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The Superstitious Fisherman: Banana Fishing Myth

The Superstitious Fisherman: Banana Fishing Myth
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Fishing Myths Busted: Bananas on Board

We anglers are a superstitious bunch. Fishing has been around for most of human history, so it is natural for there to be an abundance of fishing myths posing as facts. Myths often get traction from the fallacy that correlation equals causation and the human need to explain the unexplainable. Fishing can be finicky - It is only human nature to try and justify a bad fishing day!

no bananas on board

A popular fishing myth is to have a banana ban on board. Some anglers believe that having bananas along on a trip will not only lead to a fishless day, but they can be responsible for a crew falling ill or just bringing bad luck. Stricter anglers will even go as far to have no remnants of a banana on the fishing boat; that includes Banana Boat sunscreen!

Bananas on boats have a storied past. When did this crazy myth start?

  • Speedy Boats

    One theory originates with speedy boats transporting bananas. Since they spoil quickly, boats trafficking bananas were rushed through the waters, giving anglers on board little chance to catch fish. This fast pace kept anglers from catching much of anything while trolling, and bananas were directly blamed when they were indirectly the problem.

  • Bananas are Bad Luck

    Using bananas as a symbol for bad luck is a little unfair, but there is a bit of an argument here for keeping them overboard. Spiders, snakes, and other vermin share a habitat with bananas, so they often made it on board with the fruit. On longer trips, these pests would spread out on the boat, which made the crew correlate these unwanted creatures with the bad luck bananas. One spider in particular posed a big problem while out on the sea. The Brazilian Wandering Spider, also known as the Banana Spider, is not only the most poisonous spider in the world, egg sacks can be transported on bananas. Luckily for bananas, another reason they where considered bad luck is easily proven with science. As bananas ripen, they emit ethylene gas, which then expedites the spoilage of other foods on board.

Even though bananas are not directly to blame for fishing day woes, myths have a powerful hold on people, so they are here to stay. Tell us if you have a banana boat nightmare!

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