How Much do I Tip my Fishing Guide?
When we first started fishing at lodges, hiring guides and fishing on charters in Alaska we had no idea what we should tip our fishing guides. Should we tip a percentage of the cost of the trip or a certain dollar amount per day? We did some Google research before our trips, but never found a definitive answer. So, we just kind of made it up as we went along. The guides were always polite and seemed happy to receive a tip; however, we always felt uncomfortable with our dollar amount.
We want you to feel comfortable with tipping your guide, captain or lodge when you finish reading this blog post. We did our research and asked the right questions to the right people and found out the answer to our question. How much do I tip my guide?
The answer we consistently received from our sources was 20%.
If you are on a $400.00 per person day trip with your buddy, you should tip a minimum of $80.00 – $100 per person. You should consider tipping $100 or more if you had a great trip and had an awesome experience.
Note: Remember, it’s a fishing trip not a catching trip. Just because you don’t catch a ton of fish doesn’t mean your guide doesn’t deserve a good tip.
When you are at a lodge for several days and you pay several thousand dollars for good service from several people including the chef, guides, cooks, housekeepers, etc., you should use the 15% – 20% rule. Most lodge workers rely largely on tips for their wages.
Note: You can always ask the lodge owner about tipping expectation.
When fishing on a charter with several other parties, for example 6 couples, you should tip no less than 20% per person, not per couple. The Captain and deck hand usually split the tips. Of course, tip more if your captain and deck hand were awesome!
You can always tip as much or as little as you want. I have met some pretty awesome guides who deserve a little more then the standard tip. For example, I had a guide in Alaska who taught me how to flyfish correctly. He spent a lot of extra time with me and I was so appreciative. You just need to plan on saving “tip” money when you are planning your trip.
Your guides, captains and lodges are usually providing all your gear, tackle, and in some cases filleting your fish and packaging it for travel. They are providing you with all their knowledge and skill for an awesome fishing, and hopefully, catching experience.
Note: Always go with CASH in hand! Don’t expect to pay a tip with your credit card.
Have a good time and be nice to your guide.