How to prevent Seasickness by Fishing Mad. Do you suffer from sea or motion sickness? I know this feeling very well, I am a keen fisherman who has suffered from seasickness for many years. It has become somewhat of a comical joke amongst friends who find it quite amusing. Does this sound familiar to you? You have planned a boating or fishing trip and you’re excited to hit the water. However, your day on the boat is ruined with seasickness feeling nauseous, dizzy and your body temperature rises. Before you know it you have forgotten all about the fishing and are clinging to the side of the boat throwing up overboard. 

Seasickness also becomes a mental challenge. For years I refused to buy a boat or kayak fearful that I wouldn’t be able to use them properly. I avoided fishing trips anticipating that seasickness might ruin those events. I instead resorted to land-based fishing avoiding some amazing fishing opportunities. Seasickness cannot be cured but it can be managed. I have detailed years worth of medications and alternative therapies that now allow me to enjoy regular outings on the water not compromised by motion sickness. 

What is seasickness?

What is motion sickness and why does it affect some people and not others. Motion sickness is caused by a continuous unnatural movement that conflicts with your visual perception. Basically, this unnatural movement has your brain and motion senses conflicted. Your brain senses motion but your eyes see a still image. This generally causes dizziness, fatigue and discomfort which leads to nausea and vomiting. People with inner ear imbalances seem to be a lot more prone to these symptoms. But the good news is that it can be managed. I have tested and trailed just about every remedy under the sun and below will detail my success rates with medications, alternative therapies and general prevention.

How to prevent Seasickness with medications

Below is a list of suggested medications that we have used to manage seasickness when boating and fishing. The results, price and buying options to vary so it’s important to test and see which works best for you.

  • Kwells
  • TravaCalm original
  • Avomine
  • Meclizine HCI

As with all medications take some time to read the side effects, consult your health professional for proper usage and risks and follow the necessary usage guidelines.

Kwells helps prevent seasickness when fishing

Kwells for me has been a real game-changer. Taking 2 Kwells pills 30 minutes prior venturing out to sea has completely changed my outlook on boating. I have now had countless trips with kwells without any seasickness. There has only been the very odd occasion where I felt mild nausea. To improve my percentages I also made sure that I applied the general ways to avoid seasickness documented below. I really recommend it to anyone who suffers motion or seasickness.

Travacalm helps prevent seasickness when fishing

Travelcalm for seasickness

For this, I’m talking about the original Travacalm in the white and blue box. Not the other versions which are more ginger supplements. I have taken travalcalm original in exactly the same fashion as Kwells 2 pills 30 minutes prior to hitting the water. However, Travel calm didn’t really do anything to help my seasickness. In fact, I can vividly recall the taste of throwing up travel calm on many occasions which weren’t pleasant. I do know others who have used it and had great success with both motion sickness and drowsiness. So might be one for you to test and see how it works for you.

Avomine helps prevent seasickness when fishing

Avomine for seasickness

Avomine is small circular tablets often used by those in the Navy. These are known to make you quite drowsy so you generally take one tablet the night before going out to sea. These can be purchased directly from the chemist without a medical prescription. These are known to be great for seasickness, dizziness and vertigo but also used for those suffering from high anxiety. Personally, I haven’t used these but wanted to mention it as AI know others who have used them to great effect.

Meclizine HCI 25 helps prevent seasickness when fishing

Meclizine HCI seasickness tablets

Meclizine HCI 25 is very highly rated by many professional fishing operators that I work with. In fact, many of the major cruise ships in Australia hand these pills out to travellers who suffer from seasickness during one of the cruises. I have several fishing friends who use these religiously after an experience on a cruise ship. Their words are there is nothing that provides that same results. The only catch here is that it’s not readily available over the shelf in Australia but however can be purchased online even on eBay.

escape travel sickness 1300 seasick ETS

Endorsed by Andrew Ettingshausen the Escape Travel Sickness ETS is created by the team at Nile Compounding Chemist who has a 1300 hotline that you can dial and an online order assessment form where you can seek advice and have medication tailored to your symptoms. This has been highly regarded by many in the industry. You can find out more about this one on the escape travel sickness website

 

How to prevent Seasickness with Alternative therapies

There are also some very interesting alternative therapies available for motion sickness available. After years of experimenting with them, I’m still not quite sure just how effective they are.

