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Sea Sickness Tips

Everyone has had an experience with motion sickness at one time or another. Weather you are out 30 miles or just near shore. It’s a bummer to have to return to the docks do to a sick fishing buddy or worse a buddies sick girlfriend or wife. Not that I want to hog all the femininity but most girls don’t do well in 3 to 5 swells. There are a good few that can take it for the reward at the end.

One of the first steps in dealing with any sickness is understanding what is wrong so that you can mentally deal with the problem. This is very important in dealing with sea sickness. Sea sickness starts with the inner ear, and gets worse from there.

Your head aches, you are sick to your stomach, your mouth waters and you basically feel the worst you have ever felt, you are not really sick, just out of balance. At times your skin is actually green. No question about it, you feel bad, but you must remember you have no disease, just a motion problem. You can do a lot to cure yourself, and very quickly.

Some things to remember: Fresh air is good but you want to stay low and to the stern of the boat. That is where you will encounter the least motion. The bow of the boat pounds through the waves, up and down the stern drags through the water. The ride is much smoother. The boat rocks from side to side. The higher you are the more movement you encounter.


There are several good medications on the market. The best is probably the scopolamine patch by Transderm Scop. It is still a prescription medication but usually easy to obtain with a simple call to your doctor. Dry mouth is usually the only side effect, but that is true with most all sea sickness medications.

There are several over the counter medications but the one we like best is Bonine. Drowsiness is the side effect but less so with Bonine than with other brands. To be effective you should get this medication in your system 8 hours before you board the boat. If possible, sleep on it and take more when you board the boat and you tend to be less drowsy. That way, it’s in your system and working when .you wake up.

Smooth Sailing is a ginger drink that many people say works quite well especially to settle your stomach. Combining smooth Sailing and Bonine can work well also. Wristbands can work for some people but are not generally considered the best remedy.

Severe sea sickness can be treated by using a combination of both the scopolamine-patch and Bonine and almost never fails. But you should check with your doctor. The side effect is hunger and more drowsiness. (A nice tuna on the end of your rod is a good cure for drowsiness!)

SEA BAND FOR SEASICK Acupressure Point Motion Sickness Relief
Triptone Seasick Medication
Hyland's Motion Sickness, 50 Tablets (Pack of 4)

Sunscreen and Skin Cancer

Sunscreen: The white goo you slather on before you go to the beach or out on the water. Sunscreen keeps you from getting fried to a crisp. It helps prevent your skin from getting that wrinkled, leathery look. And it protects you from the ultraviolet rays that causes skin cancer. Sunburn, caused by a type of ultraviolet (UV) light known as UVB, has served as a surrogate for more serious conditions like melanoma and basal and squamous cell carcinoma, three forms of skin cancer. If you prevent sunburn, you prevent skin cancer, right?

Not so it seems, Sunscreens do protect skin from sunburn, but a scientific debate simmers about the role of lower-energy ultraviolet light in skin damage and whether current sunscreens provide adequate protection.

In recent years, it has become apparent that a different form of ultraviolet light, called UVA, may be even more important in causing some skin disorders. Although experts still believe that UVB is responsible for much of the skin damage caused by sunlight — especially sunburn — UVA may be an important factor in photo aging and skin cancers. Most sunscreens do a good job blocking UVB, but fewer sunscreens filter out most of the UVA, so they do not help to prevent the beginnings of melanoma formation. So when you do that 2 minute shopping at the local store stop and do yourself a favor and actually read the sunscreen label. This may help in the future.

Hawaiian Shirt and Surf Board Light Set - Beach Party Lights
Kusco Murphy - Beach Hair Mini 1 oz Travel Size
Coppertone Sport SPF 30 Continuous Spray Clear Twin Pack, 6-Ounce Cans
Fallene Cotz SPF 58 Water Resistant UVB/UVA Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, 2.5-Ounce Tube
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF-85, 3-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2)

Florida Mullet Fishing Tips

by Teresa Roberts

I am 52 years of age. My father is a huge lover of fishing so I have been fishing since I was old enough to hold a pole. I remember the first fish I ever caught was a flounder. You know, those silly looking fish with their eyes on one side of their head. I was six years old and I remember it as if it were yesterday. I saw that mutant looking fish when I reeled it ashore and I screamed my lungs out, turned and ran. I was holding the pole over my shoulder and running like a wild child. When I looked back and saw that mutant looking thing chasing me I screamed even louder. I remember seeing my mother and father standing and watching, laughing so hard they couldn't save me. There I was running as fast as my little legs would pump and all I knew was that ugly fish was right behind me no matter where I went, and my own parents wouldn't save me. I laugh now as an adult but at the time it wasn't as funny to me as it was to them.

