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Superstitions and Lucky Charms

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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!


[For several reasons, our] whole trip, from the lodge Sunday morning to our condo in Cincinnati last night, was about 32 hours long. Fortunately, the luggage and fish boxes arrived with us. The fish was still frozen when we unpacked it after we got home. That extra care your fish packers took in wrapping the catch with that foil-bubble insulation material really did the trick. I really appreciate your seeing to that. We had a wonderful time in Sitka. The Checkmate is a terrific, well-built boat. Having the head on board sure makes for a far more comfortable and enjoyable experience out on the water. We were lucky to have Captain E.J. and deckhand Tom taking care of us out there. They were professional and friendly at the same time, a good combination of traits, and they made sure we had a good time. E.J. makes fantastic sandwiches, Tom made sure we kept our lines untangled, hooks baited and our bait in the water, and the girls made some absolutely addicting cookies for us. Your client coordinator took really good care of us. She helped the three ladies to have two super days exploring Sitka. All of us had an unforgettable experience. We enjoyed the camaraderie with everyone in the lodge. We met some neat people from all over. We loved the breakfast girls! As always, our accommodations were clean and comfortable. Well, anyway, thanks a million. I wish I could come back sooner and more often. In the meantime, I visit your website every day to look at the catch of the day and read Tom's blogs. I have the Sitka weather on my computer all the time. My heart is there. Best wishes for a successful season. Please extend our sincere thanks to all of your staff for a job well done. I couldn't recommend your operation highly enough. -Mark F. (June 2010)