Bananas – a Costa Rica fishing tale

Costa Rica fishing has its own annals of humor. Anglers who fish Costa Rica have many tales to tell. Some are quite fascinating. In addition, lots of Costa Rica sportfishing captains can also add to the rich pages.

In a diversion from the norm, for your amusement and entertainment, here is a Costa Rica fishing tale from three years ago.

Let’s face it: anglers are a very superstitious lot. Seasoned anglers certainly are. Furthermore, Costa Rica fishing captains in Costa Rica are not exempt either

For Costa Rica fishing captains, bananas mean bad luck

If you spend more than a few days on a Costa Rica fishing charter, you will begin to grasp the idea of ‘Good and Bad Luck’, and just about everything in between.

bananas costa rica fishing

Bananas on a boat bring bad luck!

Let’s take bananas. Many Costa Rica fishing captains consider bananas to be the epitome of bad luck. Furthermore, some of the local Costa Rica sportfishing captains will flat out tell you, ‘Las bananas llevan mala suerte a un bote de pesca. Por favor no las traiga! (Bananas are bad Mojo on a fishing boat. Please don’t bring them!)

There is a hint of logic in this. In addition, psychologically, one supposes it can influence your catch. There are many reasons why bananas are considered Bad Luck. The one people cite most is tied to the woes of dockworkers unloading banana boats from Central America. The banana cargo most often contained nasty biting spiders. Of course, the bites were not only painful, but occasionally deadly.

Bring a banana, end up like Anna

Other stories have banana oil rubbing off on one’s hands and “spooking” the fish. Therefore, the fish don’t bite. And, of course, you will always hear the story of a crew member slipping on the banana peel left on the deck, etc., etc.

Remember this school ditty:

Here lies the body of Anna
Who was done to death by a banana.
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her so low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

Nevertheless, the impact that this superstition has on anglers is real.

Good Karma is very important! And many anglers who fish Costa Rica bring along Good Luck charms. They might wear a favorite shirt or hat. Some claim that powering down a beer before boarding the boat will bring them fishing luck. Others will bring along some sort of stuffed mascot or toy on their Costa Rica sportfishing charter.

Shrek promises a good Costa Rica fishing day

cazador golfito fishing shrek

Shrek helps boat this nice Grouper on the Cazador

FishCostaRica founder Richard Krug and his buddies from La Jolla CA get together here every year. Most often they travel south to fish with Captain Bobby McGuinness out of Golfito. They always bring along Shrek (see photo) as their good luck charm.

The mere thought of bad luck can cause an imbalance in the captain and/or crew’s Ying and Yang. The imbalance results in a poor catch. Bananas are bad luck only for those who believe they are bad luck. However, one superstitious crew member can affect an entire boat’s Karma.

Bananas and fishing – you be the judge

Here is an epic tale well worth reading about sportfishing lore and a lesson to be learned. FishCostRica thanks Captain MJ Alligood, 34ft Epic out of Los Sueños Marina in the Central Pacific, for this great story:

We started the day fishing inshore with a couple of guys from Escazú (a popular San José suburb) and their two boys. After catching some small Snapper for the boys to reel in, we decided to run offshore because the bite has been so good.

We had lots of action offshore. We tallied around 20 Sailfish bites from 11 AM on. Unfortunately, the hooks were not sticking well, and we jumped off about 15 or so in the first few hours. We also pulled the hook on a nice Blue Marlin.

Banana gone, fish arrive

Its hard not to smile when you catch a Dorado off the coast of Costa Rica.By mid-afternoon we discovered one of the guests eating a banana – which if you don’t know, bananas are very bad luck for fishing. Very bad juju, we explained. So he quickly ate the banana and tossed the peel over.

We thought that problem was solved. Just before we pulled the lines out, we hooked four Sails out of a pack that covered us up. And there were even more Sails following the teasers as I pulled them into the boat.

As our two anglers chaotically fought the four Sails, two jumped off. However, my mate Randall quickly hooked two more while we were still fighting the two of the first four. As luck would have it, we only landed one of the six Sails hooked in the flurry.

So that left us with a tally of five Sails for 20+ bites, and 0-1 on Blue Marlin. By the way, we also boated three Dorado – not a bad day. However, it could have been an EPIC day!

And here comes the punchline. On the way back we discovered that our guests still had a whole cluster of bananas in their backpack!


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