But on to my subject of mullet fishing. I've lived in Florida just about my entire life and have been fishing most of it. I recently experienced something I had never done before. Mullet fishing. I'll have to admit, it's different. It takes a lot of patient to be a mullet fisherman. If I'm totally honest, it's not for me.

Last Friday my parents and I and my Uncle and Aunt went mullet fishing. We found a spot along what is called The Mullet Hole and began to get everything ready for the action. After we were all prepared there I stood with a rod and reel in my hand. The line had 5 tiny hooks, each hook had a tiny piece of white rubber worm impaled on it. Above all these hooks was a bobber. Now here i stand with 5 foot of line protruding from my pole and wondering how the heck I was going to cast out into the water without catching something on shore with one of the hooks. Sad picture.

Well I finally figured it out and I cast my line. Now here I stand holding my pole and watching my bobber waiting for it to be pulled under the water. My father proceeds to walk over and "chum" the water. Chumming consists of throwing a mixture of wet oats and laying mash out into the water and hoping it lands near your bobber. This is suppose to attract the mullet.

We stood there for hours...watching bobbers and chumming. Never got the first nibble. Shoot we never even had one brush our lines much less nibble. I did however get to watch an alligator glide gently through the water. Was a nice sight but I remained ready to run in case he decided to come on land.

After those hours we gave up and went home. Now on this day just down the Mullet Hole aways there were people catching mullet quite quickly. They'd cast out their the bobber land and rest, pull it in with a big mullet on a hook. I don't know how many they actually caught but we decided we couldn't catch any because they weren't letting them come up stream to where we were. They weren't giving them a chance.

Well two days later (having the first event fresh on my mind) my father decides he wants to try again but wants to go earlier so we could get the "good spot." So reluctantly my mother and I decide to go with him. We get there early and get the "good spot." We get everything ready and begin to fish and chum. A couple of hours later we have gotten not a single nibble. By this time i am becoming very bored with the entire mullet fishing thing. We continue to fish a little while later and low and behold, someone a Little ways up from us begins to catch some mullet.

Once again we are hopeful. Then the lady sitting a couple of chairs away begins to catch some. However her husband who is using the same kind of pole, hook, bait, and fishing the exact same spot, isn't. And guess who else isn't, that's right, us.

After a little longer without ever getting a nibble I decided this was not my thing and gave up. I was totally and completely bored with watching my bobber continue to float calmly in the water, barely moving at all. I was so very thankful when my father gave up as well and we went home.

I may try it again someday but if I do, I will drive my own car and when I get ready to leave I will. I have heard people say a bad day fishing is better then a good day at work, well when it comes to mullet fishing I'm not so sure. Least at work you aren't usually bored to death.

If you decide to give this a try at some point in your life, I wish you luck. You will need one pole, either a rod and reel or a cane pole. You can put as many hooks as you wish to on the line but they should be small ones. And you will need one bobber for entertainment purposes. The mixture for chumming is one part oats to one part laying mash, moistened till it will stick when made into a ball.

If you try this, give it a fair shot. Don't take my word for how boring it is because i actually saw people out there enjoying themselves. If nothing else it's relaxing, gets you outside into fresh air and in most cases it's tranquil enough.
Learn more about this author, Teresa Roberts.

Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing, Cycling, Kayaking. (P. Gray & Silver)
The Gigantic Book of Fishing Stories
Fishing 16 Rods and 16 Reels With Line
The Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told: Twenty-Eight Unforgettable Fishing Tales

VHF Radios : Your Offshore Lifesaver

The VHF Radio can be a lifesaver for boaters (and offshore anglers)–– but only if you know how to use it properly.

Learn how to use VHF radio to make calls & assist others in an emergency.

Have you ever owned a piece of equipment on your boat that you knew was essential but never used it because you didn't know how, and you were embarrassed to ask? 

Such a case became apparent to me one day when a 24-foot tunnel-drive boat was stuck high-and-dry on a river sandbar. I mean this fellow was frantically shuffling around his vessel in ankle-deep water, dismayed and not knowing what to do.

I attempted to come to his assistance but couldn't get too close out of fear of entering into the same predicament. After careful maneuvering, he managed to hand me a rope and I attempted to pull him off the sandbar, but to no avail.

Seeing the critical nature of the situation - not being very far off the main thoroughfare of the Mississippi River, which is heavily traveled by ships and crewboats - I asked if he had called and reported the situation to the Coast Guard. At that point he embarrassingly evaded the question. The irony of the matter was he had a VHF radio aboard, but hadn't bothered to radio for help despite being stranded there for over an hour.

To make a long story short, it only took a simple call to the Coast Guard using my VHF radio before he received assistance from a nearby crewboat.

