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Nothing worse than seasickness

February 5, 2011

Every night I pray for the next day to be calmer. Not even calm, just calmer.

Every morning I go out to the boat way before sun-up and it's already started. The palms are starting to move and its only 6 a.m. After checking the computer weather you start mentally eliminating "spots" you won't be fishing today simply because the wind will make a proper presentation impossible or very uncomfortable for a family of five fresh in from Iowa on their first saltwater excursion and introduction to real big time, motion sickness.

Two months ago an elderly man and his wife boarded for a day of trolling for Spanish macs because neither could muster a cast any more, but still wanted to feel the magic of the fight. Trolling was the answer and he booked a day of fishing.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

At the time macs were in the passes by the thousands so we headed out to Redfish Pass in a 22-foot, big, wide, bay boat in a two-foot chop. I hadn't gone two miles up the sound when he signaled me to stop and take them in as it was physically too much. They were both very seasick and uncomfortable. We slowly returned and even against my protests they paid my full fare.

I understand their feelings. Even though I'm a full-time guide I'm an inshore guide, as I get deathly ill when I lose sight of the horizon. Believe me, I've tried every remedy short of hypnosis to no avail. I always get sick, period.

I've paid big money to go marlin fishing only to be sick from the diesel fumes before getting on the boat early in the morning. I've offered hundreds of dollars to party boat captains and begged them to just please drop me off, anywhere, or at least just please shoot me, anything to make it stop. It should be legal for at-sea mercy killings, such as these, by licensed captains. There is nothing much worse than the feeling of seasickness. I know.

Some people get queasy and a little upset. These are the lucky ones. I usually end up dehydrated from throwing up and look like I lost a bad bar fight as I dry heave till all the capillaries around my eyes burst. I look like I have two black eyes when I return from the hellish sea swearing, no vowing, that I will never again venture outside the horizon.

Somehow I know it's all mental and that's why I keep going. You see, I used to go out on the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays all the time to catch giant stripers and bluefish when I was a younger man, drank beer, ate subs and hot peppers, chips, anything. Never got sick.

Never, till one hot summer morning. The sea was in a slow roll and it was super humid when all of a sudden it hit me, then it really hit me. I was suddenly full blown seasick and it was the worst feeling I ever experienced.

It suddenly brought back childhood memories of mom, dad, and I in the giant Mercury going to Georgia to see his folks in August with no A/C and the windows rolled up. My pop in a dark suit, smoking a large cheap cigar and me as green as any Leprechaun.

Dad was from Georgia and unless it was 135 degrees he never broke a sweat, and hated air conditioning. Poor mom would be trying to read the Atlas, lost as three humans could possibly be, with him puffing and cussing like mad and me throwing up in a bag thinking I might just simply, die.

Now that I remember those terrible days I know when I was first introduced to motion sickness. Or maybe it was mental illness.

Anyway, that's why I guide inshore.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.



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