Yes, We Have No Bananas

Blue Bastard

by Scott Sadil

At least not on Brad Morris’s Flycaster skiff, which we’ve been using daily to run over to Adolphus Island, where the blue bastards, roaming across the flats, have provided all you can ask for in the way of challenging sport.

Brad, our lead guide this week out on Albany Island, off the eastern tip of Cape York, belongs to that cabal of angling afiçionados who believe without question that bananas, in any shape or form, are bad luck on a fishing boat.

When he realized, at the end of our first afternoon on the water, that my daypack held a container of Banana Boat 50+ SPF sunscreen, essential protection for my long-abused fair skin, he immediately told me that’s no doubt why we hadn’t hooked any of the few blue bastards we had sighted in the nearby flats.

Brad Morris

I figured my casts were the problem—that, and the necessary learning curve I needed to pass through before I could spot these spooky fish.

“Your casts are fine, mate,” said Brad.  “But keep that bloody banana #xxzz%%*! out of my boat.”

Whenever the subject of bananas and the belief in their power to bring bad luck arises, I’m reminded of a time I was fishing for roosterfish and dorado out of La Ventana, on the Sea of Cortez, with a group of mystery/crime writers, T. Jefferson Parker, C.J. Box, and the like.  After a couple of days highlighted by strange miscues and lost or misplayed fish, I was beginning to think I was in the midst of a slump, the kind of spell that can feel as if the fishing gods have turned, if only momentarily, against you.