Jump to content
shimmy

Tip For Fishing Guide?

Recommended Posts

As title states, what is expected to pay for a fishing guide (stateside and/or abroad)? Have a break coming up and am thinking of fishing at sturgeon bay WI. Love to here some ideas for tips and what people's general approach/rule of thumb is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Tip or Gratuity is a very personal matter between you & whomever is providing you a service.

 

It's also different for each person & situation - tough to just throw a number up.

 

My version of it is - if I feel there was an effort above & beyond the service I'm already paying for, them I usually reward the "Extra Effort"    If I get bare minimum service, well I've already paid for that.

 

And big fish or large numbers of fish may play a role but not ever the only factor.

 I try to communicate my expectations in advance so we're both on the same page.

Helps a ton if we both speak the same language . . . 

 

Good Luck shimmy and have fun.  And you better post pics & a story here when you get back . . . . .

 

A-Jay

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your fee includes the tip, does the guide refund any money for an outing where he didn't produce?  I have been on charters, no fish no pay.  If the outing was outstanding in your eyes, I would give  a tip, which I usually do.  Seldom have I not given a tip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10-20% depending on how special the day was. If the guy stinks forget the tip. Short story.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a touchy situation. I went on one where the guide tried everything he could to get us on reds, then trout, then flounder. We ended up catching a bunch of sharks on a near-shore reef. He offered to keep us out a full day for a minimal amount. The guys I was with wanted to so we did. IMO, that was a tip because we weren't catching what I paid for. I ended up throwing 10% on, which can be hard to do because who carries much in cash fishing anyway? I guess it's best to be paid up in full so all you have left to pay is the tip.

 

But I'd say if they deliver, 15%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't think you should tip unless the guide went above and beyond or you had a exceptional day. Being that it's on Sturgeon Bay, you'll most likely have an exceptional day anyway, but if you feel they put in extra effort to make sure you had a great time throw in a little extra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Waitstaff is one thing, they depend on tips as their main income. 20% is standard for me in that case. Other circumstances, what ever you feel good about should suffice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Mike about servers, that is a totally different situation where they solely depend on tips.  

i often feel that if a person is self employed as in they own the business, then the fee should cover everything because they essentially pocket the profits.  If the guide worked for a company or a resort or something like that, I would feel more inclined to tip since the company or employer would likely keep a cut of the money from the trip.

Tips are a matter of opinion and are often a sore subject.  My opinion is to give as you see fit (and having worked in the service industry for years my wife and I often overcompensate).

Somewhat side note, every time I am a part of a tipping conversation I always think of the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs, one of my favorites!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming from the charter fishing industry.  The only thing a guide can guarantee is quality service, get you out and back safely, and make the best out of what the fishing conditions are.  What he can't control is how the fish bite.  Tipping someone on that basis from what you catch instead of the service you recieved doesn't paint a great picture.  If a guide puts a no catch no pay into his contract, then you need to find out what "catch" includes.  Guess my point is I tip someone based on service provided, not if I caught a fish.  You can park you on fish all day but if the don't bite there isn't much he can do about it but keep you in productive water and hope they do.  Point being no tip is guaranteed, it's earned for the effort the person puts in. Great customer servie great tip.  We could wear them out fishing, but if he's paying more attention to his fishing then who paid to go fishing, then his customer service skills sucked which will end in a smaller tip then someone that was "johnny on the spot" everytime making sure I was taken care of first. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many independent guides do you think report all the cash income they make to the IRS? That's a tip in itself.

 

if they work for Roland Martin on Okeechobee, they probably do report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many independent guides do you think report all the cash income they make to the IRS? That's a tip in itself.

 

if they work for Roland Martin on Okeechobee, they probably do report.

 

No more or less than anyone else.  

 

 Questions that cast a wide net of alleged illegal behavior, without any first hand knowledge, appear unnecessarily harsh.

 

A-Jay

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the whole gratuity deal when using a guide. Not saying I don't tip I just don't agree with it.

 

Isn't it enough that they spend their days on the water instead of in an office? It is their choice to live that lifestyle and be mostly poor. Now they feel entitled to gratuity on top of the usually steep ticket price? I'll never forget stiffing a salmon guide who all day long preached this "poor me" attitude about how difficult it is to get by as a guide. He also had a boat full of bass fisherman and did a fair share or arrogantly talking trash about bass fishing. We pooled our money together and tipped his deckhand $100.00 just for being a genuine dude.

 

Family, friends and co-workers know I fish so I am constantly getting roped into going on trips but I guess I have never been with a guide where at the end of the day I felt "man that was worth the $250 I spent!" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the whole gratuity deal when using a guide. Not saying I don't tip I just don't agree with it.

