Banana on a Boat | About The Legend

Banana on a Boat | About The Legend

Many captains and fishermen, in general, are superstitious, and the Banana on the boat probably tops everything for BAD Luck while fishing. So, who thought of this crazy idea? We will dive more into the origin in just a moment but if you have ever fished for a living, there are periods when fishing seems more difficult than on other days. We must make excuses for why that is right?

Banana on boat is bad luck

Banana on the Boat - Bad Luck Origin

There is some literature that dates to 1700 when trade boats would transport produce. More specifically bananas across waterways had limited amounts of time to do so before they spoiled. We speculate that it would be routine for sailors to troll while sailing but due to the speed, it was very difficult to fill the boat up with fresh fish on their voyages. It was not uncommon for old wooden boats to vanish into the deep abyss while transporting bananas, so that too didn’t help the negative banana stigma.

We have also read about bananas carrying deadly viruses or bacteria that would sometimes kill off entire crew members during their voyage. Now that sounds like some serious vu doo madness, but I guess anything was possible back in the day before modern medicine.

In some cases, it was notated that fishermen became violently ill after consuming fruit that they were transporting.

Superstition is absolutely real, in fact, half of all American’s who were polled admitted to being superstitious as one point or another. Is that a terrible thing? Well, I think in many instances, if a ritual or behavior helps you to ease your mind and focus prior to doing something significant than not at all. However, if it makes you paranoid or act in a way that is not normal, then you probably should avoid doing whatever it is. In this case, we just don’t bring bananas on the boat.

Have I Really Not Caught Fish with Bananas on the Boat?

Believe it or not; there have been multiple occasions that we have had some very poor fishing and bananas happened to be in the cooler. Here are a couple of my banana short stories.

One morning a friend and I decided to do some exploring, we were looking for the red gold or redfish and we had most of the day to locate them. The weather was beautiful and there was bait all over the flats, I remember telling Vince that this was going to be a productive fishing trip. Perhaps that was my first mistake? We searched for hours and fished many artificial baits with no luck, not even a bite. Everything else seemed to have aligned just the way it should have. The moon phase was right, the tide was predicted to be high at noon and the major feed coincided with the high tide. These represent all the ideal scenarios for a successful fishing trip. Needless to say, we didn’t catch anything. It was a laborious day of fishing, and I recall it because I probably made 400 cast or so and Vince did the same. Sure enough, the only obstacle that wasn’t accounted for was the banana on the boat.

There was another time that Chris and I went fishing in Lake Kissimmee and the morning was beautiful, we launched the boat and were off to our first destination. The very first stop we deployed the trolling motor only to be met with a dead battery. We had to literally bump the boat in drive all day and then kill the engine to pitch baits to the shoreline. It involved four hours of fishing in millions of blind mosquitoes to finally get a hit, and I can’t make this stuff up. At the end of the trip, we discovered that there was a banana on the boat. 

Do you have a story of bad luck and bananas? Don’t be shy, share them below. I think at the end of the day, it’s just a fun, weird superstition that allows us to make excuses for poor fishing days. Maybe we should do a banana challenge and see if we can break the banana code? 

Banana on boat infographic


Be sure to watch the video below and you will see a great example of bananas and weird anomalies.


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