In the grand scheme of life, what defines fruitful fishing? To many, it’s skills and practice. To some, luck is what favorable fishing is all about. To others, it’s more than mere luck but pure superstition that increases their chances of a good catch. Anglers around the world can be a superstitious bunch when it comes to successful fishing.

Traditional superstitions are practices based on unjustified beliefs because of supernatural causes. A mishmash of old-time fishing tales, myths, and beliefs created a slew of superstitions still held by present-day anglers. Let’s take a closer look at some interesting beliefs to see what explanation lies behind these stances. Here are a few common fishing superstitions explained.

Onboard Fruit: Going Bananas

Bananas on boats are seemingly causes of bad juju. Who knew? This superstition is no modern marvel; it dates back to the days of sailing on the seven seas a few centuries ago. Some suggest that due to the rapid spoilage rate of bananas, transporters had to travel as fast as possible to their destination. Ergo, legend has it that fisherman never caught anything when bananas were cargo on their ship. Sailors also feared bananas for other reasons, such as the release of unpleasant gas and the harboring of dangerous pests.

These days, this classic fishing belief still rings true for a plethora of anglers. Interestingly enough, some even go so far as to shun the use of Banana Boat sunscreen.

Whistling: Not Allowed

Can you whistle up a storm? Better not do so when out on the water. Here’s another common fishing superstition explained. Back in the day, sailors claimed that whistling in the “wrong direction” could churn up a strong wind or bring about a storm. A multitude of anglers these days speak about whistling as the kiss of death on many fishing trips. Whether it’s malarkey or not, the truth is that a racket of noise can scare off fish.

Shh: Don’t Say the Word

Curse words have been shunned for centuries—and not just that the bad language kind. Rather, the power of curse words lies in literal words that bring bad omen. For many fisherfolks, there are certain beliefs that saying such a word out loud brings on a jinx of bad luck. Forbidden unlucky words include rabbit, pig, rat, and salmon. Nevertheless, salmon is a sacred, treasured fish still sought after today.

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