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Old 03-25-2019, 09:11 PM   #1
mikebyrge
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Default Fishing guide tip question

My son and I are going on a 4 hour fishing trip out of Kemah this weekend and I have no idea how much to tip. Any input appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:38 PM   #2
thegrouse
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Usually I tip 15-20% of the total cost of the trip if we had fun.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:45 PM   #3
bowhntrmatt
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Y’all tip even if the guide is a 1-man operation and owns the business?

I always do, but in the back of my mind kind of question it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:54 PM   #4
thegrouse
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I have just decided to tip the 15-20 regardless and try to have fun on the trip. It saves me the mental gymnastics. I have never had a bad guided fishing trip but I would not tip well if I did.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:07 PM   #5
El General
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Originally Posted by bowhntrmatt View Post
Yíall tip even if the guide is a 1-man operation and owns the business?

I always do, but in the back of my mind kind of question it.
Yes.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:47 PM   #6
tkuehn5410
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As long as the guide does his best to get you on fish, I tip! But when a guide cuts your trip off early because of this or that, and you haven't gotten your limits, then I'm not going to give much or any tip.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:13 AM   #7
mikebyrge
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Thanks guys.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:00 AM   #8
3under3
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I think 20% is a good number unless it seems like the guide is really not trying. Above all treat the guide respectfully and donít sweat a bad day fishing. I have fished with my favorite guide for over ten years. I pack a lunch for him, provide his favorite beer for the cleaning table and tip him $150/ day. In turn I know Iím fishing with the hardest working guide on the water that day.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:58 AM   #9
Rigging Cooks
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I always tip my guide. I have never had a dud guide. These guys try to make a living taking people out for a fun day on the water. I always learn something from them. I love Speckled Trout fried fillets.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:03 AM   #10
RiverRat1
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Here's my take. You pay for a 4-hour fishing trip with a guide (someone who should know what he's doing).

So tip based on anything above and beyond that. If he's extra happy to be trying to get you on fish for you or your sons sake, if he answers his phone and tries to adjust timing of trip for better odds, if he stays a little later on the water, if he provides extra bait usually not included, if you lose one of his fishing poles If he contacts you before you trip to tell you how the fish are biting etc.

Things like that. just pay attention and tip accordingly.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:04 AM   #11
CEO
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Last trip I did was $375 for 4 hours. Guide was great, tipped $100.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:05 AM   #12
Fmjag64
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I always tip 20% of trip cost regardless of if fish are caught or not.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #13
ultrastealth
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Wow! Most people used to recommend a 10% tip for fishing or hunting guides, now it's 20? I tip based on how hard he works, not based on number of fish. If it looks like he's just going through the motions, he gets docked. Luckily, I've seldom had that issue.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:24 AM   #14
Lynn21
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Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:25 AM   #15
texansfan
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WHY tip?
Shouldn't the guide price his services on how much he think he should earn not how much "charity" he thinks I should give him?

I hate tipping.

Just tell me what I owe you and let's move on.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:47 AM   #16
panhandlehunter
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I’ll usually slide them $40 or so.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:28 AM   #17
whakm
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I usually tip 10-15% of the total cost but I'll add to it. Just depends on the total enjoyment of the trip.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:44 AM   #18
CaptainDave
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10-20% depending on several factors. A lot of guides allow up to 3 fishermen on the boat; which should increase level of tip. How hard did he work? Fish cleaned and fileted at the dock? Did he show up on time? Was the trip what was expected? How was his attitude? If it's a bay system you fish personally, did he offer helpful information for you to use on future solo trips? If the day was a grind, did he put out extra effort? There's really all kinds of things a guide could do good or bad, not even counting the actual catching of fish.

