Have you heard of these five fishing superstitions? If you believed them, you may have been duped.
We all have a way of doing things that tend to be uniquely our own, but fishing superstitions take things to a whole new category.
As anglers we plan our fishing trips according to many factors, but once we've caught that first fish it's easy to think it's going to be a good day on the water. But then there are always things that can ruin a good day, like bad weather, faulty gear, or sour attitudes.
How much of that is our fault, how much is coincidence, and how much is just flat out bad luck?
Some say that we shouldn't fish on a Thursday because that is the representative day of Thor, the God of Thunder. You know what that means, right? Thursdays are somehow the stormiest day afloat.
Others claim that Friday is unlucky since it is the day of the week that Jesus Christ was crucified. I suppose if we look long enough we can find an excuse to sit home on every single day of the week.
Time to sell our fishing gear, right?
Wrong. It's these kind of fishing superstitions that should finally be proven false, once and for all.
Black cats and flying albatross' aside, no fishing boat ever left its port with a full crew of anglers thinking that it was going to be the worst day ever.
On the contrary, we're here to tell you that it's virtually impossible to feel anything but joy once you have your fishing pole in your hands with nothing but the water before you.
Once we get over some old wives tales first.
Fishing Superstitions That We Need to Get Over
We live in a time of unprecedented technology. There are sophisticated electronics, prime fishing rods and reels, and even baits that look more real than live fish sometimes, not to mention fishing line that virtually will not break, we still come home skunked or worse.
If you follow social media on a regular basis you will find a plethora of reasons why this pro angling man or that professional fishing woman came home empty handed, and it certainly wasn't because of the color of their hair! Case in point:
1. Redheads Are Bad Luck
This is just silly, and totally unfounded. Plenty of bad luck fishermen, if that even is a thing, have black, blonde or brown hair. No scientific studies were ever done that pointed to red hair as statistically worse off. In fact, I can think of several examples to counter the whole idea.
I mean, look at Elite Series Pro Angler Jesse Wiggins. According to Bassmaster this angling pro from Cullman, Alabama has finished in the top 20 ten times, in the top 10 six times, been a third place finisher twice, and has officially won three different tournaments to the tune of some $380,000. And he looks as proud as a ginger can be.
Ashley Rae and the Fly Gal April Vokey have a streak of red to them, and they're two of the best angling women that the world has to offer.
So let's dispense with the whole redhead thing. It never made any sense to begin with.
2. No Bananas Allowed
Bananas, really? Even though the yellow fruit supposedly brought spiders on board ships back in the sailing days of cross-global trade market, it wouldn't have been the first time, or the last, that they were taken across seas.
Is it that the color yellow puts the kibosh on fishing? So then why is it that so many lures and lure presentations come in some form of the color? Chartreuse has been nailing bass in particular for generations and I for one can attest to the fact that a yellow body, yellow tail, yellow polka dot Mepps Black Fury has been getting me strikes since the early 70s.
Bring your bananas on your boat and quit worrying. They're good for you.
3. Fishing Without That Lucky Hat
It seems as though this could have some legs since we've all probably had at least a few fishing hats in our lifetime.
My daddy had many and he wouldn't think of going out fishing with me or anybody else without one. He even left them in the boat where they were the most needed!
I can certainly find many successful fishing pictures of my own showing my long hair tucked under a snapback hat, but I'll bet that I have more photos without one. I never bought in.
The thing is that most of us who have had good days fishing with our hat on might think that we need it to be successful. Really, it's only a state of mind.
It's the same as a confidence lure: if you feel like it helps then by all means do it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you can still outfish your buddy without your lucky hat, or while he's still wearing his.
Like many superstitions, it's difficult to figure out when this one started. Having said that, there's no doubt that most of us aren't interested in listening to our fishing partner whistle while he works. It's jus that it can't be proven to be bad luck.
Sound travels over water better than it travels through water, but as a group, we all feel like any sound—particularly the wrong sound—can make fishing go south in a hurry. That's probably where this superstition got started, but it's just sort of agreeable that you should stay pretty quiet or you're going to scare the fish away.
While we're talking about sound, we can't deny all those rattling, buzzing, and humming baits that we all use to perfection ever since they were invented, right? I suppose when someone makes a lure that whistles, we'll find out once and for all whether it causes bad luck.
5. Start Out On the Right Foot
Literally the right foot, not the left.
Even a sailor will get upset with other crew members for getting onboard left foot first, but fishermen? If you do this, you'll never catch another fish for the rest of your life! Or, at least that's how some would lead you to think.
If we stopped to consider which foot it was that we stepped into the boat with every time, we'd realize that it's a fifty-fifty proposition. Whether you fail most of the time or find success, the foot you use to board the boat can't really matter.
Just remember, good luck is a matter of combining confidence with reality, and it's not so much a lucky fishing hat as it is a smart fishing brain. A bad day on the water doesn't have anything to do with that banana in your bag.
When it comes to fishing, its all a matter of skill, perseverance, and the way that you hold your mouth...
At least that what my grandmother always said!
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NEXT: BLUEGILL: THE COMMON FISH FOR THE COMMON ANGLER