August 13th, 2010
Don't Push Your Luck! Especially on Friday the 13th…
Fishing is a delicate business. There are unseen forces at work, paying attention to the care and respect you devote to the ocean, the boat, the gear, and the sport overall. So it's important to adhere to special rules and follow specific routines to ensure the best possible catch, every single day.
Calm seas, blue sky, and great fishing are more likely when you don't push your luck.
We at Alaska Premier Charters aren't particularly superstitious, but there are some old seafaring rules we follow, not wanting to push our luck by disrespecting the ocean and the fish.
We do not bring bananas on board. This tradition dates back hundreds of years, from when sailors brought bunches of bananas on board with them that harbored deadly spiders. Crew members would get sick and die from spider bites. In addition to that, however, slippery banana peels are a safety issue. And banana oil rubbing off on your hands and getting onto the bait spooks the fish so they don't bite.
Flowers on board are unlucky, so we don't bring them. Funeral wreaths are made of flowers, and we don't want to send a signal that we are preparing for someone to die while out fishing.
We do not cut our hair or nails while at sea. A long time ago hair clippings from the deceased were used as offerings to the Roman goddess, Proserpine. We don't want to give her any ideas.
Multiple fish on is always good luck!
Please help make your Alaska fishing trip special and keep the fish coming. Take these rules seriously. For extra special good luck, you can also try the following:
Step aboard with your right foot first. Left foot first is considered bad luck.
Do not whistle on the boat, for fear of whistling up a storm. Wouldn't you rather have good weather conditions for fishing?
Donate some change to the sea, to show your good will and appreciation for the bounty that she offers up.
Make sure all buckets and containers are right-side-up. Upside-down buckets signify a sinking ship.
Hope a black cat crosses your path. Black cats are good omens to sailors.
Especially if you had good luck the day before, you don't want to wash your luck away; wear the same clothing, unwashed until you're done fishing.
If the fish don't seem to be biting, start eating lunch, use the rest room, decide to take a nap… Some form of diversionary tactic is often all that is needed to get a bite.
And finally, for added fun, ask your captain what he considers lucky. Does he have a special fishing tradition, routine, or talisman?
Eat a salmon eyeball for good luck? Only if you absolutely WANT to!