Yes, I've tipped as low as zero before. Why? Guide was almost an hour late; obvious he was hung over from night before. He was an overall ***** for the most part and to cap it all off, we didn't catch much either. So yes, there are definitely guided trips out there that should be met with zero tip.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:53 AM   #19
∆theling
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Busts his or her *** to put me on fish, provides water and ice, cleans and bags my catch equals tip. If we hit the mother load in freshwater I will help with the cleaning.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:17 AM   #20
stickman
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I’ve been tipped zero, and tipped almost half of the original trips cost. Effort on my part is the same every time, clients are all different. All walks of life, Some clients make more money, some save more money to hire a guide but in the end I never expect a tip. As mentioned in a post why not price the trip figuring in what I need to make...well, that does 2 things; makes me the highest priced guide on the water, and keeps many people that couldn’t afford to spend that money off the water. I usually ask their expectation aside from the obvious catching fish, and then determine what we do from there. I understand hiring a guide isn’t cheap, neither is owning a boat/charter business. To address another comment, if we are all over priced maybe grab that Capt. license, run down and buy a boat, and charge 1/2 what everyone else does. I don’t think you would stay in business very long. Charter business is a service, typically service industry people are tipped, if folks don’t care to tip that’s fine. I don’t think people have to tip at the fish market. I love what I do, I get to teach people how to catch fish and what to look for when searching them out so they don’t have to hire another guide if they don’t want to. On a side note, flounder have started showing back up, and for those that are interested my buddy Capt Dave D. out of Aransas pass has been gigging limits of decent fish every trip out. Spring has sprung down here on the coast and hopefully winds will allow us out on the water with some regularity.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:38 AM   #21
mikebyrge
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Thanks guys. I was figuring 20% and just wanted to make sure I was close.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:45 AM   #22
TX03RUBI
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I’ve only been on a trip a few times, and it was the same trip. $350 day rate for the trip, and I tipped $100 each time.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:05 PM   #23
Quackerbox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by texansfan View Post
WHY tip?
Shouldn't the guide price his services on how much he think he should earn not how much "charity" he thinks I should give him?

I hate tipping.

Just tell me what I owe you and let's move on.
yall sound like great customers!


The last paid trip I went on lasted 3 days with 2 full days of fishing. 2 deckhands (one that cooked 3 meals a day) and the 1 captain. I paid for 4 spots on the boat for my family and tipped the crew another 500 bucks.


Everything about the trip was that good and each crew member busted their tail to make sure it was a trip of a lifetime. Good enough guys I remain in contact with them to this day. That was coming up on 3 years ago.

That said everyone here knows boats, insurance etc aint cheap. If the guide earns a tip hes getting a good one
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:39 PM   #24
SCREAMINREELS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
They may make $100 an hour while you're with them, but then I guess you have to consider the rest of the time that they are working for free? Fishing when they're not with clients to keep you on the fish. Going to stores buying tackle. Boat repairs/maintenance. A lot of windshield time driving around, boat storage, boat cleaning, reel repair, marketing, paying for advertising etc. 80k boat( or a lot more) fuel, etc. Have to average all that out. Plus experience. I'll teach you to fish for free lol, you'll learn alot more from a guide in a day though than I could teach you over a summer

Last edited by SCREAMINREELS; 03-26-2019 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:45 PM   #25
RiverRat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCREAMINREELS View Post
They may make $100 an hour while you're with them, but then I guess you have to consider the rest of the time that they are working for free? Fishing when they're not with clients to keep you on the fish. Going to stores buying tackle. Boat repairs/maintenance. A lot of windshield time driving around, boat storage, boat cleaning, reel repair, marketing, paying for advertising etc. 80k boat( or a lot more) fuel, etc. Have to average all that out. Plus experience. I'll teach you to fish for free lol, you'll learn alot more from a guide in a day though than I could teach you over a summer
Don't forget insurance, taxes, and answering a million questions from tire kickers on their days off.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:38 PM   #26
Tx_Wader
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If the service is good, if you caught fish or if you didn't and the guide worked to get you on fish, then 20% of the total for the trip is customary.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:05 PM   #27
eastxhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texansfan View Post
WHY tip?
Shouldn't the guide price his services on how much he think he should earn not how much "charity" he thinks I should give him?

I hate tipping.

Just tell me what I owe you and let's move on.
Agreed tipping blows.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:17 PM   #28
Smart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by texansfan View Post
WHY tip?
Shouldn't the guide price his services on how much he think he should earn not how much "charity" he thinks I should give him?

I hate tipping.

Just tell me what I owe you and let's move on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastxhunter View Post
Agreed tipping blows.



Not surprising considering......




OP....20% is a start for a good trip. For me....if it's a great trip with the guide or crew bust their asses it goes up. Bad trip with a peckahead for a guide, then its a big fat goose egg. Their choice...




.

