How superstitious are you? Do you know a specific fruit to not to bring on the boat? If so you're probably as superstitions as most anglers.
I ask because a banana mysteriously made its way onboard, concealed in backpack, while fishing yesterday as I joined Capt. Carlos Boothby of Sinbad Charters. The angler, who I will only refer to as Jamey H., said he doesn't believe in the superstition as he munched away on his yellow fruit.
When the banana exited his backpack, the other three anglers and myself all looked at him in disbelief. Was he really breaking the cardinal sin of maritime tradition?
He had plenty of time to eat. The bite was rather slow, despite the water looking extremely alive around us. We were sitting a mile off the beach in about 30 feet over a rock pile. Everything looked right for a great fall bite, water temperatures in the high 70s, strong east winds, and plenty of bait and birds causing commotion on the surface.
His peel hit the water, and the fishing still was slow. It should have been on fire, but the fish just weren't biting. Then the question was asked to Jamey H., "Do you have another one of those?"
"I do," he said.
"Where?" everyone responded, prompting Jamey to pull it out. He was fishing with four other captains, all of whom believe in the strict no-banana maritime tradition. In fact, keep the Banana Republic clothing and Banana Boat sunscreen at home as well.
Instantly, Capt. Travis Keon, who was visiting from Washington, D.C., grabbed the second banana without hesitation and tossed it overboard.
Not more than two minutes later, the bite turned on, and that is not a joke.
Huge Spanish mackerel, sharks and bonita were terrorizing baits around the boat. Any bait that hit the water didn't seem to last longer than five seconds before meeting it's fate along the food chain.
The water was truly alive, a sight that would excite even the most stoic of anglers. With the banana gone, we were in catching mode, and man was it ever good. For a solid two hours, it was a drag-screaming fish on every cast, mostly huge Spanish mackerel that averaged about 24 inches.
The kingfish seemed to be around but were not feeding at the time. I still blame the bananas for that one, knowing we had been doing everything right.
Right now is the time to be fishing near shore reefs and rock piles from 20 to 40 feet when the weather allows. Over the next month, it should get better as more fish push south with cooling water temperatures. Load your live well with white bait, and it should be some of the best action you'll see all year.
Just remember, don't bring bananas.