 

Isn't it enough that they spend their days on the water instead of in an office? It is their choice to live that lifestyle and be mostly poor. Now they feel entitled to gratuity on top of the usually steep ticket price? I'll never forget stiffing a salmon guide who all day long preached this "poor me" attitude about how difficult it is to get by as a guide. He also had a boat full of bass fisherman and did a fair share or arrogantly talking trash about bass fishing. We pooled our money together and tipped his deckhand $100.00 just for being a genuine dude.

Any guide who gives you a sad story is well isn't marketing himself very well and is going to fail as well as some really great fisherman who become guides but have the personality and ego that gets in their own way of becoming successful.  I chose to "fish" for a living because I loved to do it.  No we aren't stuck in an office and the thrill of going out and putting my customers on fish everyday to the best of my ability is what drove me.  I never felt entitled to a tip nor did I let my crew slack on customer service.  Working out of San Diego there were lots of boats to choose from, but my goal was to provide my passengers with the best experience and customer service that they would want to fish with me based on that factor. On the other end of the stick, you have customers who don't listen, do their own thing, do not take tips on what is working and what isn't, think they know better then the guy that's out there every day, then complain because THEY didn't catch anything and it was the guides fault.  Those people aren't the ones I based my repeat business around.  If your guide is successful in his business he will never give you a sad story of how bad it is. But you also have to remember, it's expensive to run that kind of business.  

 

Oh, and that $100 bill you gave the deckhand, odds are half went to the guy you tried to stiff.  Crew's don't operate that way, it's all split evenly.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and that $100 bill you gave the deckhand, odds are half went to the guy you tried to stiff.  Crew's don't operate that way, it's all split evenly.  

We considered that but it was more about sending the captain a message than anything. I definitely agree with the rest of your post. Well said. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said captain. I have only fished with a guide a couple of times. Both times were great experiences because of the conduct of the professionals I hired. Once was an ocean trip and the other a trout trip on the White River. I tipped generously on both trips because I know that they were committed to making the trip enjoyable and memorable. Exceptional service deserves a good tip.

I also think that tipping is part of the cost of using a service, whether it is a fishing guide or a barber or the server at a diner. On the rare occasions that I have left less than a good tip, I have been very clear about why. If I was unable or unwilling to tip a fishing guide I simply would not use their services. The real pros will earn their money and pay their taxes just like the rest of us.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We considered that but it was more about sending the captain a message than anything. I definitely agree with the rest of your post. Well said. 

Thank you, just trying to give an opinion from the other side of the fence.  It's a hard business to be in and if you don't have great customer service skills you're not going to make these days with social media.  You have to work your butt off every day to earn the repeat business and positive feedback of your customers.  Complaining to them or belittling them isn't the way to get it. Being professional is though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many independent guides do you think report all the cash income they make to the IRS? That's a tip in itself.

 

if they work for Roland Martin on Okeechobee, they probably do report.

I highly doubt the fee is always reported.  My business was basically a s/e cash operation.   In any business cash or otherwise, the future of it depends on the quality of service being provided.   How uncle Sam or the state is dealt with at tax time isn't pertinent whether a tip is merited.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish with guides quite often, and I generally do tip them ~15-20%.  A few factors that I consider:

 

  • how well did the guide communicate leading up to the trip?  Yes, they must be good fishermen but they're also running a business
  • how was the condition of the boat and the equipment?  Was he prepared when I arrived?
  • did the guide put in a good effort to make the experience enjoyable and productive?
  • was the guide enjoyable to be in the boat with?
  • did the guide align with my goals for the trip?

I've seen some great guides and a few real head scratchers.  I fished with one guy on the Gulf Coast who I'll never forget.  As we're cruising out to the first spot of the day, he turns his radio to the channel where it's all the charter captains complaining about their customers.  Seriously?  This same guy was practically yelling at my father in law for doing a bass-style hookset instead of the reel-set approach normally preferred for live bait circle hook fishing.  That's not the way to treat paying customers...

 

Generally I try to establish relationships with guides and if I have good experiences, I'll use them repeatedly.  I'm sure my tipping has something to do with it, but I've gotten a few free trips, hours or fishing time added here and there, special arrangements made by the guides if and when weather has forced a change, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly doubt the fee is always reported.  My business was basically a s/e cash operation.   In any business cash or otherwise, the future of it depends on the quality of service being provided.   How uncle Sam or the state is dealt with at tax time isn't pertinent whether a tip is merited.  

True. Just an observation that it's a highly cash oriented business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice here folks. The comment right above me may be too intellectual for me to understand. I contacted a few guides around the area and am starting to gather some data around sturgeon bay. This fishery is something else. The big tournament is coming up mid September and will be fun to watch. I have booked a trip and will see how it goes and will report. All the advice from anglers and guides on this thread really helped and is quite interesting to see both sides and i feel comfortable proceeding in my first (of many) expeditions. Plus, been forever since i have gone fishing but that will soon change. After this trip will hopefully be Baccarac within the year (already getting planned out...).

 

Shimmy

 

GTN

 

(get the net)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×