Last edited by Smart; 03-26-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:32 PM   #29
Guardian Reaper
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Fished a guided striper trip during the big flood on Texoma a couple of years ago. Guide worked hard to try and get us on fish. Caught one each. On the way back, he tried one last spot. Nothing there. He apologized and asked if we were free in about a week and he would give us this one for free. We were and he told us he would call and get us another trip. 4 days later, he called and booked us for a river trip. The four of us limited out in two hours. We had previously tipped him for the no luck trip and we tipped him again. I went first and he told me he had already been tipped, from last time. I simply told him, the boat won't run on "thank you's". Won't hesitate to use him again. The bad trip was not his fault and he made it right.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:41 PM   #30
Dirtymike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
How much is that boat?
What about the fuel, bait, tackle, maintenance on the boat?
Storage of boat.
Repair of boat.

(why dont you own a boat and why do you need a guide then?)

Add it up.

Then add in how many days a year you can actually book.Think weather, time of year all come into play.

Take all the expense and divide it by the actual days a year they are out on trips.

Now how much did you say guides make an hour again?
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:24 PM   #31
adam_p
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
Things must be different down on the coast. I know a few bass guides and they don't even gross that much.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:32 PM   #32
bk913
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
Then do it. Too many people like you that love to talk **** but don’t have the drive to actually do anything, which is exactly why you’re bitter & bitching about it on the internet.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:54 PM   #33
Muddy Bud
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For you guys that don't believe in tipping.


Depending on where your fishing take into account the price of fuel for the boat, truck and bait. Yes I said truck because sometimes you have to go way out of the way of where your fishing to get the bait. Heck it doesn't take long for a couple tourista's to burn through a few dozen croaker. At 10-12 bucks a dozen you do the math.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:56 PM   #34
eastxhunter
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Originally Posted by Muddy Bud View Post
For you guys that don't believe in tipping.


Depending on where your fishing take into account the price of fuel for the boat, truck and bait. Yes I said truck because sometimes you have to go way out of the way of where your fishing to get the bait. Heck it doesn't take long for a couple tourista's to burn through a few dozen croaker. At 10-12 bucks a dozen you do the math.
They can do the math and add to their total daily rate?..
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:25 PM   #35
DallasCoon12
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I’ve fished my whole life all over the world with all different kinds of people. I’ve never even considered not tipping the quide if their gear is in order and they give a good effort. I’ve been on trips where the guide didn’t get a tip but that was because of a lack of effort or preparation. I WANT them to make money and be very successful so I can back with them!! No matter what you do 95-100$ an hour gross.. nets much smaller.... I know this from experience!
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:31 PM   #36
stickman
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They can do the math and add to their total daily rate?..
Ok, then for special customers their rate is $2k per trip. Iíve already started that special customer list.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:39 PM   #37
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Wife and son went to lake calichowuspellit over spring break. Weather got them the first day and the guide was already booked to leave for Florida the following day. The guide found another for same rate. Weather got that one also.

Yeap, guide number 3 located an hour away. Dude trailered to another part of the lake and took them. They limited on reds on artificial and kept fishing.

The guy they fished with was outstanding, let my son do whatever he wanted and had a blast. All the while the 2 other guys kept in touch to make sure the trip was good.

One got a fat tip and all got reviews on their fb and websites.

If we go back I know who we're calling

Props to Ben with get reel charters!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Last edited by Quackerbox; 03-26-2019 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:41 PM   #38
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yall sound like great customers!


The last paid trip I went on lasted 3 days with 2 full days of fishing. 2 deckhands (one that cooked 3 meals a day) and the 1 captain. I paid for 4 spots on the boat for my family and tipped the crew another 500 bucks.


Everything about the trip was that good and each crew member busted their tail to make sure it was a trip of a lifetime. Good enough guys I remain in contact with them to this day. That was coming up on 3 years ago.

That said everyone here knows boats, insurance etc aint cheap. If the guide earns a tip hes getting a good one

X2! Their tip is a reflection of how much they bust their butt, even on the best days though sometimes the fish win.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:52 PM   #39
ctom87
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I had a guide on a 6 hour trip down in the jetties of Galveston. The guy was a real @$$hole. He would just talk trash to us the whole 6 hours...but it came across as locker room talk so one guy was getting razzed but the other 3 are laughing at him. He was some cajun, could hardly understand a word he said. But for the four of us, if we lost our bait, a new shrimp was on the hook in about 5 seconds. He said he would put us on the four biggest bull red's that anyone caught when we went back to shore, and sure enough, we had the four biggest one's out of anyone who took a trip that day. We were also 4 shy of our sheepshead limit.

