Banana Boats

Main piece:

So, there’s this superstition about fishing – or, I guess it’s more about bananas. Where, if you have a banana on the boat, you’re not gonna catch any fish. And there’s all kinds of stuff related to this too… Like, if someone eats a banana right before going out? Or if you find the banana, there’s a certain way that you gotta get rid of it? But, yeah – it’s kind of ridiculous.


Superstition described by Randy Peffer at Boatswayne Yard in San Pedro, CA. Randy is a career seaman, educator, and writer.


This is a well-documented superstition among sailors. There is a novel explanation which is also commonly discussed alongside the myth. Boats carrying bananas generally moved the most quickly in an attempt to maintain their freshness. Therefore, sailors aboard trolling lines would be moving too quickly. Consequently, they would catch fewer to no fish.


Fishermen are superstitious and sailors are superstitious. It should come as no surprise then, that the overlap of these two groups has a seemingly arbitrary superstition like the Banana curse.