Tipping Fishing Guides and Service Providers

A fishing charter is a guided trip on a vessel to fish for certain species of fish in specific areas. Customers typically charter boats to take them to areas where they are more likely to have success catching fish, and the charter operator provides all of the necessary equipment. If you book a $5,000 multi-day, all-inclusive package at a destination resort, how do you determine what kind of a tip to leave for your guide? Occasionally, you’ll find some tipping guidelines listed on the website right alongside the other prices.

The guide knows the water better than you; that’s why you’re paying him or her. I was always astonished when a client would ask what lure to use and then ignore my advice altogether—despite the fact that the advice was based on weeks of observation. Captains also supervise passengers and crew as they embark and disembark from the boat. While having a captain is not always necessary on a boat, it can surely be of great help, especially if you are more inclined toward leisurely sailing and sports activities. We’re on a mission to Unlock the Outdoors for everyone.

It is important to note fishing guides should not be judged on the fishing if they are knowledgeable and employing a variety of methods and tricks to find fish. This same principle carries over to charter captains, fishing guides and first officers who provide services during their fishing experience. Typically, customers will add between 15% and 20% gratuity to the price of the trip, depending on the quality of the service. Although not required, there is a certain label to show your appreciation.

What should you eat before a fishing trip?

I’ve given $100 after a very successful full day flats, for two and $75 for successful 4-5 hour bridge tarpon fishing charter. Both guides were on the top of their game and treated my daughter and I with respect. To me a tip is for over and above service for a captain only charter, if a mate is involved many times it represents his days earnings. Even if your group insisted on going after the sailfish even though the sailing was slow on a charter boat. All of the experienced anglers in the party gave Kane and his mate $100 tips. Tips and gratuities on fishing boats have gone from being optional to expected.

how much to tip fishing charter

Other fishing adventures bring different tipping expectations. An offshore trip might include several anglers, and the boat might have a mate or two in addition to the captain. Some will say to tip the mates more than the captain because on some boats tips is all they’re working for. It is something to consider, but the captain is also the one with the boat loan, insurance, responsibility, and liability. In Central or South America, a $50 tip per day may be appropriate for your guide, whereas in an affluent country, $100 per day may be more appropriate.

How much do you tip a fishing charter?

The “rates” for how much to tip a boat captain vary from 5-20%, but there is a certain etiquette. The tip is always given to the captain, in cash, who then distributes the tip among the crew equally. If there is a crew, of course, the thing to consider here is that charters aren’t like restaurants. The people who work charters would compare it more with a lifestyle because their shifts are usually longer.

However, it is acceptable to tip more if the captain and mate work hard and produce good fishing results. If, on the other hand, you didn’t catch fish, the crew was sour, or didn’t do anything to try and find the fish, than you probably have a good case for withholding a gratuity. The customary gratuity is 15-20% of the price of a charter. In the end, it’s up to your discretion, but remember people rely on tips to make a living and a little extra show of appreciation can go a long way.

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