If you have ever been seasick before, you know it is not a pleasant experience. While everyone who gets seasick will eventually recover while still at sea, it usually takes 12-24 hours for their bodies to adjust to the motion of the vessel. This is not welcome news for individuals on a fishing trip that is only scheduled to last 4-10 hours! So how can you try to avoid getting seasick?
Our bigger boats mean you can safely fish in larger waves as long as your stomach lets you!
If you are someone who has already experienced motion sickness in a boat, car, amusement park ride, or airplane, you might be more susceptible to getting seasick than others. Whether or not you think you are sensitive to getting seasick, it might be a good idea to take some seasick pills the night before AND the morning of your trip as a precaution.
There are also patches that you can wear throughout the fishing trip that some of our customers have found very effective.
Warning: This is not medical advice! Always take medicine according to the directions and your doctor’s advice. Also, remember to drink plenty of water the night before and morning of your trip as medicine can be dehydrating.
Seasick pills are a preventative measure that needs to be taken before you feel seasick, not after!
You should avoid excessive alcohol intake the night before and during your trip. Fishing while well-rested is much more fun than waking up dehydrated and fishing with a splitting headache. A late night at the bars can also trigger more than just a hangover, it can also cause seasickness. Drinking too much the night before can also cause you to oversleep and miss your trip entirely!
Excessive alcohol intake during your trip is also strongly discouraged as it can lead to seasickness and even worse it is dangerous for both guests and crew members. Remember, fishing with the Main Attraction team is about making memories not losing them!
It is important to drink water while you are fishing as the hot sun and salty air can contribute to dehydration. If you choose to drink alcohol while fishing, remember to also drink water to counteract the dehydrative effects of the alcohol.
While our crew members are accustomed to almost every type of fishing condition they understand many of our clients do not get to fish on the ocean very often.
Should you fall ill while fishing with us, our crew members will go out of their way to be accommodating to your needs as well as the group. If you get sick and vomit your crew will most likely urge you to drink water to replace those lost fluids. If you are unable to keep liquids down you might have to go in early to avoid collapse or other medical complications that dehydration can bring. Getting seasick is nothing to be embarrassed about and if you are feeling uncomfortable please let our crew know so they can assist you!
Whenever fishing, you want to stay outside in the fresh air as much as possible. Certain strong smells can trigger seasickness so having your nose in the fresh air is a great way to avoid this. If you are beginning to feel nauseous taking several slow deep breaths of fresh air can be very helpful.
Hanging out in the cabin for too long can trigger seasickness. When you are in a room that appears stationary while the boat moves up and down or rocks from side to side, there is a disconnect between what you are seeing visually and what you are feeling, this should be avoided. Instead, stay outside in the fresh air while keeping your eyes on the horizon which will move with the motion of the boat!
Keep Your Eyes Outside The Vessel
Keeping your eye on the horizon or on land is a great way to maintain your sense of balance while fishing.
Much like looking around in the cabin while the boat moves, reading or staring at your phone while on a fishing boat can trigger seasickness. Ask your Captain or Mate questions, or ask them how you can help to stay involved with the fishing. Keeping your mind busy and off the idea of getting seasick is one of the best ways to avoid getting seasick!
There are anti-seasickness wrist bands that work by using magnetic fields or acupressure. Some swear by these wrist bands and some say they do not work. One thing we do know is that getting seasick can often be triggered or avoided by your mindset. This might be one of those things that only works if you believe in it, but hey, if it keeps you from getting seasick, then why not!?
Having the Right Frame Of Mind
In our years of experience, we have seen it all. First of all, if the winds or waves are so high that it is dangerous, we simply cancel or reschedule the trip. That being said, our crews and big boats can safely handle some pretty rough weather. Additionally, rough weather can bring about some fantastic fishing! Some of the toughest fishing days we have are when it is sunny and flat calm. Some clients can take much higher seas and winds than others without getting seasick, and we have had groups decide they wanted to fish even after we advised them against it.
Then we have the other extreme, where before getting to the fishing, and yes even before we left the dock, a customer was already tossing their cookies! How can this be? We believe this happens when people are so nervous and worked up about getting seasick, they convince themselves to be sick.
A little secret most fishermen won’t tell you is this… Many of us at some point get a little queasy feeling now and then. Perhaps we tied too many knots in a row while looking down or spent too much time in the cabin organizing the fishing rods but it can happen to anyone. The difference is as fishermen we know to just get outside in the fresh air immediately and look at the horizon for a few short minutes and we shake it off. The key is to detect the feeling early, make a quick adjustment, and get busy doing something and not think about it again.
I DID EVERYTHING YOU SAID, I’M STILL SICK!!!!
Sailfishing and Snapper fishing are two prime examples of fishing that is often better in rougher weather.
While we do believe a lot of it is about your mindset, getting seasick is part of being human and if it happens to you, it is nothing to be ashamed about. You know your body better than anyone else and if something is wrong and you start to feel ill, let the crew know so they can make adjustments. For instance, they can change the course and direction of the vessel if you are on the move. If you are on anchor and you feel ill, pulling anchor and heading offshore might help.
If you are feeling nauseous but want to avoid going in the cabin or the head (bathroom) which is strongly advised, let our crew know and they can get you a 5-gallon bucket in case you need it. If you feel sick and wish to stay near the side of the boat, let our crew know so they can direct you to the leeward side so you do not get smacked in the face with waves or have the wind blow your vomit back at you. If you are still pretty close to land, turning around, dropping you off, and taking the rest of your group back out fishing might be an option as well.
Do I get a discount if I went in early seasick?
While unfortunate, seasickness does not trigger a discount, as we reserved the boat for your trip time and would be unable to take another client fishing with such short notice. If you are concerned about the weather or your safety please contact us before getting on the boat! Remember, your crew woke up very early, loaded the boats with ice, caught bait, rigged rods, prepped, and inspected their vessels. When we take a boat out to fish, use fuel, bait, and chum, these expenses are all still incurred whether or not you come in early.
To avoid this scenario, we suggest that you not only check in with us the night before your trip but also review the weather forecasts a few days before your charter. If you have questions or concerns about the weather reach out to us as we will be happy to answer those questions. If you feel unsure about the conditions or unsafe you may cancel or reschedule your trip.
I’m worried about seasickness. When should I book a trip?
In the Florida Keys, it tends to be pretty windy both in the springtime as well as during the wintertime. This is just a generalization, like any island the weather on Marathon can vary greatly from one day to the next.
In the winter we get a lot of North winds from the Gulf side which can look pretty scary on your weather app. But it is important to consider that the Island acts as a huge wall, blocking most of the wind energy when fishing on the reef. So, for example, if the weather app says the wind would be blowing 15-20 mph from the North, we might only experience 2-3’ chop on the reef. Now for the Main Attraction crew that is a normal day, but for someone who hasn’t had much boating experience, that may mean an upset stomach and a miserable trip. If the wind is a huge factor for you, you may want to schedule your trip in the Summertime months. Typically (unless a system is brewing) Summer is the best time to experience the calmest seas.