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Tipping a Guide

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The wife and I are going on a guided crappie trip this summer. I believe it’s $200 per person. They clean the fish afterwards. This will be my first ever guided fishing trip. I have always tipped guides on other outdoor adventures and assume this is no different. What is an acceptable tip?  Do we have any guides here?

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Any tip would be fine, $20 is usually pretty standard unless you are a high roller hahaba. Beer whiskey and fishing stuff is also acceptable 

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I have been on a few fishing trips over the years and most people say about 10% - 20% of the fishing trip cost. For a multi day trip 10% - 20% might be kinda high. Regardless of the trip length, if the guide gets you a world class trophy or checks off something major on your bucket list you should really consider what that experience was worth. Guides are always working hard, but when they can deliver something special they deserve that extra recognition. Good luck on your trip!

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Whatever percentage you generally tip at a restaurant is fine. I have had a few pitiful guides 

over the years, but I still tip them 10%. For a guide I have been fishing with for more than

twenty years, it's 20%. 

 

https://www.hotdawgguideservice.com/

 

:love-093:

 

 

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I had $50 in my head. So not far off from what you guys are saying. Thanks!

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I work hard to put people on fish when they book me for the day and get paid well to do it. It's a little different than a restaurant because I'm providing all the very expensive equipment that cost a lot to run and maintain. Tips are pretty common but not required, I feel like I need to earn them, but that doesn't necessarily mean catching fish because that's out of my control sometimes. A pretty typical tip is 40-50 a person. If a guide doesn't earn it, don't feel obligated, but by that I mean showing up late, unprepared, bad/broken/poorly kept equipment, not knowledgeable, ect. Sometimes the fish don't bite even for the most knowledgeable fishermen, so if they're obviously working hard and have everything else in order but the fish just don't cooperate, I wouldn't hold that against them.

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Well, this will not be a popular opinion, but I have been on 2 guided bass trips and here is my opinion. Both times the guide caught more fish than my partner and I combined. Now, am I fishing to watch them fish or for them to put me on fish? Both trips were a disaster in my mind and my tip was $0. They both acted as if they were the legend of the lake and it was a pleasure to get to fish with them. I will NEVER go bass fishing with a guide again. 

 

That being said, I have been on a couple guided striper trips and they were awesome. We always caught our limit and they even let us fish the full time we paid for not just when we caught our limit.

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I use a guide once or sometimes twice a year, for 5-7 day trips.

I generally tip at the end of the trip; after the last day.

Tip amount varies and is never predicated on how big or how many fish are caught.

In fact seems to be just the opposite.

The less we catch, the harder the guide is working to put us on fish-so he's rewarded for his efforts.

When the fishing's awesome, which is fairly often, he seems to do pretty good then too . . . . . 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Thanks for the replies. Judging by their FB page and reviews they run a top notch service catching a limit full of 2-4 lb crappie. They buy new ranger boats each year and are sponsored by several companies including Denali rods. So on the surface they look like a really good service. I have high hopes and want to top my PB of 2.5 lbs. I have no problem tipping whatever is deserved. Just wanted to get an idea of what to expect. I don’t want to disrespect the guide if he delivers my expectations 

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The fact that they are cleaning your fish (if you catch any) alone would dictate some sort of tip.  I don't clean fish and I don't allow them to keep largemouth.  I never expect a tip but I always put 110% effort into every trip.  Sometimes the fish just don't bite.  As far as fishing, I will occasionally throw out to accomplish a few things....Are there fish in the area?  What are they biting on?  And to show some clients who would be apt to say "the guide sucked and never put us on fish" that there are fish where I took you.  I usually tell them, "I can take you to the fish but I can't catch them for you".  If you don't want me to fish, just tell me upfront.  Pretty much all of the salient points have been covered as far as gear quality, guide knowledge, etc.  I also gear my trips to my clients abilities.  I teach new techniques, tips on electronics, fish behavior and patterns.  Some clients want trophy fish, some want numbers, some want to stock the freezer, some want to watch me fish to learn, some want to learn how to use their gear, heck, some just want to get out for a boat ride and learn the lake.  I could write a book on my client stories.  

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12 hours ago, jbsoonerfan said:

and they even let us fish the full time we paid for not just when we caught our limit.

That, right there, is worth a good tip.  Way too many striper trips come if after limiting,  IMO.

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@TOXIC, I know exactly how you feel. Most of my guiding is done fly fishing for huge trout on a tiny stream , usually 2-4 hours. You can easily see the fish but they are beyond smart. The clients always say "I can see them right there, why don't you cast out there and catch one? " I always refuse until we are done so I don't waste any bites . Sometimes I will hook one to show them how slow they are setting the hook but sometimes those fish have already shut it down and they won't bite my casts either 

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16 hours ago, jbsoonerfan said:

Well, this will not be a popular opinion, but I have been on 2 guided bass trips and here is my opinion. Both times the guide caught more fish than my partner and I combined. Now, am I fishing to watch them fish or for them to put me on fish? Both trips were a disaster in my mind and my tip was $0. They both acted as if they were the legend of the lake and it was a pleasure to get to fish with them. I will NEVER go bass fishing with a guide again. 

