Here is how I came to create my "BananaFish" and what the story is of, and why it is of such concern to the fishermen and sailors.
I first heard of the terrible misfortune that bananas would bring to a fishing venture if they were brought on board during a trip about two years ago. Before this I had gone out on deep sea fishing ventures for about fourteen years and never heard a whisper of the curse, then again I nor any of the fishing party with me has ever brought those wicked fruits on board.
So about two years ago I took my father (to enjoy his company while I still have him) for the first time to experience the thrill of off shore fishing and so off we went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We booked Country Girl out of Pirates Cove with Captain "Big Al" and mate Randy and early in the morning we loaded our supplies on the boat (including bananas) and set for the open ocean. We were out to our fishing destination for over an hour and nothing was happening other than a snapped line, a close catch of a big yellow fin that got away last second and another that became shark chow...not too good. That's about when Randy came struttin' through the cabin and suddenly stopped, backed up and looked in the trash can where he saw a banana peel. Next thing I know he was in an upset tone asking who had the bananas and started talking about the Captain was going to probably cancel the trip, our day was shot, we weren't going to catch anything and so on. I looked at Randy and said one of those "yeah right..." and I suddenly sensed that he wasn't kidding which prompted me to ask what's the problem? That's when I was informed that bananas are extremely bad luck to have on a fishing boat and we were told to throw all the remaining bananas overboard of which we did without hesitation after sensing how genuine the response was from the mate. By this time Big Al caught wind of our evil mistake and had a talk with Randy and I guess they thought we ruined the day by our deeds but they would keep us out for the remaining hours to waste due to the bananas had all been ejected and maybe things wouldn't go any more downhill.
From that time on we started hauling in the Tunas, released a sail fish and played the dolphin and everybody had a blast. On the return trip most of the party were napping from a busy day, so I ventured to the flying bridge and was talking to Big Al and brought up the subject of the bananas...he got that look on his face like I just told him his boat would look better in pink. Any way he informed me that the bananas are taken very seriously yet he couldn't tell me why this was or the origin of the curse and I said to him "well you have your tuna flag for when you catch tuna and your marlin flag for when you catch marlin so you should have a banana flag for when you catch nothing or have a bad day" and he looked at me and said "not a bad idea".
That's when I started thinking this is something that nobody has worked with considering after fourteen years of fishing the only way I found out was by the mistake of taking the bananas on board....how far spread is this belief?...where does it come from?....what can I do with it?
When I returned home I started doing a little research to answer my questions and was surprised to find that this was not a local suspicion but was known up and down both coast of the North American continent, now I needed to know where it came from. I was amazed that with so many fishermen believing in the curse of the bananas that none of them knew the origin, but in time enough of them gave me bits and pieces and adding the repeated parts from many of the older men of the sea and some women who know the older tales I found out why the bananas earned their reputation among the fishing fleets.
Now when I go out to sea I leave the bananas at home and fly one of my "NO BANANAS" flags and we always have a good day.
The BananaFish was created from stories of long-ago fisherman and sailors who believed that bananas brought bad luck. The story is that many, many years ago a sailing ship entered port with supplies bound for a fishing fleet. Among the supplies were bushels of bananas. These supplies were distributed through out the fishing fleet. After loading their supplies the fishing boats raised their sails and headed for the open ocean, unaware that the banana bushels were infested with black widow spider nests. As crew members started to sift through their supplies they were being bitten by the poisonous spiders and meeting their fate, remember that these guys were far from shore and there was no time to get to help. Many boats returned with a lot of the crew dead and in some cases the boats never returned at all (probably no survivors to sail the boat back).
Henceforth, bananas have been considered taboo on sailing and fishing boats, and became associated with bad luck. Therefore it is forbidden to have bananas on board!