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Tipping a private guide

1/7/21 @ 3:38 PM
Big Lake Hoosier
Big Lake Hoosier

I've been to resorts and fishing lodges before that provide guiding service for a fee.  In that situation, I have always tipped as the guides were employees of the lodge.  In Wisconsin, I see a lot of independent/private guides who have their own business.  If anyone has used this type of service before, is it customary to tip on top of their fee, or because they are private and not being paid by an employer, is the tip assumed as part of the fee?  Thanks!


2/23/21 @ 9:44 AM
Big Lake Hoosier
Big Lake Hoosier

The last two comments were what I was more expecting, but the majority of the posts have suggested that tips are appropriate.  I always thought a private service provided included what the service provider planned to make.  I don't tip the guy who delivered my firewood and don't tip the guy that plows my driveway.  As I stated in my original post, I always tip a guide who works for a lodge where I've stayed and he's an employee.  I know how much that tip helps them vs. the hourly wage they are paid to guide.

All very good comments and responses and I appreciate all points of view.

2/21/21 @ 8:40 AM
Paranoid Percher
USER SINCE 8/19/18

Golden Rule you never tip the owner!!

2/20/21 @ 12:37 PM
USER SINCE 1/14/13

Never. I don't get a tip at my workplace. I bust my butt also and I also need a vehicle, gas, steel toes, etc. that I pay for every day . We all have expenses. 

1/16/21 @ 5:55 PM
USER SINCE 12/19/10

I’ll tip good if I feel they went over and above. If they didn’t then I’ll give either small tip or none at all depending.  No matter how good a guide is they can’t make the fish bite so u really can’t judge them solely by the amount of fish u catch. They are already charging you what they want to make and although I’ve only hired a few fishing guides in my life none of them gave me money back for sub par effort. I hired a guide as a gift for my old mans 70th birthday. After a long winter he really wanted to get out for spring crappies. I won’t name names but we went out with a guide on Lake Delavan for 6 hrs. The guide was late, then we had to wait for him to clean all the beer cans out of his boat from the last weekend. “So u guys want to catch bluegills and crappies eh?” He asks. We both say no we specifically want to go after crappies. “Well I think bluegills taste better myself “ he says. Ok good for u buddy. So after 4hrs of fishing with 0 crappies and a handful of bluegills caught he says “now let’s go look for some crappies “. Umm I thought that’s what we were doing?? No tip given on that trip!

1/16/21 @ 5:35 AM

Tipping is obviously a personal thing.  When our group gets a guide once a year up north we always tip at least $20 per guy.  I look at it as the guide showed us some spots on a new body of water that they fish all year and I’ll store them away when we fish that lake.  Only didn’t tip once many moons ago and out of guilt we sent a small tip to him.  The guide was not good in our opinion but felt bad for him due to weather that day.  Never used him again but he sent us a thank you letter.  It is getting strange how some places have a tip jar out when u pick up a pizza to go for $25.  Ya sorry not tipping with a pizza costing that much.  

1/15/21 @ 11:05 AM
Big Lake Hoosier
Big Lake Hoosier

Appreciate everyone's feedback.  Clearly, it ultimately comes down to a personal decision.  Why do I tip for the bartender to pour my beer but I don't tip the coffee shop for the same action on a cup of coffee?  I'll just go with my gut based on the experience.  My one agreement with some of the posters is it's very interesting to see how tipping began, how it evolved, and what is often expected today.  In Europe, they laugh at American's for how much we tip.  But, having worked as a waiter in the past, I do understand being rewarded above and beyond for great service.

1/14/21 @ 1:47 PM
Summers Off

McDonald's employees don't get tipped.  Walmart employees don't get tipped.  If the employer pays the employee enough then I should not have to tip.  Tipping is subsidizing a businesses wages.  Google why tipping was started.

Tipping is now assummed whether the service is good or bad.  

I have never hired a guide so I guess it would depend on the guides rate and the experience.  Personally, I would think no tip.

1/14/21 @ 11:08 AM

Independent or employee I don't see the difference. If you go into a tavern and the owner is bartending/cooking do you not tip them?  

1/13/21 @ 9:12 PM

if you are from ill. and coming to wi. 75% will be fine.

1/13/21 @ 5:20 PM
USER SINCE 6/14/05

an old man's perspective..

I would like to hire a guide just for a different perspective on different lakes....I won't because I will not tip...refuse to...just makes it easier for both of us....I don't care if he works his tail off, which is great by the way, he is getting paid to do that very thing.....well you know he cleaned the was part of his service...

I swerved from the original post so I fixed it..when these fat little fingers start flying I can write a book in 10 minutes...I aim to go a whole year without ruffling any minute at a time.

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