How to Prevent Sea Sickness While Fishing

After a long morning in the galley losing our breakfast, our group listened as my brother who was drinking a beer and holding a 20-pound Bluefish explained why he wasn’t seasick. Afterward, the Captain told us the best way to stop Sea Sickness is to prevent it before it comes with a few proven remedies that are known in the Industry one of them was the Fisherman’s Cure. How do you prevent seasickness while fishing?

 To prevent Seasickness: 

  • Eat correctly before a Boat Trip
  • Use Dramamine
  • Wear Acupuncture Bands
  • Minimize Visualization Disorientation
  • Minimize Movement-Stay in the center & Low in the Boat
  • Try The Fisherman’s Cure For Seasickness
  • Learn Pressure Point #6
  • Transderm Scop or Zofran Patch

When we made the Head Boat it was really questionable if the Captain would take us out. He waited for a while got another cup of coffee and told us to load up, we would go out. Two hours into the trip heading south, towards Cape May for Bluefish, things got worse. Some of us were losing our breakfast. Soon all of us were hanging over the rails. Back inside there was a yell  “fish on” it was my brother who came into the galley with a 20 lb Blue.


Natural Ways to Prevent Sea Sickness


  1. Before You Get Sick!!
  2. Tie a rubber band (tight) around your wrist, about 3 fingers down from the palm of your hand. Use the Pressure Point #6 diagram below. If you are right-handed then tie off the rubber band on your right side. If you are left-handed then tie off the rubber band on your left-hand side.
  3. Sit down at a table and lay your head down Flat on the tabletop sideways-towards the opposite side that the rubber band is tied off on.  If you are Left-handed then lay your head down sideways facing the Right side. It’s a little uncomfortable but try an lay your head as flat as you can. You might have to scoot your butt out a little to adjust to the height of the tabletop. You don’t have to get it right the first time. Just practice the movement a couple of times until you are fluid and can do it comfortably.


  1. Lay your arms straight out in front of you on the table- Interlock your fingers. Your head will be in the middle of your arms, try to keep relaxed and most importantly your head is flat on the tabletop.
  2.  Close your eyes and relax as much as possible-Keeping your Head as flat on the table as possible-Don’t open your eyes or you will have to start the procedure all over again.
  3. The idea is to do it in 4 moves in a single motion at a table  SIT DOWN-LAY YOUR HEAD FLAT ON THE TABLETOP-BRING YOUR ARMS OUT IN FRONT OF YOU-LOCK YOUR FINGERS PALMS FACING YOU-CLOSE YOUR EYES for about 5 minutes. That’s it. He explained that there is a Level between your ears that has a liquid that controls equilibrium and balance and if you visualize this liquid between your ears once you relax it will keep you from getting seasick.


 How to Not Get Sick On A Fishing Boat


My brother who had spent time in the military during the Vietnam era was cracking a beer and telling everyone his secret way to offset seasickness. He had learned the secret from an old Navy buddy.

This day when we went out on the ocean was a day where a dozen or so fishing Charters Captains wouldn’t out go out the water was rough from earlier storms.

In fact, we were the only boat that went out on the northern Jersey Shore. So it was more than rough. We have been going out on Head boats or our own Charters for many years. We are game when it comes down to it but when we look back we question why the Captain actually went out that day.

Between 10 or 20 miles out to sea, the 20 or 30 people that ended up on the boat were “chumin” like a pro’s over the rails and one by one the hearty fisherman of the Jersey Shore fell to the mighty ocean that would not give in to us.

Except for one, My older brother who flung open the door to the galley where most of the fisherman and even some of the crew were sitting waiting for the unenviable, who’s next on the rail closest to the Galley. He laughed at us and grabbed 2 more beers from my cooler. It wasn’t even his beer and when back outside in the rain to fish.

We were thinking that because no one was fishing the Captain would call it a day and come in early but no he didn’t. The next moment is when my brother flung open the door with a beer and a 20-plus pound Bluefish and said come on the fish were hitting. He said that “if you wait here thinking that you are going to get sick you will get sick”

That made some sense in that, sometimes you can convince yourself that you are feeling seasick. It could be because a few other people are definitely seasick and maybe barfing over the rails. Then the diesel smell mixed with the fish chum and the toilet in the Head boat has not been cleaned in a year or so.

Maybe you are not getting Seasickness maybe you are just a little queasy and because some other guys are sick you will be too. Just a matter of time!

There are a lot of proactive things that a guy or girl can do to prepare for a rough ride on the ocean to prevent seasickness. The ones we did hear were the ones everyone always heard about because they work. the first was to make sure you eat some breakfast. Even if you don’t want to eat breakfast and like me just have a large coffee from WaWa,  and some smokes ( I quit by the way) are all you need. Eat something that is not greasy and that is important.

It needs to be high in Carbohydrates like muffins bagels or soft pretzels. Something not too sugary like cream-filled donuts or pastries. Something that will expand in your stomach and soak up anything that may want to come up!  Take Dramamine, the over-the-counter medicine that everyone takes for motion sickness and nausea. When you stop to pick up some Coffee or Tea pick up some Dramamine. Stick it in your tackle box so you will always have a supply on hand when going out on the ocean.


