Tuesday, March 2, 2010
What's the deal with bananas?
I can remember the first time that I fished the Kenai and what a great day it was watching my dad catch the only king of the day. I can also remember that during the trip I pulled out a banana and the guide we hired came unglued. Hey said, "don't you know that bananas are bad luck in a boat?" Obviously I didn't because I had a whole bunch in my duffel bag. Anyway, as I continued to eat my banana I couldn't help but ask our guide questions about bananas and luck. I didn't get much detail other than "they're bad luck" and since we caught a king that day I thought we were very lucky so I didn't put much thought into it.
All these years later and countless hours on the Kenai I amazed at the banana as bad luck story. There are those who are very serious about this and there are those that like to have fun with it. You will see fishermen with the red slash "no bananas" sticker on their boat and then you'll see a guy with a plastic banana with hooks on it telling people the fish he just landed came on the banana lure. Often there will be days when you'll see a banana peel floating down the river (anything biodegradable can be thrown in the river) and then you'll see a fully intact bunch floating down the river. I can imagine the scenario when a person unaware of the luck of bananas pulls out a bunch and the guide grabs them and throws them in the river. I've never witnessed the actually throwing of bananas but I have witnessed dozens and dozens of whole bananas floating peacefully down the river.
I often talk about two situations that I've had in the boat when a client has pulled a banana out for a snack. Situation one was a group of hardcore fisherman from California. Before we could let out our first line out one of the gentleman pulled a banana out and I asked him if he knew that many people consider bananas to be bad luck. He asked me what I thought and I told him to ask me again at the end of the day. Sure enough, not a single fish to the boat and I told them they are bad luck. The second day they all made sure that no one brought a banana. Fishing wasn't exactly red hot but we managed to land one king that trip. All four guys were convinced that bananas are bad luck. Situation two was a family of three from Hawaii. Dad caught a king, the daughter caught a king, and we were down to our last rod for the day. The daughter pulls a banana out of her backpack. I asked her if she knew that people considered bananas to be bad luck. No she didn't but she asked me what I thought. I said they can't be that unlucky because we had two fish in the box. So, she finishes the banana and is holding the peel looking for a place to set in the boat. I told her to toss it in the river because anything biodegradeable can be thrown in. She was reluctant but as soon as the peel hit the river her mom's rod is pegged and a large king is on the other end. We fight the fish for half and hour and finally net it. An 80lber! From that day forward every time some one throws a banana peel in the water I keep thinking we're going to get a bite. It's never happened again but I sure do think about it every time a peel is tossed in.
All this banana talk has made me hungry. Time to end this discussion but in my next post I will explain WHY bananas are considered bad luck and how this superstition came about.