Tipping [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tipping

06-03-2006, 05:18 PM

Thought I would throw this out for discussion....here is a guide in the Bahamas to who tells his clients what he expects for a MINIMUM tip.......I think that is just plain brazen......any other thoughts ?

(edited direct link: bahamian guide requiring $40 minimum tip)


06-03-2006, 05:23 PM
Pretty obnoxious, I'd say, but then again, $400/day is a pretty low rate for bahamian guides. IMHO he'd be better off marking up his day rate to $440 and knocking off the mandatory tip nonsense.

06-03-2006, 08:49 PM
Bahamian guides....what can I say. It blows my mind that they charge as much as the best in the Keys. Twice the attitude and half the work ethic. I suppose it adds up the same. Oh boy, why did I say that:tsk_tsk:

06-04-2006, 04:46 AM
Funny, I kinda feel the opposite: my experience with keys guides has been disastrous. I tried it four times and told myself I'd never do it again. Ever since, I've been wondering whether I did something stupidly wrong, or if egos and attitude are just a norm down there.

I also agree that many Bahamian guides are masters at 'easy livin'.

06-04-2006, 09:36 AM
I'm guessing that the minimum tip information is not directed at US customers, since most are accustom to tipping 10-20%. Visitors from European countries customarily tip only few percent. This avoids confusion and at least 10% is normally considered minimum for us.

The way it is now, in evaluating cost, I would plan on about $460 for the day. If he increased his rate to $440 to cover his minimum, I would have to plan on about $510 for the day.

In RI, there is a guide that advertises his rates and a minimum tip of 20%.:eek:

Jim Miller
06-04-2006, 10:23 AM
Like in a restaurant
The price is for the meal
The tip is for the service

The amount of tip should not be automatic.
It should be based on how hard the guide worked for you..... not necesssarily how many fish you caught .... but more so the guides effort.

06-05-2006, 02:10 PM
I am glad to see this thread. I was planning to post a similar question regarding the tipping of guides. Here's my two cents:

I've always felt that a proprietor (ie. a guide that owns his own boat) should not generally be tipped, nor should he expect a tip. However, I feel there are special circumstances that justify a small tip, such as rounding up his fee to an even number, or if you're in a particularly good mood about the catch, or if you stay out later than expected, or if the guide is cleaning fish for you, or if you're a regular customer. If those cases, I feel that a small tip is justified.

Bahamas guides are in a little different position. They typically don't own their own boats and they work for whatever the lodge pays them for the day. In those cases, the lodge tends to make it clear that a tip is "expected". I don't like it, but as an incentive to work hard for you, I can understand a tip of between $20-$40 per day. Relatively speaking, I don't think that these guides are making very much money. I haven't been able to determine how much lodges typically pay their staff guides, but I can't believe its very much.

That brings me to a bigger question. How is it that a Spartan sweep-out lodge on let's say Andros Island can charge $2900 for 6 days of fishing, then expect you to tip your guides and provide a tip for the cleaning staff, the kitchen staff, the guy that hoses off your rods, etc.

Let's Do the Math: So lets call it $3000 to keep the math easy. Out of that $3000, I would say that your lodging is worth about $110 per day ($660), your meals, maybe another $40 per day ($240), the extra things like the trip back and forth to the airport, etc. ($100). So, your lodging is $1000 (which is probably excessive), and the rest goes to FISHING ($2000 !!!!). That's not for you ALONE, that's for you to SHARE the boat with someone else. Then they have the audacity to expect a tip of about $60-80 per day. That means that a shared boat costs about $740 per day. Talk about a rip off.

Don't get me wrong, I love taking exotic fishing trips and do it whenever I can, I just recently got back from Andros, at a lodge that I won't name that's a little more reasonable priced, but even they stuck me with a "fuel surcharge of $80" at the end of the trip. I would have thought that they'd already made enough on me.

As far as the Key's guides go. They're high priced, but the NE guides are charging just as much. Paul Dixon charges $500 for a day, Amanda Switzer $550-600....The Delaware River guides charge the same kind of money.

I realize that no one gets into guiding to become rich and I'm not against anyone making all the money they can and guides are certainly entitled to make whatever the market allows, but I think that the expectation of a tip is way over the top. With these kinds of prices, I start to feel like I'm compensating people so that they can take half the year off.

06-05-2006, 02:24 PM
My last 2 guides in the keyes left more to be desired... One guide in Tampa/ClearWater I'd use for shark bait...

Havn't fished in the Bahamas yet...

Good guides are out there.. Be happy if you found one already!

06-05-2006, 07:56 PM
I tip minimum of 10% if the guide works hard and does a good job. A agree that there are some bad guides out there, I've run into them. I like my guide in the Keys, I've got a great time slot (late May-early June) and typically I get lots of shots at tarpon every year and he poles his ass off to make sure I get good shots at them.

06-05-2006, 09:05 PM
i fished with a guide on grand bahama whose web site indicates a requirement of a $40 per day tip. while i find it somewhat obnoxious, this particular guide is without doubt one of the three best guides i have ever fished with. personally, i think that they have a different idea of what a tip is than we do. also the cost of gas is killing them. it's much more there than here. maybe they're trying to insist on a tip rather than raising their prices. all of that said, i do not feel bound by the tippin requirement.

06-06-2006, 07:34 AM
I feel this whole tipping thing has gotten out of hand, and I don't tip guides that run their own businesses.

BTW, the going rate on Andros to hire a bonefishing guide to run another's skiff with an already-booked client is $60/day, which compares VERY favorably with any other kind of employment available on the island.

06-06-2006, 08:55 AM

I am really surprised to hear that the South Andros guides only receive $60 per day when they're guiding out of a lodge owned boat. I know that its hard to find work on the island, and I always figured that they couldn't be getting that big of a piece of the pie but I would have bet that they got a little more than that.

However, I can certainly agree that $60 per day plus a $40 tip would be very good money on the island. This is why the last lodge I stayed at was reluctant to let me fish with the same guide for the whole week. The Bahamian owner told me that if he did that then people on the island would be upset that he wasn't giving other guides a chance to make some money.

06-06-2006, 08:38 PM
Interesting topic on tipping. I have never taken a guided trip, but know a few that I may try one day. It's always nice to know what is expected so you don't feel like a jerk at the end of the day. However, I put more of the blame on the fisherman to ask around and see what's acceptable. Most people I know would be more than happy to share that information, knowing you are trying to do what's right by the guide. However, I think guides posting what they expect is excessive, and if they want to go that route, just post a total price that says tip included.