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Video: Florida anglers catch big snappers with 'forbidden fruit'

Posted June 9

PENSACOLA, Florida — For many anglers, bananas are forbidden fruit. Bring them out on your fishing boat and you’ll doom the trip, or so goes the popular superstition.

A Florida-based fishing guide named Captain Brant decided to put this theory to the test by taking three big bunches of bananas on a recent expedition off Pensacola Beach. Not only did he bring bananas, but he used them as bait.

As his fishing buddy filmed the action, Brant mashed a chunk of banana onto his hook and enticed a strike from a large red snapper. And to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, his friend went on to catch another nice fish with a banana.

“Guys, I think we can determine that the curse of the banana is just a myth,” he says in the video. “Because we’re out here catching giant fish and we’re using a banana as bait. And we probably have three packs of bananas on the boat with us right now.”

So where does the banana superstition come from? According to Snopes.com, there are many possible origins. But whatever the source, banana hate is so deeply rooted that some fishing guides are even averse to “items bearing the word ‘banana’ or anything evocative of it, such as Fruit of the Loom underwear, Banana Republic apparel and Banana Boat sunscreen.”

A 2001 article in the New York Times offered one possible reason for the banana superstition. According to a New York fishing guide quoted in the article, it has something to do with a “shipload of bananas that carried some weird bacteria which killed everyone on board.”

The guide in that article went on to recount that when a client boarded his boat wearing a Banana Republic T-shirt, another angler in the party took a knife and slashed the logo out.

Despite this widespread fear of bananas, Brant seems confident that his experiment is conclusive.

“Today, we put the superstition to rest,” Brant said in the video’s description. “We have confirmed that bananas aren't bad luck on a boat, and they actually help you catch monster fish.”

Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." You can contact him at www.grant-olsen.com.

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