Is it necessary to tip? A gratuity is not expected but is always appreciated by your fishing guide.
However, this is a hospitality service and it’s not any different than tipping at a restaurant.
Chartering a private fishing trip is expensive for the captain and deckhands. Aside from boat maintenance and years of industry knowledge, their job is to ensure you have the best experience out on the water.
Also, the work doesn’t start and end at the boat ramp.
Depending on your trip, preparation might start days before your actual trip, and cleaning doesn’t stop once your trip ends.
In general, the standard gratuity for a guided fishing trip is around 20%, this amount can be adjusted depending on your own experience. That percentage can be more for a multi-day offshore fishing trip with multiple deckhands.
Why You Should Tip
There are many factors to consider when tipping a fishing guide whether you catch a ton of fish or you get skunked for the day. The total experience of the trip and the effort put in by the guide play a big factor. Some of the responsibilities of a guide are as follows:
- To provide a hospitable experience
- Help anglers understand local fishing regulations
- Help anglers locate and rig appropriate tackle for the fish they are pursuing
- Assist in landing, cleaning, and packing fish caught by clients
- Keep track of client catches during the trip
- Custom trips tailored for clients
- Most will provide all the tackle and fishing gear for their clients
Other things guides have to deal with are drunk or rowdy clients, bad weather conditions, and other unforeseen circumstances.
Fishing guides typically don’t get paid vacation days, sick days, or holidays off so they rely on gratuity to supplement their income. They work long hours, often starting well before sunrise and ending after sunset.
They are on their feet the entire time, walking up and down docks and in and out of boats. They cast nets, untangle lines, clean fish, and provide instruction and encouragement to anglers of all skill levels—all while making it look easy.
Consider all these factors when deciding how much to tip your fishing guide.
A good rule of thumb is to base the amount you tip on the price of the charter or guide trip.
For example, if you booked a $600 half-day charter, a 20% gratuity would be $120.
Guides work hard to give you an enjoyable fishing experience, and they deserve to be tipped for their efforts regardless if you catch fish or not.
Tipping your fishing guide is a way of saying thank you for providing a great experience.
Guides work hard to give you an enjoyable fishing trip, and they deserve to be tipped for their efforts.
The standard gratuity for a guided fishing trip is around 20%, but this amount can be adjusted depending on your own experience.
When in doubt, base the amount you tip on the price of the charter or guide trip.