He got 25% which came out to $200 as everyone put in an extra $50. For the whole trip, it was $250 a person and worth every penny.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:43 PM   #40
txwhitetail
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Ok, then for special customers their rate is $2k per trip. Iíve already started that special customer list.
Yep you definitely remember the names and are booked solid the next time they call!
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:51 PM   #41
BrandonA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Why tip? They are all overpriced like everything else. They average $95-$100 an hour. And they usually do 2 trips a day. Do the math. Wish I made that per day. B realistic guys.
What you donít see is getting up at 2-3 in the morning to catch bait if you fish live bait. The times spent scouting and finding fish( not getting paid). After the trip if they run doubles they still have to clean boat, retie lines, fix what was broken and get things ready for next day. More goes on than people think.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:17 PM   #42
Lynn21
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Hey bk913- it’s dumb ..... like you that cause these kind of prices. Keep on paying them and maybe they’ll increase some more. This is the exact reason that a $600 a gun deer lease 10 years ago is now $2000 a gun. Why? Cause dumb ..... like you kept on paying the higher asking prices and these ranchers caught on real quick. Bitter and bitching? Yeah you d... right I am. So you go ahead and keep condoning and paying every price increase on fishing, hunting, or whatever, and then maybe someday we will all hit the lotto and be able to hunt and fish with you.....
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:17 PM   #43
Duramaxjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebyrge View Post
My son and I are going on a 4 hour fishing trip out of Kemah this weekend and I have no idea how much to tip. Any input appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
Who did you book?
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:52 PM   #44
DallasCoon12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Hey bk913- itís dumb ..... like you that cause these kind of prices. Keep on paying them and maybe theyíll increase some more. This is the exact reason that a $600 a gun deer lease 10 years ago is now $2000 a gun. Why? Cause dumb ..... like you kept on paying the higher asking prices and these ranchers caught on real quick. Bitter and bitching? Yeah you d... right I am. So you go ahead and keep condoning and paying every price increase on fishing, hunting, or whatever, and then maybe someday we will all hit the lotto and be able to hunt and fish with you.....
You donít have to hit the lotto... just go to work.!
Or buy your own boat to go fishin and hunt public land!! Nothing wrong with that either.

Doesnt make sense to complain about skilled professionals that work just as hard as anyone and want to charge for it. The mechanic that works on your car or the plumber that cleans out your toilet arenít any more deserving of a solid living then fishing guides.

To the OP Iíd tip them 15-25%
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:06 PM   #45
BrandonA
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Hunt In: Mills and Burnet County
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Something else or at least the stripers guide on Buchanan, fishing season begins In March and starts dying of in August and is over opening weekend of deer season. During those months most only fish 3-4 days a month. They have to make hay when it rains.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:46 PM   #46
Coastal Ducks
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Middle Coast
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Tipping is really all over the board. Very honestly it is just a thank you. If you feel like giving a tip, do so. If you don't, don't. I don't rely on tips to pay the bills. My costs, including paying myself, are covered in the base price of the trip. And yes, I do get paid well. I won't apologize for that. I have a set of skills that are worth something to other people, I work hard at it and treat people well. There is no shame in that. If people didn't agree my repeat business wouldn't be so high.

I'd also like to say that I see this thing about guides running two trips a day. No, most guides are not running two trips a day. Yes, we do double up on occasion but it is probably about 5-10% of the time, if that. Many flat out won't run doubles.

Those tipping 15 to 20% are tipping very well. Your guides appreciate it. If you hand a guide $20 per person he still doesn't have anything to complain about. You bought his family dinner out or more. That's a pretty dang nice thank you. I've also had customers tip me with a very nice knife, a bottle of bourbon, a bag of cigars and things like that. You need to know your guide to know what he likes but hey, I loved those tips. That is a little more personal even. And I've had groups tip as much as the trip cost. You just never know.

I also run trips where I get no tip. The general trend is on corporate trips where a company is paying to send folks out fishing if the company doesn't include a tip the chances are very high you won't get a tip. Folks on a free trip tend to not tip. And then some folks just don't like the idea of tipping a fishing guide. Some honestly just don't know that tipping a guide is even a thing. And that is all ok too. You do not have to tip.