 Remedies For Motion Sickness


Minimize your visual disorientation, in other words, look at the Horizon.  Focus on the farthest distant point. Because the horizon doesn’t move and is fixed. You can concentrate on it and your perception of where you start to change. It’s a mental process and you need to focus on it which makes it a little hard if you’re losing your cookies at the same time.

So be proactive and prevent yourself from getting sick. Don’t look down on the ground or at your feet.  If you can’t see the horizon from your location close your eyes for a while and see how that affects your sense of motion. Never look down. 

I sense some of this seasickness is psychological (not all but some) and has to do with the loss of control and a little panic going on with your senses 

This was something I heard about a long time ago that is part of the Chinese Acupuncture medicine. and is related to pressure point Number 6 which is between the two tendons that connect muscle to your bone. This pressure point is the one they use to relieve nausea and vomiting.

It is also similar to the control my brother told me about except he uses a rubber band. The ideas are that these things help to prevent seasickness. There is no cure only prevention and some relief remedies that people have come up with in the past centuries like the Chinese Acupuncture Remedy.

The Pressure Point #6

  • Position your hand so that your fingers are pointing up and your palm is facing you.
  • To find pressure point P-6, place the first 3 fingers of your opposite hand across your wrist (see Figure 1). Then, place your thumb on the inside of your wrist just below your index finger (see Figure 2). You should be able to feel 2 large tendons (tissue that connects muscles to bones) under your thumb. ​This is pressure point P-6.
  • Use your thumb or forefinger to press on this point for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a circular motion. Be firm, but don’t press so hard that it hurts.
  • Repeat the process on your other side


How to Stop Motion Sickness After It Starts


Other ways that were found to not get seasickness were found and scientifically proven through the years. As long as there has been a Navy to fight the wars, there have been guys that have been trying to make them better. Better ships better weapons and better sailors.

Could you imagine a submarine or a Destroyer in a battle in World War ll and everyone is seasick?  How would that have worked out? So there has been plenty of research on the subject of sea/motion sickness by governments around the world at least ours.

Changing location on a boat can Minimize Movement was one solution that the Navy came up with. Moving you around in different locations on the ship before you are incapacitated with sickness would offset the illness.  Just as in flying in an airplane or riding on a rollercoaster you are able to minimize movement by changing the location of the seat or position you are in. Could determine whether you get seasick. There are parts of a train or boat that have less movement than some other parts of the boat or airplane.

This will have an effect on whether you get seasick. If you’re on a boat, try and get as close to the boat’s center of motion as possible.

When our crew of fishermen got seasick at the Jersey Shore, some of us never had seasickness before. I was one of them. I used to brag about it.

Because of the storm, we all ended up in the galley which was in the center of the boat. There was less movement there but no fresh air. When we left to get air at the railing, guys were puking over the rail and we just ended up joining them. It was a horrible situation not much fishing for monster Bluefish but a lot of chumming for smaller species.

The position is very important whether it’s a big boat or a ship. The middle of the boat is close to the waterline. Is where you want to be if you start feeling a little queasy.  If you are at the bow or stern, you’ll experience more motion.  On a bigger or smaller type boat, If you’re on the port or starboard railing being sick, you’ll again get more motion than if you’re in the center of the boat.

Say if you are on a Cruise ship or a fish charter that has multi-decks and you’re on the top deck, once again you’ll be feeling more pronounced movements than if you’re lower down, close to sea-level.
If you are trying to find the optimum place on a boat, it might be necessary to consider some compromises so you are also in a place with fresh cool air and a view outside. The best place in a storm for preventing Seasickness would be low at the or below the waterline in the center of the boat in the open sea breeze.


Why Do People Get Seasick


I don’t have to explain the symptoms of seasickness. They are hard to explain but once you have them, you know what’s up. As I said I never had seasickness in my life but I knew exactly what it was. I’ve never had it again. The motion sickness part of it affects your sense of balance and equilibrium. Scientists researching astronauts in space call this sense spatial orientation because it tells the brain where the body is in space – what direction it is pointing, what direction it is moving, and if it is turning or standing still.

This information is regulated by the inner ears also called the labyrinth that monitors the directions of motion, such as turning or forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down motions. Also, the Eyes help record messages to the brain about where your body is at the time.

Your skin has receptors that send messages to your brain where your feet and hands are touching. Muscles, joints, and your entire nervous system all make up this complex group that is recording the world you are in.

The symptoms of motion or seasickness appear when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages and bits of confusing information and tries to make sense of it all. Which sounds psychological to me.

Scientists say at least 25% of the population gets seasick although they say that number is low because people think it’s a sign of weakness if you get ill from any type of motion sickness. Researchers believe that Motion Sickness is Strongly genetic If one parent has it, 50% of the children will have it.

The astronauts who are monitored in space are 70 % likely to get sick. Babies that are under the age of 2 years old are immuned to sea and motion sickness. The elderly are likely not to get seasick.

