Fishin’ with Capt. Gus
Capt. Gus Gustafson is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide.
Visit www.FishingWithGus.com or call 704-617-6812 for more information or to book a trip.
CAPT. GUS GUSTAFSON
Good Luck/Bad Luck
There isn’t a more superstitious group than a group of fishermen. When an angler catches a big fish on his/her first outing, the word “luck” is almost always mentioned. Words like “beginners luck” or “wasn’t that a lucky catch” are often mixed with the congratulatory remarks.
Fishing luck can be both good and bad. You hear about lucky rods, lucky hats, lucky boats and lucky lures. On the other hand, you hear about bad luck when a big one gets away or when fishing is poor.
The words luck, lucky, good luck, bad luck, and unlucky are used frequently by anglers, probably because that’s an easy way to sluff-off unexplainable events and poor fishing skills. A good example is of a person who catches all the fish on one side of the boat, while another isn’t catching any.
When they switch sides, the same person continues to catch fish, while the other catches none. Is that good luck, bad luck or no luck at all?
It’s funny, but when fishing is good, it’s all about skill. When it’s slow, it’s explained away as an unlucky day or some stupid superstition is blamed - like the superstition that bananas on fishing boats bring bad luck.
How that started is uncertain, but bananas are taboo on many charter boats along the coast. Some captains even take it a step further. Not only do they not allow bananas on board, but even a piece of clothing with the word banana written on it is banned. Clients who wear Banana Republic clothing are sometimes asked to change clothes before leaving the dock, since the word banana appears on the logos and labels.
Other superstitions include:
*Catching a fish on the first cast of the day is considered unlucky, and might be the only fish of the trip.
*Fishing boats painted green don’t catch fish.
*Peanuts, like bananas, bring bad luck when brought on board.
* Kissing a fish before it is released brings good luck.
Fishing takes commitment, understanding, lots of time on the water, and yes, a little bit of good luck. Like any other sport, the harder you work at it, the luckier you become.
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