bananas on a boat

Ken Gargett

Recommended Posts

as any fisherman will tell you, bananas on a boat are a no no. very bad luck.

not sure it has ever bothered me but i am not a great fan of bananas so probably would not think to ever bring any.

any other fishermen share this superstition? or any others?

The Reason You Can’t Have Bananas on a Boat


By Alex Ford May 12, 2016


Fishermen have always been a superstitious bunch, but one of the strangest myths is that bananas are bad luck on a boat. Any serious fisherman has a horror story about when someone unknowingly brought a banana on the boat, the price for which can range from catching no fish to total shipwreck. There are a few historical explanations for how this myth may have come about, and they’re all interesting.

  1. The explanation we hear the most often is that bananas were always loaded on the fastest boats for shipping, as they have a tendency to spoil. The fishermen trawling off the back of these boats never caught anything because the boat was moving too fast.
  2. Bananas float, so when a ship sank the only thing that rescue crews found was a bunch of floating bananas. It didn’t take long for people to draw a correlation.
  3. Bananas are a breeding ground for poisonous animals and bacteria, causing infection amongst crew members on long journeys.
  4. When shipped together, bananas would cause other fruits to spoil more quickly. Apparently, this is due to a gas emitted by bananas as they ripen.

Whatever the historical origin of the banana myth, fishermen have perpetuated it. Some captains even go so far as to exclude Banana Boat sunscreen and Banana Republic clothing. Banana bread? Forget about it. Many say that once the offending item is discovered and cast overboard, the bad luck is absolved and the fishing improves instantly.

See what happens when you bring a banana on a boat.

While some boat captains are terrified that a banana will somehow end up on their boat, others show little concern for the myth.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen a lot of rigid adherence to this superstition, and just as much indifference. Lots of salmon fishermen I know are near dictators in the "no banana" regime, while many of the Cubans I've fished with are more, "meh," maybe because they are so confident in their abilities. And considering those tasty little Cuban bananas, it's near impossible to police smuggling. I'm not too superstitious but still hedge my bets. I like an occasional banana or two with me when I fish; when I beat the "odds" and do well, I laugh in the face of the superstitious, and when you don't do too well, blame the bananas. Fishermen and excuses are like FOH members and cigars--they are happily joined at the hip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, scap99 said:

So what happens if you're listening to the oldies station and the Banana Boat song comes on?



Listening to oldies on the boat is almost as much of a sacrilege as having bananas.:thumbsup:

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not one for superstition...of any example... I have a friend who has to put his left boot on before his right.....or cant play footy...Your left boot going on first...has no effect on the outcome...or how infact you will me a dumb and distracting train of thought

Ken I am fortunate enough to go fishing with a couple of old seadogs in this part of the world. One a retired abolone diver....I took a banana on the boat once.....Once.....i still think of the abuse i coped least once a day for about 30 seconds.....was not good  ..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.