  • Anti Nausea wristbands
  • Ginger

Do Anti Nausea wristbands help with seasickness?

Anti Nausea wristbands seasickness

I was recommended to give these a go by a chemist many years ago after having no success with travel calm. They were called Sea-Band travel sickness kit and sold for about 20 dollars for 2 wrist bands. The science behind these wrist bands is to provide medication-free nausea prevention. This is done by applying a small amount of pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on your wrist via a plastic stud in the wrist band. I was very sceptical of this concept at first but was very surprised that they somehow managed to work. For many years I have worn these wrist straps not knowing exactly how they work but confident that they are actually helping.

Does Ginger help with seasickness?

Ginger seasickness

Another alternative therapy that comes up frequently is the usage of ginger root as a herbal remedy. There is no scientific evidence to show that this works but many naturopaths and herbal outlets will claim that it has calming properties that help digestions and prevent nausea feelings. These can be taken as pills, powder and drinks. I tried on many occasions taking ginger pills before venturing out and found they did nothing for me other than tasting horrible when being thrown up overboard.

General ways to avoid seasickness

The below points are things that I do for every outing to beat seasickness when boating and fishing. When I skip one of these steps then I find that I’m a lot more prone to being seasick.

 

Preparation is the best way to prevent seasickness

Before preparing for your fishing trip there are some very basic fundamentals that you must do to help manage motion sickness.

  • Avoid going out in rough, choppy conditions with high winds and high swells. Learn how to predict marine weather conditions by watching the video below. Locally there are helpful links such as Meteye for wind, and swell forecasts.

 

  • Develop good eating and drinking habits before going out to sea. Eat and drink lightly the night before but enough to stay hydrated. Always avoid heavy drinking of alcohol the night before.

 

  • Rig up your fishing gear before venturing out. The main reason for this is to avoid the need to look down. Looking down makes you lose your perception and encourages nausea. Tying knots and rigs whilst your looking down and bouncing around is just bad news for motion sickness. When I have to do this I then generally spend the next 5 minutes looking straight at something in the distance to regain my composure. I also dress freely to allow the fresh air to make contact with my skin which seems to help greatly.

 

  • Get a good night sleep the night prior to going on a boat. This is a must as drowsiness seems to accelerate concentration levels, dizziness and seasickness. They collide and it’s not pleasant when they do. The best remedy is a good nights rest before going out. This is especially true for those who suffer from inner ear imbalance or headaches.

 

  • Where possible be the driver of the vessel and not the passenger. Have you ever been car sick? was it when you were the passenger or the driver. In all my experiences and those that I have spoken with on this topic all agree that it’s generally when you were the passenger. It’s surprising but the same logic does apply when in you’re on a boat. I think for those with motion inbalance by being the driver you are gaining some level of control.

 

  • Avoid staring at your sounder or mobile phone for extended periods of time whilst at sea. This will take your eyes off the horizon which is used by your eyes as a point of reference to stay balanced.

 

  • Pick a non-moving object in the distance. It might be a hill, a tree or a building. Keep this as your line of sight. Anytime you feel queasy stop what you are doing and keep fixated on this line of sigh until the queasiness stops. This stops you from focusing on the constant movement which is the root cause of seasickness.

 

  • Invest in a life jacket that is comfortable and breathable. Getting overheating or feeling restricted are ways that can bring on feeling nausea.

 

Final notes from the author

I hope you enjoyed this article How to prevent Seasickness when boating and fishing. All this advice will be from yours truly, someone who has suffered from seasickness for many years. Boating is a great pass time so hopefully, with practice, you’ll overcome seasickness. For locals, Port Phillip Bay and western port are great fishing destinations here are some GPS hotspots to get you started. I hope you find this article useful and encourage you to share your feedback and experiences by emailing us at  enquiries@fishingmad.com.au