how to prevent sea sickness while fishing

Is offshore fishing making you green around the gills? I’ve been there myself, since I actively looked for ways on how to prevent sea sickness while fishing. I told myself there was nothing stopping me from doing what I love.

This guide serves as a summary of what I’ve learned from others who have had this issue and addressed it well. If you want to not get seasick on a fishing boat in the long run, pay close attention to the steps and tips for beginners I’ve shared here.

Ways to Prevent Sea Sickness While Fishing

These strategies don’t only work for folks doing deep sea fishing but for those who are on a cruise or just riding a boat in general, too.

However, I need to make it clear first that everyone responds differently to these methods. I attest that they’ve worked for me and a lot of fishing buddies I know, though.

  1. Make sure you’re well-rested. Sleep well the night before the fishing trip.
  2. Don’t drink coffee and alcohol. Keep hydrated.
  3. Don’t take the trip on an empty stomach, but keep greasy and fatty foods at a minimum or, even better, don’t eat them at all.
  4. Try ginger pills and candies.
  5. Do a couple of breathing exercises.
  6. Get your sea legs and learn to position yourself properly when on the boat. Sitting forward can ease nausea.
  7. Bonnie or Dramamine for seasickness is the go-to medication for most.
  8. Try a prescription scopolamine patch.
  9. Choose the right boat.

Steps to Prevent Sea Sickness While Fishing

Step 1: Aim to be in your best health and state every time you head out.


I always tell my passengers and first-time boaters, to avoid getting sea sick, you have to be free from anything that could weigh you down. And, no, you don’t have to lose fat or be 100% physically fit just to keep from getting seasick.

Think back on the times you experienced seasickness. Perhaps you didn’t sleep well the night before? Or, maybe, you took your worries and stressors on the boat with you.

Studies have confirmed that motion sickness can arise from feelings of stress and anxiety. Even if limiting stress doesn’t completely prevent motion sickness on a boat, it will at least dampen its impact and lower the risk of you experiencing it.

Step 2: Steer clear of coffee and alcohol, and keep hydrated.


This is the reason why beer is off-limits every time I go out fishing. Sure, a cold one may be welcome after a great haul, but only after I’m done for the day.

Alcohol not only affects concentration but also leads to dehydration. It also doesn’t pair well with the ingredients of common motion sickness meds like Dramamine and Bonine. Long story short, it will make your symptoms worse.

The same goes for coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Just avoid drinking them, so you won’t get dehydrated. Remember: dehydration worsens motion sickness!

Step 3: Eat something light before departing and shun the grease.


You can beat offshore motion sickness by simply being mindful of eating and what you take in. The reasoning behind this is that when your stomach acid is not being put to good use, i.e. not digesting something, let’s just say you’re only more likely to stain your pontoon’s sleek vinyl seats or your beloved deck.

On the other hand, it’s just as bad if your tummy’s having a difficult time. And not skipping the grease definitely causes that.

This is why it’s recommended to just munch on some light carbs like crackers and bagels for breakfast come fishing day.

While you’re at it, pop some ginger candies afterward or just plain ginger if you can manage it. More research may be needed to prove its ability to prevent motion sickness, yet, but it’s hard to ignore the centuries-old pieces of evidence of its efficacy.

Step 4: Practice breathing exercises.


You can ask around on Reddit about exercises to avoid sea sickness while fishing. There’s one that never lets me down, though, especially once I start to get that queasy feeling.

The icing on the cake is that it’s extremely simple. No need to count or anything.

Just take a deep breath and let it out slowly through pursed lips. It’s really all about calming yourself as much as possible. The more you worry about motion sickness, the more you’ll succumb to it, and that becomes a self-defeating cycle.

Step 5: Get your sea legs and learn proper positioning while aboard.

The boat’s rocking motion is the main culprit of sea sickness, with the way it rocks your tummy to seemingly endless throes of nausea. Getting your sea legs fixes it.

Begin practicing by being mindful of the way the boat is rocking. If it goes up on your left side first then lean your body into the wave, then do the same thing once the boat is pushed upward to the right.

In short, you need to keep your body vertically straight while sitting or standing, so you won’t be rocked by the waves.

Moreover, learn the “strategic” positions in your boat.

  1. For example, by fishing in the higher rooms or platforms, you’ll likely feel the rocking motion more. So, do the opposite and stay as low as you can.
  2. Fishing’s a waiting game, and you don’t always have to be looking at the water. During these intervals, gaze at the horizon instead, which looks way less rocky at a distance.

Step 6: Take the pharmaceutical route if you’re not getting the results you want.


I’ve gone out to sea without taking Dramamine or any other drug that remedies my sea sickness. Most of the time, I just practice all the steps I’ve outlined here, and I don’t get woozy at all.

Many consider either Bonine or Dramamine as the best motion sickness medicine. Bonine has a reputation for being the less drowsy medication of the two, but this still depends on the person taking it. Both are generally reliable, though.

If you’ve been wondering how and when to take Dramamine before fishing, here are the points you should remember:

  1. Dramamine may not work as effectively if you swallow it once or after you start experiencing the symptoms of mal de mer. As such, the best time to take Dramamine is when you’re still your own, un-nauseated self.
  2. That’s why it’s advisable to take Dramamine the night before your trip. This answers the general queries as to how early to take Dramamine.
  3. Feel free to take Dramamine on an empty stomach or even after you’ve eaten your light meal.
  4. How long does Bonine take to work? Since the general advice is to take it 30 minutes or 1 hour before the activity that may induce motion sickness, it’s logical to assume that it starts working once that time has elapsed.

Of course, there’s also the scopolamine patch, but as with most medications, you have to beware of its side effects like disorientation or (unfortunately) more drowsiness, among others.

Step 7: Oftentimes, it’s about choosing the correct vessel.

Naturally, you’ll want something a little more stable or won’t be subject to the wave’s rocking motion. In that case, you should consider riding a catamaran, trimaran, or a larger vessel as a whole. Just ask cruise ship lovers, and they’ll say as much.

What is Sea Sickness?

It’s technically still a form of motion sickness. It’s a condition wherein your brain becomes confused about the information being sent by your body as a whole – or to be exact, your eyes and ears.

In this case, this feeling arises every time you’re riding a boat. This leads to nausea, which in turn, may cause vomiting.

Causes of Sea Sickness

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. The boat’s “confusing” rocking movement
  3. You may just be more prone to experiencing it

Helpful Tips/FAQs


What is the best seasickness medicine for fishing?

The best medicine for seasickness is either Bonine or Dramamine. Dramamine basically shuts off the mechanism that triggers motion sickness, while Bonine is its coveted less sleep-inducing cousin. Both can be bought over the counter.

Many people also feel instant relief from scopolamine patches.

What should I eat before deep sea fishing?

Nothing heavy or fatty. You really can’t go wrong with anything healthy, just don’t overdo it. Start a combination of complex carbs like oats and some whole-wheat bread with scrambled eggs mixed with some greens like spinach.

Just try to keep it balanced, light, and healthy. Don’t be afraid to find out what your body is comfortable with while still tickling your tastebuds.


Ultimately, the best way to prevent seasickness is to simply be one step ahead of it.

Of course, learning how to prevent sea sickness while fishing is just one part of the equation. You have to be willing to remember these guidelines and practice them consistently to attain lasting relief and prevention. They’re all worth it, though, especially if you can’t get enough of the angling life.

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