How Much Do You Tip a Fishing Charter? Find Out Here

How much does it cost to tip a fishing charter on a delightful fishing trip? Tipping on fishing charters is an often-overlooked aspect, especially for first-time anglers. In the service industry, it's essential to appreciate the exceptional service the fishing guides offer on your charter fishing trips. Just like tipping in a restaurant, it's a way to show your appreciation for excellence.

This article will provide guidelines on how much to tip a fishing charter, the considerations when tipping, and how to secure your unforgettable water escapade.

Understanding the Role of Fishing Guides and 1st Mates

Working as a fishing guide or a 1st Mate on charter fishing boats is not an unappreciated fishing profession. It demands countless work hours, outstanding service, and an in-depth understanding of marine behavior. Guiding clients toward a rich fishing charter experience requires skill, effort, and an unending sense of service with lots of dedication.

Fishing Guides

Professional fishing guides pursue their passion for fishing salt waters and freshwater while providing others with the thrill of fishing. They are responsible for the safety and learning journey of clients and aim to make every one of them happy and satisfied with their fishing experience.

1st Mates

1st mates, also called deckhands or just 'mates', serve an integral role in fishing charters. They manage everything from maintaining fishing equipment and untangling fishing lines to baiting hooks to keep you casting and enjoying the best fishing trip. Attention to a mate's effort is essential when tipping a fishing charter.

How to Determine How Much to Tip a Fishing Charter

Tipping fishing charter guides and 1st mates is a nice gesture, reflecting your satisfaction and appreciation. Tips are usually determined by the end-of-the-day charter, considering factors, such as the quality of service, the amount of fish caught, the availability of fish, the charter boat captain's attitude, and the overall fishing charter experience. 

Here are some detailed tips: 

  • Calculate the tip percentage. Ordinarily, the standard tip for a fishing charter is between 15-20% of the cost of the charter. However, you may need to adjust this figure depending on the quality of service provided.
  • Assess the crew's involvement. The tip should also reflect the level of service provided by the crew. This includes considering how involved and helpful the crew was, whether they provided insights and shared fishing tactics, how well they interacted with the group, and their commitment to ensuring the group enjoyed the trip.
  • Evaluate experience quality. Another factor to consider in tipping is gauging the quality of your experience. Consider if the crew contributed positively to the enjoyment of your trip. Were they attentive, friendly, and professional? A great experience may merit a higher tip.
  • Tip distribution. In most cases, the tip is to be distributed amongst the crew. It's important to enquire about the distribution system on your specific charter to ensure that all those deserving receive their share.
  • Factors not influencing the tip. Remember that factors beyond the crew's control, such as poor weather conditions or an unsuccessful fishing day, should not affect the gratuity as they do not reflect the crew's skills or service.

How Much Do You Tip a Fishing Charter?

The general guideline in the charter fishing trip community is to tip 15-20% of the total charter fee. This is similar to what is customary in other service industries. For example, if your offshore or day trips cost $500, plan to tip between $75 and $100.

Tipping Based on Quality of Service

Exceptional Service

A beneficial fishing guide or an experienced mate who goes above and beyond to make your offshore boat fishing experience memorable should be tipped accordingly. If they spend 4-6 hours or even a whole hour trip tracking fish, baiting hooks, and telling exciting fishing stories, it's only fair that you reward their extra work with an additional gesture of gratitude.

Poor Service

In contrast, be mindful of poor service. If you feel that your charter fishing boat, dock guys, or dock manager lacked commitment or pushed inappropriate content, or if the hours docked at the boat ramp were prolonged unnecessarily without justified cause, it understandably affects the tip.

Additional Considerations for Tipping Fishing Trips in Charter Boats

  • Equipment and Maintenance. Look at the quality and condition of the equipment and boat. If the fishing gear is high-end and well-maintained, if the boat is kept clean and safe, it might warrant a larger tip.
  • Crew Expertise. Consider the skills and proficiency of the crew. If the captain and crew displayed an excellent understanding of the waters, fishing techniques, and safety protocols, it would be appropriate to tip more.
  • Customized Experience. Suppose the crew personalized your fishing experience to meet your group's specific desires or needs, like targeting certain species or fishing in preferred locations. In that case, consider a higher tip.
  • Preparation of Catch. Some fishing charters offer to prepare or cook your catch. If you were provided with this extra service and enjoyed it, this should be a factor in determining your tip.
  • Exceptional Customer Service. The friendliness and efficiency of the crew can also impact your tip. Try tipping more if they are attentive, friendly, and responsive to your needs.
  • Crew Size. If the boat has a small crew, each member might have more responsibilities and work harder to ensure you have a good trip. In this case, consider a generous tip.
  • Special Moments. If the crew went above and beyond to create memorable moments, for example, helping you land a once-in-a-lifetime catch or celebrating personal milestones, giving a higher tip would be a nice gesture of appreciation.
  • Endurance and Hard Work. Consider the crew's efforts in harsh weather conditions or over a long charter. Regardless of the circumstances, hard work and commitment to making the trip enjoyable can influence your tip amount.
  • Local Tipping Norms. Be aware of local tipping norms and customs. What's customary for tipping might vary based on location, and it's always a good idea to be mindful of local practices.
  • Expert Guidance and Education. Did the crew take time to educate you on fishing techniques, conservation efforts, or local marine life? This additional service enhances your fishing experience and could warrant a larger tip.

Secure Your Unforgettable Sea Adventure Today With a Reputable Fishing Charter!

Booking with a fishing charter, like Louisiana Charter Fishing, ensures an unforgettable fishing experience without worrying about operational tasks. We take care of the cost of the boat ride, provision, and professional fishing guide. In return, your role is to enjoy the fishing days and show appreciation with an appropriate tip. After all, nothing brings more fulfillment to service-oriented professionals than recognition of their hard work. 

Consider tipping to contribute to the fishing community and help maintain and promote quality service in this industry. Remember, every tip counts and directly reflects your satisfaction and appreciation, further encouraging the fishing guides and staff to deliver an even better service on your next charter fishing trip.

Ready to cast your line and reap the rewards of a perfectly organized fishing charter? Your sea adventure awaits. Book your Louisiana Charter Fishing trip, test your angling skills, and remember to tip for the outstanding service you are bound to receive.




Join our mailing list and receive our newsletter with fishing updates, reports, stories, photos and other interesting tidbits to get you excited about Louisiana fishing!