By Capt. James Marko:
No Bananas! I’ve always told my clients to never bring my worst enemy on the water… the banana. I know it may sound crazy but this amazing fruit has caused me more hassle than anything else on my boat. Call it superstition, call it bad luck, but I hate them on my boat. I won’t even eat one before I go on the boat. I’m sure some of you have heard about the banana myth, but in this month’s article I’m going to give you some history on the notorious banana myth.
First the spider myth back in the 1700’s, when shiploads of bananas were being brought over from Africa, they were loaded with small spiders and do you know when spiders are most active? At night. So, imagine sailors carrying the banana cargo when they go to bed for the evening, they get bitten by these poisonous African spiders, and no one can figure out why the crew is dying. When they finally arrive in their destination port with a big chunk of their crew dead, you can see just how easy a rumor could spread that bananas were bad luck on board.
Second, back in the 1700s, all boats were made of wood. It was said that some banana- rich areas of Africa and the Caribbean had some of the most destructive wood-eating termites in the world. So, you can imagine that sometimes these termites would cling to the banana trees as they were dragged across the land to the docks where they were loaded on the ship. When the termites realized that they were in a wooden ship it was madness. Needless to say, the termites went to town on the wooden ship, causing tons of damage and in some cases eating holes in the hull that were not repairable.
Third, is my experience, when clients have brought this vicious fruit, I’ve had several rods and reels damaged. I once ran aground on an oyster bed that I’ve driven around my whole life. I once had a client Goliath Grouper fishing, waiting for a bite, when all of sudden his buddy whips out a banana. I immediately yank it from his hand and toss it off my boat. Within seconds after tossing the banana off the vessel, we hooked up and landed a 300-pound Goliath. So, in other words, I HATE BANANAS only on my boat or any time I go fishing. You can take your risk with the banana myth, but I’m going to play it safe. If we’ve learned anything from history, it’s bananas and boats don’t mix.
Until next month, tight lines.