In these discussions it comes across like the tip is the most important thing to a guide. It is not at all. Not even close. It's not even something I think about. It's a nice bonus at the end of the day but I don't plan my trips around it. Tip, don't tip, whatever, I run a good trip because I take pride in what I do and I love what I do. I enjoy sharing something I love doing with others. Tips aren't even on my radar of things I worry about. But they are also very appreciated when given. So do what you feel is right either way but don't stress out about it.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:01 PM   #47
stickman
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: S.Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal Ducks View Post
Tipping is really all over the board. Very honestly it is just a thank you. If you feel like giving a tip, do so. If you don't, don't. I don't rely on tips to pay the bills. My costs, including paying myself, are covered in the base price of the trip. And yes, I do get paid well. I won't apologize for that. I have a set of skills that are worth something to other people, I work hard at it and treat people well. There is no shame in that. If people didn't agree my repeat business wouldn't be so high.

I'd also like to say that I see this thing about guides running two trips a day. No, most guides are not running two trips a day. Yes, we do double up on occasion but it is probably about 5-10% of the time, if that. Many flat out won't run doubles.

Those tipping 15 to 20% are tipping very well. Your guides appreciate it. If you hand a guide $20 per person he still doesn't have anything to complain about. You bought his family dinner out or more. That's a pretty dang nice thank you. I've also had customers tip me with a very nice knife, a bottle of bourbon, a bag of cigars and things like that. You need to know your guide to know what he likes but hey, I loved those tips. That is a little more personal even. And I've had groups tip as much as the trip cost. You just never know.

I also run trips where I get no tip. The general trend is on corporate trips where a company is paying to send folks out fishing if the company doesn't include a tip the chances are very high you won't get a tip. Folks on a free trip tend to not tip. And then some folks just don't like the idea of tipping a fishing guide. Some honestly just don't know that tipping a guide is even a thing. And that is all ok too. You do not have to tip.

In these discussions it comes across like the tip is the most important thing to a guide. It is not at all. Not even close. It's not even something I think about. It's a nice bonus at the end of the day but I don't plan my trips around it. Tip, don't tip, whatever, I run a good trip because I take pride in what I do and I love what I do. I enjoy sharing something I love doing with others. Tips aren't even on my radar of things I worry about. But they are also very appreciated when given. So do what you feel is right either way but don't stress out about it.
Bingo, well said.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:14 PM   #48
TxDispatcher
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Conroe, Tx
Hunt In: East Texas Pineywoods, Austin County
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Originally Posted by Dirtymike View Post
How much is that boat?
What about the fuel, bait, tackle, maintenance on the boat?
Storage of boat.
Repair of boat.

(why dont you own a boat and why do you need a guide then?)

Add it up.

Then add in how many days a year you can actually book.Think weather, time of year all come into play.

Take all the expense and divide it by the actual days a year they are out on trips.

Now how much did you say guides make an hour again?
Well shucks, now that you mention all of that...they probably make $300+ per hour in some of these geniuses minds
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:26 PM   #49
RiverRat1
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Leander
Hunt In: San Saba
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Originally Posted by Lynn21 View Post
Hey bk913- itís dumb ..... like you that cause these kind of prices. Keep on paying them and maybe theyíll increase some more. This is the exact reason that a $600 a gun deer lease 10 years ago is now $2000 a gun. Why? Cause dumb ..... like you kept on paying the higher asking prices and these ranchers caught on real quick. Bitter and bitching? Yeah you d... right I am. So you go ahead and keep condoning and paying every price increase on fishing, hunting, or whatever, and then maybe someday we will all hit the lotto and be able to hunt and fish with you.....
LOL Wow....

You ever think prices go up for other reasons? Like inflation?

You been around long and see the cities growing and drive out to see what use to be a LOT of huge ranches now divided into smaller ones?

It's not people paying higher prices. I promise if no one paid more than half of what guides charge now you would not like the dingy you'd be taken out on....at all.

Look how many people right now are trying to buy land and can't find any to buy. That many buyers non stop and you own land...Would you sell it cheap? Or lease it cheap?
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:26 PM   #50
GigEmAgs07
Eight Point
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Houston
Hunt In: Val Verde, London
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I really only have used guides on bay fishing trips. Wade fishing, with 4 guys to a boat, not including the guide.

Typically we tip $25/person for a half day and $50/person for a full day. I hope we haven't screwed anyone over, but most guys act very appreciative with that amount.

And it's an easy amount to tell the guys you're going with to prepare for.

Offshore I would assume is a different ballgame.
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