Here at Fishfishme, we know that fishermen are a superstitious lot; in fact, many of the superstitions they abide by are so well-known that most non-fishermen are familiar with at least one of them. Whether it’s “not naming the boat is bad luck” or “don’t forget to christen the new boat with wine or champagne”, there are plenty of beliefs that have been around the fishing boat world for a long time that just will not fade away. One superstition in particular has a reputation of turning eager fisherman into angry anglers as quick as you can say “fruit” – and that’s the belief that bringing bananas on the boat, specifically the fishing boat, spells doom.
The Origins of Bananas on Boats being Bad Luck
There are many theories as to the origin of the belief, from a story about a shipload of bananas that carried bacteria onboard, killing everyone on the boat, to the fact that other fruits, when shipped with bananas, spoil more quickly. Spiders, insects, and snakes may living among a shipment of bananas, and infest the ship. Fishermen can become ill after eating the fruit. Hundreds of years ago, when ships would sink, few items that were onboard would be found floating on the surface of the water – except bananas, leading to the belief that the fruit brought a curse to the vessels.
The Most Likely Origin
However, the most likely origin of the superstition has to do with vessels in the 1700s that would transport bananas across the sea – these wooden vessels had to move very quickly in order to deliver the bananas before they rotted, making trolling for fish almost impossible. It’s been deemed ever since that “banana boats” did not make for good fishing boats, and the idea branched out into several superstitious mantras for fishermen today.
The next time you’re packing for your deep sea fishing charters, just in case, be sure to leave anything having to do with bananas at home!