouth. I can't remember just how many there was, but at least half a dozen (red devils, meps, radom hooks, etc). Alot of the lures were pretty old models, and were VERY rusty to boot. Obviously that fish had been there for several decades.
This was the fish that always got away....but not for lucky me.
I'll never forget it.
Great story Walleye Whacker, I do know eating bananas attracts the bugs
The background on my cell phone is a shot down a pickerels mouth, showing my Zoom worm it was swallowing. I had it snap my line, and while I was tying on a new hook my buddy caught it in the exact same spot.
To get down to my favorite you have to walk the train tracks.
And every time someone has to say "hey you want to see a dead body?" then when we cross the train bridge someone has to say "Oh shit I dropped the comb." (Stand by me) for all that don't know.
It sounds stupid but it catches fish...
Opening bags, food cans etc upside down is considered bad luck for boater/ships. This is something that I've heard all the way from the NWT to Vancouver Island. Go figure, but i stick to tradition and throw out what is opened the 'wrong' way.


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