I hire guides a few times a year. My number 1 rule is that the guides do not fish. I make that clear before I book the trip. If they insist on fishing, I hire someone else

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On 2/20/2019 at 11:14 AM, The Shipley said:

Regardless of the trip length, if the guide gets you a world class trophy or checks off something major on your bucket list you should really consider what that experience was worth. Guides are always working hard, but when they can deliver something special they deserve that extra recognition. 

I agree that a guide that delivers very good results should get a big tip, for bad to normal guides not so much. Definitely no tip if the guide fishes that is for sure.

On 2/20/2019 at 11:06 AM, TnRiver46 said:

 fishing stuff is also acceptable 

I give some of my favorite lures to buddies I fish with. I show them how to fish these lures and teach them when to use them. That is worth much more than a couple dollars since I teach them techniques that are very effective in the waters I fish.

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Never used a guide. Not yet. For me it might depend on a few things. Is the guide the owner of the business? If so I see no need to tip, UNLESS he goes way out of his way somehow. Then maybe. I like to tip when it is deserved.

 

If it is not the owner running the boat then I will feel more sympathetic, as I don't know how well these guys are paid. But if the guide is also the owner (maybe they usually are) then I feel they have priced it according to how much they feel they deserve, period.

 

I went on a snorkeling trip one day in Hawaii. The guides took us into some cool spots and I tipped them. They also did not own the business so I had no way of knowing if they were properly compensated.

 

Everyone has their own criteria. I'd be happy if tipping was not a thing at all. Everyone wants a tip these days. I even saw one at a drive-thru window in my town.

 

I do tip well at restaurants and that kind of thing, but I don't consider it my responsibility to help the owners of a business underpay their staff.

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I've only used a guide two times, and I tipped one $200. He was worth every bit of it as he spent a whole day showing me where the "real bass" hang out on a lake that would have taken me several trips to figure out on my own. He provided lunch, and turned me on to some baits that I still use to this day. I landed some nice bass on that trip, two went 7+ lbs and my subsequent trips over the years gave me some double digits. The knowledge I gained from him about that lake would almost fill a book. IMO, a good guide will also share his knowledge about a lake's contour, bass movements, etc. When you find a guide like that, reward him with a good tip.

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Tips are always greatly appreciated.  People don't realize the expenses guides incur behind the scenes.   Boat(s), fuel and tackle aside,  some states required licenses.

I guide on the Potomac River in MD.   I carry a USCG Six Pack Captain's license,  a state of Maryland resident guides license,  a Potomac River Fisheries Captain's license and the stickers for TWO boats so that customer's do not need a license.   Did I mention insurance?  Both liability and comprehensive?

You can see why tips are greatly appreciated.

Work hard and bust your butt is all you can do.  Sometimes the fish win.  My partner and I both run Minn Kota Power Drives with remote control.  Customer's fish,  guides guide.  

My partner and I fished Guntersville two weekends in row with an Elite Series angler who shall remain nameless.  He fished ahead of us.  He caught the biggest and most fish.  His tip suffered as a result.

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No tipping.  They are already being paid for their services.  For those who have mentioned the expenses a guide has then they should charge appropriately to cover their expenses.  

 

Tipping has gotten out of hand.  If a service relies on tipping as part of their income then they should reevaluate what they charge. 

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Not gonna lie every time I see this thread I think of a broken tip

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On 2/21/2019 at 12:37 PM, Choporoz said:

That, right there, is worth a good tip.  Way too many striper trips come if after limiting,  IMO.

Kind of off topic, but here in NH, fishing after having a limit of stripers is a violation and comes with a fine and loss of the fish you have

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15 hours ago, rob0225 said:

No tipping.  They are already being paid for their services.  For those who have mentioned the expenses a guide has then they should charge appropriately to cover their expenses.  

 

Tipping has gotten out of hand.  If a service relies on tipping as part of their income then they should reevaluate what they charge. 

It's a lot more complicated than that. Most guides will say tipping isn't necessary. So you can stiff them if that's what you want to do. But, If I was a guide, I'd go the extra mile, stay out a little later, go above and beyond for the customer who I know is generous and appreciates my service by leaving me a tip.  I'm sure guides won't come out and say it, but guides I know they feel the same way.

 

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19 minutes ago, Chris at Tech said:

15-20% assuming a positive experience

I'm betting some guys would perhaps be surprised with what Jeff & I routinely tip Manual.

We're going with it's worth every Benjamin . . 

:smiley:

A-Jay

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, cloud, sky, mountain, outdoor, nature and water

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1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

I'm betting some guys would perhaps be surprised with what Jeff & I routinely tip Manual.

We're going with it's worth every Benjamin . . 

:smiley:

A-Jay

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, cloud, sky, mountain, outdoor, nature and water

I’ll “guide” you around some of the ponds here anytime!😉😂

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31 minutes ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

I’ll “guide” you around some of the ponds here anytime!😉😂

Sounds good ~ 

While I would not ever really need your services there in Nebraska, as I seem to do OK on my own  . . 

large.169618613_AntzlProof1BR.jpg.5743e2287e53d9a4e6e1da77c1925bb7.jpg

 

 But when traveling south of the border, which where I do use a 'guide', if you can & will routinely produce results like this  . . . 

Image may contain: text, outdoor and water

 

I'm all for it.

A-Jay

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