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Tipping a charter captain

6/17/22 @ 11:06 AM
Capt. Eye Catcher

Going on my first Salmon charter this weekend.  What is the amount you tip the Captain if you tip them at all?

Thanks for any input.

Capt. Eye Catcher


6/28/22 @ 4:33 PM
USER SINCE 10/8/09

30 to 50$ per person.more if it was epic. if your hooked up a lot an not landing, it's a YOU problem. most of these guys are really good fishermen, some are gods (jason woda). 

6/22/22 @ 11:08 AM
John Schultz
John Schultz
USER SINCE 3/14/14

charter tips usually go mostly to the crew if there is one. Tips are tips, and are meant for the above and beyond. They shouldn't be expected but are always appreciated. From personal experience, the worst days of fishing usually end up with the best tips. You work significantly harder trying to figure out something that will get bites. Easy fishing doesn't take a lot of effort usually. Salmon boats are a little different because you run a ton of gear and if the bite is hot, the mate busts his butt to keep up.

Moral of the story, tip based on your experience, there shouldn't be an expected amount.

EyeChaser Guide Service
(608) 225-2395
6/22/22 @ 9:48 AM

Kids took me on a 1/2 day salmon charter years back. I went to give the captain a tip as mate was cleaning the fish, and captain said to give tip to the mate. Makes sense as mate did all the work setting poles, netting, etc. 1/2 day trip was $350. Captain said 20% was typical tip and huge portion of mate pay. 

6/22/22 @ 8:19 AM
Fish Hound
USER SINCE 1/29/02

Tip the mate, don't worry about tipping the captain unless they go out of their way for you. The captain is usually guaranteed a larger amount of money, and rightfully so, as he carries the credentials and responsibility. The mate is usually guaranteed a much smaller amount and tips do make a huge difference. 

6/18/22 @ 1:52 PM

what I remember is that on a charter. the tips are usually for the crew, they may be the ones doing a lot of the work, tending lines and fish and customers... so maybe consider that

6/18/22 @ 1:16 AM
USER SINCE 12/7/05

Here is the thread from last year:

How much to tip a guide

6/18/22 @ 1:15 AM
USER SINCE 12/7/05

There was a thread on here last year about tipping guides...turned into a $#!+ storm, but if you do a search and replace "guide" with "captain" you will have some opinions. To sum up what I remember from the thread: It is personal preference, just like tipping in a restaurant. If the service was exceptional and they went above and beyond what you would consider 'normal' and you want to tip them, great. If you were not impressed and don't want to tip them, great. I used to guide and never relied on nor expected clients to tip me. If they did, I usually stuck that money back into gear or a 'rainy day fund'. My rates were set to offset wear and tear on my equipment, gas prices and my time. I no longer guide due to the fact that I got sick of people blatantly abusing my gear and being inconsiderate. I guided as a hobby, not as a full-time job. I would take guys/gals out on my days off work because I liked to fish and get others on the water. Once it became too much "work" it was no longer worth it and I didn't renew my license.

Regardless of what/if/how much you tip, please be courteous and respectful of the guide and their gear. One of the biggest tips I ever got was on one of the worst fishing days I ever had as a guide. I called the guy the night before and told him there was a 95% chance of rain and storms. I told him I will fish in the rain, but lightning/thunder was a big NO. I woke up the next morning and it was pouring rain, called him on the way to the lake and he again insisted he wanted to go. We fished for 4 hours in a torrential downpour and caught like 3 or 4 bass. He gave me a significant tip and said he learned more in those 4 hours than in years of fishing and he honestly thought I would bail on the trip. I ran into him at the boat ramp a couple years later and he remembered me and brought up our trip, telling his buddies "This is the guy that took me out half the day in the pouring rain a couple years ago!" Had he not tipped me, it would have changed none of that. We still had the memory and got a good laugh looking back at it.

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