Situations like this are needlessly repeated time and again because of boaters being unacquainted with certain safety equipment. Also, some find themselves in such a situation simply by thinking it will never happen to them.

The VHF radio is obviously the most important communication link you have aboard your vessel since it can prove to be a lifesaver. However, it can only be such if it is in good operating condition and if you know how to properly use it. Unequivocally, no boat owner should leave the dock without it.

When was the last time you either used your VHF radio or tested its ability to transmit and receive? Maybe you have been one of the unfortunate to find out the answer to that question when left stranded in no-man's land. The simple fact is some boaters have found that even with a VHF radio in seemingly good working order they still experience difficulty reaching other boats or the Marine Operator.

On the other hand, never conclude that your VHF radio must be in good working order simply because of a radio check. For example, it's to be noted that the Coast Guard can be reached with minimal wattage since they are equipped with special systems to do so. Therefore a radio check by means of them or other boats can be deceiving.

Making a VHF radio transmit and receive efficiently can be accomplished legally by only two means: (1) using a higher db gain antenna, and (2) increasing the height of the antenna.

Economically speaking, the latter is the best approach if your boat is long enough so that the antenna does not protrude past the transom too far once laid down. The simple fact is that when antenna height is increased, it yields better "line of sight," which is the key ingredient in transmitting and receiving a VHF radio signal. Thus, the addition of an antenna extension will substantially increase VHF radio performance at a minimal investment.

The placement of the antenna is also important, so choose an area that is above and clear of metal obstructions. Keep in mind that the addition of an antenna extension may also warrant the use of additional coaxial cable.

A higher db gain antenna will further achieve greater distances, especially when coupled with an extension. But higher db gain antennas can costly and are considerably longer than the norm to begin with. So, a proper base mount and support will be essential when making the transition in either case.

Another problem VHF radio owners have to contend with is water damage to their unit due to rain, saltwater spray or freshwater spray when washing the boat down. Some VHF radios are water-resistant, not waterproof. If you do happen to own one that is waterproof, the following tips won't be necessary because you will be able to mount your VHF radio anywhere that is convenient.

You can virtually eliminate the water spray problem by taking a piece of heavy gauge clear vinyl and cutting it out to form a cover for the front area of your VHF radio. You can use the radio mounting knobs to hold it in place if you make it wide enough so that it folds down along the sides. A paper punch or razor-knife will easily cut and make the needed size holes to accommodate the knob screws. Surprisingly, this clear vinyl cover, when used on VHF radios with front speakers, can actually improve speaker volume and clarity in many cases.

Once the VHF radio and cover are in position, place it in the mounting bracket which will retain both the cover and radio. This, of course, will not make your VHF radio submersible, but if properly done, it will easily be protected from hose or saltwater sprays.

As earlier illustrated, some boat owners who have VHF radios may not be familiar with the proper procedure to call someone. First of all, keep in mind that the FCC no longer requires users (recreational US users) to obtain a license for transmitting or receiving calls.

In any case, here's the procedure to call, for example, the Coast Guard. You might say: "This is motor vessel (your name), (your call sign {if license required}) to (unit name) Coast Guard." This is done on channel 16, which is the National Calling and Distress channel. After reply contact is made, you will be requested to move to Channel 22A (the US Coast Guard working channel) for further communication.

You will also use Channel 16 to establish contact with another pleasure boat or a commercial vessel, but once the contact is made you must switch to either Channel 68, 69 or 70 for pleasure boats or to one of the frequencies assigned to commercial vessel traffic to talk.

Before cellular telephones became popular and affordable, boaters could also use their VHF radios to make telephone calls from their boats. This was done by calling the marine operator on Channel 16 and then asking the operator to place the call. Once the operator made contact with the party you were calling, she would give you a "go ahead" and asked the receiving party to standby.

There are two things which make VHF radio calls awkward for beginners. The first is having to remember to say "over" when you finished your sentence, and the second is remembering to release the microphone button so that you can hear the other party. Of course nowadays personal calls can be more easily made with the use of a cellular phone, even though you can use your VHF radio to contact the marine operator to do the same. 
Cellular phones also make a lot of boaters ask whether they even need to install a VHF radio on the vessel. 

The answer is a short and simple, "Yes." While cellular phones are great for calling home or taking that occasional business call while fishing, it's not as dependable as VHF in emergencies.

The key here is the fact that not only does the U.S. Coast Guard monitor Channel 16 on a 24-hour basis, but all commercial vessels are required to have their VHF radios on Channel 16. So, if you are fishing in the marshes and your boat breaks down, someone will inevitably hear a call for help over a VHF radio and you don't have to worry about being in a "dead zone" like might occur with the use of  your cellular phone.

A Division of Say You, Say Me, Inc.