Trip Ideas - 13 min read

How To NOT Get Seasick On A Fishing Boat (What The Experts Do!)

Jessica Langille

Jessica Langille, Updated October 15, 2022

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Fishing is a fun activity for people that enjoy spending time on the water. While many people find fishing on a boat relaxing, others have to deal with seasickness. If you’re someone that deals with seasickness, you don’t have to turn down a day of fishing. Instead, you should become familiar with some of the ways to avoid getting seasick.

Make sure you’re well-hydrated before getting on the boat. You should avoid drinking alcohol before and during your fishing trip. While you’re at sea, focus your attention on something other than the waves. You should also avoid reading while you’re on the boat. If your stomach gets upset while you’re on the water, we recommend using ginger root or Dramamine.

Don’t let seasickness ruin your fishing trip. If you experience motion sickness, there are many ways that you prevent it before it starts. That is why we’re going to share some expert tips with you today. We will let you know what you should do before and during the fishing trip to avoid getting seasick.

Were you under the impression that you couldn’t go fishing because you get seasick? Keep reading to find out what you should do so you can enjoy a day at sea.

How Can I Avoid Seasickness On A Fishing Boat?

Credit: Marie / Flickr

Do you experience seasickness? This happens because the human balance mechanism is offset by the heavy motion of the waves. When this happens, your eyes and ears won’t send the proper signals to your brain.

Now, there isn’t a guaranteed cure for seasickness. However, there are many ways that you can prepare yourself so you’re less likely to experience sickness while you’re on the boat.

What you eat can affect how you feel on the boat. You will want to avoid eating any foods that could upset your digestive system. Foods that are high in fat or contain a lot of oil should be avoided. While it may seem like a quick and convenient option to grab fast food to fill up before your trip, this could cause more harm than good.

Eat A Light Meal

Spicy foods should also be avoided before you go fishing. Any foods with a high level of spice or acidity could leave you with an upset stomach. This includes citrus and juices as well.

Instead, you should eat light foods. Ideally, you should fill up on foods that are easy for your stomach to digest. This includes things like fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, rice, and oatmeal.

What you should never do before going on a fishing boat is skip a meal. Fishing on an empty stomach can cause severe seasickness.

It can also help to bring some plain foods on board for when you’re feeling nauseous. Snacks like saltine crackers, pretzels, almonds, or even bread can help to settle your stomach.

Sit In The Middle Of The Boat

Did you know that where you sit could be triggering seasickness? To avoid seasickness, always sit in the middle of the boat. This is because the middle is where you will find the best balance. You will be less likely to feel sick if you sit here. If you’re unable to sit in the middle, try to get a seat towards the back of the boat.

Some people get seasick on a boat, but don’t get sick in cars, airplanes, etc. This is because of the intense motions of the boat. A fishing boat can sway side-to-side while also rocking in an up-and-down motion. The middle of the boat is where you can feel the least of these motions.

This doesn’t just apply to fishing boats. If you want to go on a cruise but are worried about seasickness, you should request a room in the middle of the cabin.

Stay Above Deck

The level can also play a role in whether or not you get sick. Always stay above deck on the boat. If you often experience motion sickness, you should avoid going below deck while the boat is operating.

When you’re at a higher elevation, it’s easier to avoid sickness. This is because you will be able to focus on the horizon instead of the waves and motion. Believe it or not, this little change can make a huge difference in how you feel while you’re on the boat.

You will also get more fresh air above deck, which will help keep your body in sync. Fresh air is one of the easiest ways to tame sea sickness.

Avoid Alcohol

Spicy and greasy foods aren’t the only things you should avoid putting in your body before getting on a fishing boat. If you experience motion sickness, you shouldn’t drink any alcohol before or during the fishing trip. This can also be said for the night before you go fishing as well. If you drink too much and have a hangover in the morning, you’re likely to get very sick onboard.

