Merwin: Bananas & Lucky Charms

bananas

There are lots of anglers and charter captains who won't take any bananas on a fishing boat because bananas have a long-standing reputation as a jinx. According to the latest issue of the IGFA newsletter, this superstition was first described by angler Harlan Major in his 1952 book, "Fishing Behind The Eight Ball." Major supposedly "proved" the banana problem by smuggling a banana on board a charter boat and then spending the day catching nothing.

I am not a superstitious guy. But I've heard the banana thing so often from so many people that I don't take a banana on my boat either. Why tempt fate when I'd rather live without bananas than without fish?

I don't carry a rabbit's foot, and I don't mind walking under a ladder (after first looking up). Our housecat is all black, and she crosses my path several times a day.When it comes to fishing, I have no lucky charms tucked in my vest or boat.

But maybe--just maybe--there's something to angling superstitions after all. Fishing luck is a funny thing. Who knows what controls it? If I search long enough, I know I'll be able to find a couple of 4- leaf clovers in the yard. Maybe I'll put one in a tackle box, just in case...