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The Ultimate Guide to Tipping Your Fishing Guide

While waiters and waitresses often live off their tips, a fishing guide is given payment in full at the time of the excursion. While fishing guides don’t live off their tips, they are in a competitive business that can cut into profits when they’re trying to beat out the price of other guides. Leaving a gratuity should be based on a few factors.

Picking the Right Guide

First, it’s vital that you pick the right guide for your trip. While the guide cannot guarantee that you’ll catch fish, you’ll want to pick a guide based on their experience with what you want out of your excursion. Some people who hire guides want to learn to fish for a particular type of fish like bass. Others want to catch lots of a certain fish, and they’re relying on the experience of the fishing guide.

When you’re choosing a guide, it’s important to read reviews and do your research to ensure that the guide is experienced and will provide you with a successful fishing trip. While they can’t guarantee that you’ll catch fish, they should be willing to provide great customer service. This will be evident in the reviews and comments about the fishing guide. Once you pick a guide, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for before the trip.

The Guide Has All the Control and None

Your guide has to ensure that you’re fishing safely while trying to find fish in a lake where he can’t see under the water any better than you can. He has to rely on his years of experience on that body of water to find the fish you want. He or she has control of where you’ll fish as well as teaching you the proper fishing techniques. The guide also has to ensure that you know how to cast without hooking your boat mates.

At the same time, fishing guides are at the whims of their clients. The client has paid for the time of the guide and his or her boat. Clients can demand to be taken anywhere they want, which doesn’t always guarantee that there will be fish to find. When ignoring the guide’s advice, they are taking a chance on not finding fish. A guide is meant to guide the client to the best fishing spots, but clients often think they are hiring a boat and captain with no input. While the guide seemingly has all the control, they’re really at the whims of their clients.

Overhead and Customer Service

There are many arguments for and against tipping a guide for providing a service you’ve already paid for in full. Unlike wait staff, fishing guides are often self-employed, which means they keep the profits. On the other hand, they have the overhead of advertising and marketing themselves, taking care of their boat and maintaining fishing gear. They aren’t making much in the way of profits and might depend on the tips they make.

If you feel like your guide has gone above and beyond to ensure that your day on the water is the best day he can provide, there’s no reason you shouldn’t tip the fishing guide. Whether you caught fish or not, if the guide has spent the day giving you tips on your fishing technique, that’s knowledge you can take with you into the future.

Generally, people tend to pay with the same amounts as they would in other industries. A tip of 20 percent means you are incredibly satisfied with the service the fishing guide provided. This might be with or without you catching fish on the trip. If you weren’t satisfied with the trip at all, 10 percent is customary. The quality of the service you receive should be the deciding factor in the tip.

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