Now, we don’t want to kill your party. However, it’s important that you know the effects that alcohol can have on your body when you’re on a fishing boat. Not only can alcohol leave you dehydrated, but it can also prevent your body from adjusting to the boat’s motion.

It’s okay to have one alcoholic beverage while you’re on board. However, if you overindulge, you’re more likely to feel seasick. The same rule also applies to caffeine. Too much coffee or energy drinks can leave you dehydrated and feeling sick on the fishing boat. If you’re serious about avoiding seasickness, drink a cup of peppermint tea instead of coffee or wine.

Sip Some Water

Want to know the easiest and most efficient way to not get seasick? Staying hydrated is the easiest way to avoid sickness. Of course, you should aim to stay hydrated all of the time. However, we can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated while you’re on a boat.

It’s not that water is a cure for seasickness. The reason making sure you drink enough water is crucial is that dehydration can make seasickness much worse. If you’re someone who experiences motion sickness, any time you’re dehydrated, you will feel much sicker.

Make sure you bring enough bottled water to last for the length of your fishing trip. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, we recommend periodically taking sips from your bottle. This is one of the simplest ways to make sure you don’t get dehydrated while you’re out.

Don’t Watch The Waves

Watching the waves is not good for motion sickness. On top of feeling all of the motions of the boat rocking against the waves, you’ll also see the movement. Focusing on the waves will put you in the wrong mindset. Motion sickness can often be equal parts of what you feel and see. By drawing your focus towards anything else, you’re eliminating the sight of the intense motions.

In this situation, we recommend focusing on the horizon instead of the waves. Keep your eyes above the waterline to avoid seeing how rough the water is. If you can, try to distract yourself by having a conversation with another passenger. You guys will be focused on each other instead of the waves.

If you catch yourself watching the water and start to feel sick, we suggest closing your eyes. Keep your eyes shut, take a deep breath of fresh air, and have a moment to yourself. When you shut your eyes, you will give your body a chance to adjust to the motion.

What To Do If You Feel Seasick?

Credit: Marco Verch / Flickr

There are many great ways to avoid seasickness, but unfortunately, they don’t work for everyone. When you start to feel sick while you’re on the boat, it helps to know how to handle it at the time. If you get motion sickness, you’ll want to keep reading to find out what can help.

Ginger Root

Ginger root is one of the most effective natural ways to manage motion sickness. This is because ginger is known for relieving symptoms that are associated with seasickness and other types of motion sickness. People that get dizzy easily should consider this form of treatment.

Here’s the good thing about ginger, it can easily be added to your diet in many ways. You can make food that incorporates fresh ginger root or even dried ground ginger. One of the most soothing choices is hot ginger tea. However, in a pinch, ginger ale may also be effective.

If you’re on a fishing boat in the middle of the sea, some of these options aren’t accessible. Luckily, there are ginger vitamins and ginger candies that you can bring on the boat with you. Take one before heading out or when you start to feel nauseous.

Scopolamine

Scopolamine is a medication that can effectively reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. Unfortunately, this drug is not available over the counter. If you feel that your symptoms of motion sickness are severe enough that you need prescription drugs, we recommend making an appointment with your doctor.

The reason that scopolamine is prescription-only is because of the side effects. People who have a medical condition or are on other prescription drugs may experience very serious side effects from scopolamine. That is why you should always speak to a medical professional that is familiar with your medical history before taking this medicine.

So, what is scopolamine? It’s a tropane alkaloid and anticholinergic drug in the form of a patch that can be produced naturally or synthetically. When people use scopolamine, it reduces nausea, saliva, and vomiting. It’s known as the strongest medicine for motion sickness.

Dramamine

Are you going out for a fishing trip, but don’t have time to book a doctor’s appointment for a scopolamine prescription? Don’t worry, we have a great over-the-counter alternative to tell you about. Dramamine is a type of dimenhydrinate used to treat motion sickness. Since the side effects of this drug aren’t as strong as scopolamine, anyone can buy it from a local drugstore.