Crew members on Cruise Ships occasionally get seasickness at some time during their career and don’t get it again for years. Naval personnel report getting seasickness and it always affects them in some capacity while others say they have never had it.

Then there are the groups of people that can be fine but if a person they are with, gets nauseous and sick then based just on that, they can get sick. Like a chain reaction.  The fear of being sick is a powerful magnifying factor that can make you very much more likely to become sick even though you may not. Some people are so worried at the thought of possibly being sick that they can subconsciously make themselves sick.


Keeping a Boat In Saltwater

What is the Best Medication for Motion Sickness


For children, seasickness or motion sickness will last around 4 hours the same as for adults. Try and lay down and take sips of water. If you don’t have access to Sea bands are wrist bands that use  Pressure Point Acupuncture bands that are sold in Pharmacies then use the Physical Pressure Point 6 applying pressure to the area above the wrist shown in the diagram above. They should be purchased before you go but better late than never. The bands are more of a preventative.

Cures for Seasickness have been around for many years in fact as long as there have been people riding on boats. There are many homemade types of remedies but once you are afflicted there is not much for someone to do but ride it out.

There are some cures that seem to work on some people and not on others. Scientific research has been done on the causes and the sickness only lasts for around 4 hours.

Scientists have tried to simulate how some people get sick by building a chair that mimics a boat in the water which didn’t go too well.  One oral medicine was developed and was to be taken after you got sick. That didn’t work because the patient ends up throwing it up.

The Transderm-Scop patch is placed behind your ear and worn for up to 72 hours at a time. After 72 hours you replace it with another one if necessary, and it is suggested you alternate patches, one on your left side then one on the right side.

Transderm Scop (transdermal scopolamine) is an anticholinergic drug patch applied to the skin used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness or from anesthesia given during surgery. Side effects of Transderm Scop include dry mouth, dry or itchy eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, feeling restless, and memory problems.

Reliefband Premier Anti-Nausea Wristband| FDA Cleared Nausea & Vomiting Relief for Anxiety, Migraine, Motion Sickness (Car, Air, Train, Sea), Hangover & Morning Sickness | Drug-Free (Charcoal)  available through Amazon Zofran (ondansetron) is an antiemetic and selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist prescribed for the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy and is also used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. Zofran is available in generic form and has side effects.

The active ingredient in the Patch is absorbed through the skin. It takes up to four hours for a full dose to be initially absorbed, so for best results, put a patch on at least four hours before you’ll need it. You would have to use it before you got sick because it takes 4 hours to get into your bloodstream. There were also reactions to wearing the patch like blurred vision and problems urinating along with hallucinations and withdrawal systems.

Wasn’t working out too good for the Motion Sickness Research Industry. There are people who say that it works and they were cured of Motion/Sea Sickness by the Patch.

There were other types of drugs developed like Phenergan Suppositories These guys were of a serious nature that was only for people that are stricken with seasickness that was on the extreme side. Other drugs including orally administered scopolamine were also very powerful and couldn’t be used on a fish boat or a cruise ship.

Over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl is a diphenhydramine-based product and is similar to Dramamine. You need to take these before you get sick as a preventative to getting sick.  Then there are the Homeopathic treatments that are natural and Doctors don’t have much faith in them.

Trip Ease is a safe remedy for motion sickness for people that travel. Active ingredients are things like Sodium borate, and Cocculus Indicus, extracted from the Cocculus berry.

Besides the regular Acupuncture Band, there is the Magnetic Acupuncture Band that works like the other band but uses the hidden powers of the magnet along with the acupuncture at the P-6 point.

The newest band called The Electric Acupuncture Band is worn in the same place as a regular band, but a battery delivers a pulsed mild electric shock to your arm (you adjust the level until your fingers mildly tingle) which supposedly helps to calm your stomach. It seems that the only way to deal with Motion/Seasickness is to use some preventative measures that can stop it before it starts. But hold on there are some food sources that can help.

Ginger Ale is the go-to drink after someone got a belly ache. Perhaps the most common normal thing that many people claim works well for them is ginger root. Like a glass of Ginger Ale, your mom gave you when you had an upset stomach. Whether you eat pure ginger root, crystallized ginger, ginger tablets, ginger tea, or ginger cookies, ginger seems to help calm people’s stomachs and reduce their susceptibility to sea sickness.

Soda crackers/Saltines are recommended by some people the soda crackers both soak up any excess liquid in your stomach and also it is suggested that the alkaline soda in the crackers neutralizes any excess stomach acid. That with Ginger Ale sounds good.

Coca-Cola everyone knows that room-temperature Coca-Cola syrup is good for settling your stomach. It’s an old remedy natural that grandma gave you. All these natural fixes and prescriptions are for maybe recovering later on at the house but not on the boat at the scene of the crime.

Everyone knows that once it starts there is no dealing with vomiting so these home remedies are not cures and are feeling the effects from seasickness, I personally ain’t going to put anything in my mouth or swallow it.  Let’s Go Fishing!


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JimGalloway Author/Editor






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