Fishing with Bananas? Not So Crazy


Fishermen are superstitious lot. A lucky hat, a lucky jig … forgetting one of these good-luck charms can ruin the trip for some anglers. There are just as many don’ts when fishing. One big angling superstition is bananas. The superstition stems back to the clipper-ship days, when big bunches of bananas would often hide snakes, spiders, rats, and other nasties. Old-time sailors associated the appearance of these undesirables with the bananas, and a superstition was born.

Despite modern-day food-handling techniques, the superstition continues to persist … for most anglers. One captain not only scoffs at the notion, he uses banana peels to successfully target one of the most prized gamefish.

bananasCapt. Nathaniel Lemmon isn’t you’re average fishing guide. He doesn’t fall into superstitions. He carries bananas on board and even uses them for bait.

“I was fishing out with some buddies and I cut up some banana peel to make a jig to prove that the superstition isn’t real,” he says. “I caught two reds, back-to-back.”

Capt. Lemmon has been running his guiding charter for the past eight years out of Mosquito Lagoon. He is originally from the mountains of West Virginia, but frequently traveled to Florida with his family. Before becoming a full-time guide and angler, he worked for non-profit organizations. He now says he guides over 280 days a year.

He has guided people from all over the world, from South Africa to Japan. He offers fishing charters in New Smyrna Beach and the Indian River Lagoon. This day, Capt. Lemmon was out on the north end of Mosquito Lagoon, sight fishing for redfish.

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Photos: Salt Water Sportsman (top); Fanpop (above)