How Dramamine works by using an antihistamine to reduce the body’s natural histamine. This can prevent the symptoms of motion sickness from occurring. After taking Dramamine (or a similar dimenhydrinate drug) you will no longer feel nausea, dizziness, or have an upset stomach.

While Dramamine is an excellent way to reduce motion sickness, it’s not for everyone. Some people find this form of motion sickness treatment too strong and feel very drowsy after taking it. If you don’t like Dramamine, we suggest Bonine. This meclizine is just as effective as Dramamine without the drowsy feeling.

Pressure Points

Knowing your body’s pressure points can be very helpful for reducing certain types of sickness. The P6 acupressure point can be used to relieve motion sickness.

This point is located approximately three finger-width away from your wrist in the middle of your forearm. When you find this point on your arm, gently massage it or put pressure on it.

For the best results, we recommend massaging this area prior to getting on the boat. However, it should still be effective if you apply pressure once you get on the boat. If you frequently get seasick or experience motion sickness, it’s best to massage this pressure point before you start to feel symptoms.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy may be effective for mild cases of seasickness. An old fisherman’s trick is to bring a Ziploc bag with lemon or lime slices in it. If you start to feel queasy, open the bag and smell the fruit slices. This trick is also known to work with rosemary.

There are other forms of aroma therapy that can be used. Scents like lavender, peppermint, spearmint, fennel, ginger, and cardamom are known for their ability to reduce nausea. Essential oils are a great way to experience the benefits of these scents. You can also use perfumes, scented lotions, or wax.

Keep in mind, aromatherapy is not a cure for motion sickness. By using aromatherapy, you may help reduce the symptoms. Unless your case of motion sickness is very mild, we suggest using aromatherapy along with one or more methods on this list for the best results.

Control Your Breathing

If you start to feel sick on a fishing boat, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s very important to take control of your breathing because air is very important for reducing seasickness. As suggested earlier, try to get yourself above deck and get some fresh air.

Many people find that taking in a few deep breaths of fresh air can help reduce the symptoms. Make sure you breathe in and out slowly. Also, try your best to stay relaxed because getting anxious can make you feel even more nauseous. Slow and deep breaths (with your eyes closed) can help to center your body while also helping it adjust.

Should You Take Dramamine The Night Before A Fishing Trip?

If you know that you can get motion sickness, it’s always best to be prepared ahead of time. So, this has a lot of people wondering when the best time to take Dramamine (or similar medicine) is. Taking Dramamine the night before you go fishing and the day of the boat ride will have the best results.

The reason why is that Dramamine takes time to become effective. If you wait until you feel the symptoms come on, the drug likely won’t be effective until it’s time to get off the boat. When you take Dramamine the night before, the drug will be able to stop symptoms of motion sickness before they can develop.

How Long Before Going On A Boat Should I Take Dramamine?

Dramamine takes 30 to 60 minutes to kick in. However, every person is different, and for many people, it takes longer than that to fully kick in. Once you take Dramamine, the effects should last for up to 24 hours. That is why people will often take it long before their fishing trip starts. If you’re going out on the boat early in the morning, it can be effective to take it before going to bed.

Can You Train Yourself Not To Get Seasick?

Credit: Phuket / Flickr

Did you know that you can beat motion sickness? Of course, it will take some time to get yourself adjusted, but it is possible to train yourself not to get seasick. If you do suffer from seasickness, exposing yourself to water activities is a step forward in not getting seasick anymore.

So, how does this work? What you need to do is allow yourself to get used to the motions of the water by becoming desensitized to it. Arrange to go on a short boat ride. If a friend or colleague owns a boat, see if they wouldn’t mind taking you on a short 5 to 10-minute trip. Then, allow yourself to gradually increase the length of time for each trip afterward as your body gets used to it.

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