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Old 02-12-2018, 06:12 AM
Moe Moe is offline
 
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Default Tipping Fishing Charters

Hello, I booked a fishing charter in Mexico (Manzanillo) and I'm wondering what the etiquette is on tipping the Captain and First Mate. What is an appropriate amount.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2018, 08:39 AM
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thumper thumper is offline
 
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My rule of thumb for one or two fishers- '0' if the crew is unsafe, drunk or abusive. 10% of the charter cost for a fair day of effort & results, 15% for a very good day of effort & results, and up to 20% for a very phenomenal day that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

If you have a larger group on board - you might want to up it a bit, because the captain and mate are generally busier than a one-armed wall-paper hanger.

If they don't offer it, ask for an orientation when leaving the dock. Where are the PDFs kept? How does the radio work? If the guide falls overboard - what radio channel do you use to call for help? Can you stand when the boat's in motion? Are rods & hooks safely stowed? What's the plan - how far before you start fishing, if that doesn't produce - then what/where? When they realize that this isn't a sightseeing excursion and that you're motivated to catch fish - they will be too.

How I judge a charter's effort is on how motivated they are to find & hook fish. Some will put on a bait/lure and troll it all day in a straight line - no change-ups. If the fish are aggressive, they may consistently hit that bait and you'll have a great day. But if the fish aren't hitting, and then if your crew aren't changing things up every 30 minutes or so - they aren't working very hard for you.

Don't be shy about reminding them of what they offered you: "Si señor, we work hard and always catch the big fish, you will have many hook-ups" when they accept their payment. That's a contract - you've done your part and paid the agreed amount - let them know you expect them to live up to theirs, you're not there for a relaxing boat ride for them, or yourself.

I find that in some waters where the fishing is usually excellent, Haida Gwaii for instance, some guides just don't know, or don't care to change things up on the slow days. They just think that the fish will turn on again in a day or two and then continue dragging around the lure/bait that usually works, telling stories and watching whales, without thinking of all the resources you've put into the limited time you have there. Get to work. Nothing worse than hearing "You should have been here yesterday" from your guide. Any fool can catch a fish when the bite is on - it's when it's slow that a guide will or will not show what he's made of - and you can base your tip on that.

If it's awkward for you to be so direct, try telling your guide a few stories of past excellent, hard-working guides that tried everything to put you on to fish. That often inspires them to get off their seats, checking baits, chasing birds and really getting motivated.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2018, 08:41 AM
Team Beef Team Beef is offline
 
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Tipping depends on how you feel about the trip.
Was the boat ready to leave on time? Fresh bait?
Experienced crew? Good equipment?
Did they troll slow to get to the fishing grounds or did they motor there and get at it?
Fish until last minute and then race back or troll back slow and waste your day?
All in all, how did you feel about the day?
Start at 10% and then go to 20% of the trip cost.
Extra if they put in the effort.
Give the Captain the tip and he will share as he sees fit with the Mate.
Good luck
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:17 PM
Etownpaul Etownpaul is offline
 
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I tipped my guides $700 peso ($50cdn) or 10% of my total trip cost. They were elated. Seems like most gringos don’t tip very well if at all.

They earned their tip though. The captain wasn’t afraid to change it up if we weren’t seeing any action. He put us on to fish when it was slow fishing, which is what makes a good captain in my mind.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:30 PM
Moe Moe is offline
 
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Thanks fellas, I decided to book with La Boquita Sport Fishing. They are the only ones that I found were focussed on my needs and what I wanted. Which was to not spend 1/2 my time get out to deep ocean to perhaps catch the big one. I want a Super Panga and not a cabin cruiser. And I want to catch a multitude of fish in different methods. I want to catch a lot of fish and don't care about the maybe one big fish. I'm pumped and feel really good on my choice. I will report back with photos when I get back. And thanks for the tip info, I was thinking $50 myself. Gracias and wish me luck
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2018, 06:48 PM
MooseRiverTrapper MooseRiverTrapper is offline
 
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10-25%
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:23 PM
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rem338win rem338win is offline
 
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Great thread. We need a list of quality charters in Mexico as.seen and experienced by members. This brings the cream to the top.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:55 PM
Etownpaul Etownpaul is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rem338win View Post
Great thread. We need a list of quality charters in Mexico as.seen and experienced by members. This brings the cream to the top.
I should have mentioned my guide by name. The outfit was Captain Pablo’s out of Sayulita, our Captain was William.

Cost was $400US for 4 hours on a covered panga. They had a brand new 125 Yamaha outboard on that little panga, so we flew out to our fishing spots.

We used them two years in a row and left with a cooler full of fish both times. I’ll be using them again next time I’m in that area.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:59 PM
MooseRiverTrapper MooseRiverTrapper is offline
 
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Look up Jen Wren if you want a marlin trip.

Last edited by MooseRiverTrapper; 02-13-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:02 AM
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The Fisherman Guy The Fisherman Guy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper View Post
My rule of thumb for one or two fishers- '0' if the crew is unsafe, drunk or abusive. 10% of the charter cost for a fair day of effort & results, 15% for a very good day of effort & results, and up to 20% for a very phenomenal day that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

If you have a larger group on board - you might want to up it a bit, because the captain and mate are generally busier than a one-armed wall-paper hanger.

If they don't offer it, ask for an orientation when leaving the dock. Where are the PDFs kept? How does the radio work? If the guide falls overboard - what radio channel do you use to call for help? Can you stand when the boat's in motion? Are rods & hooks safely stowed? What's the plan - how far before you start fishing, if that doesn't produce - then what/where? When they realize that this isn't a sightseeing excursion and that you're motivated to catch fish - they will be too.

How I judge a charter's effort is on how motivated they are to find & hook fish. Some will put on a bait/lure and troll it all day in a straight line - no change-ups. If the fish are aggressive, they may consistently hit that bait and you'll have a great day. But if the fish aren't hitting, and then if your crew aren't changing things up every 30 minutes or so - they aren't working very hard for you.

Don't be shy about reminding them of what they offered you: "Si señor, we work hard and always catch the big fish, you will have many hook-ups" when they accept their payment. That's a contract - you've done your part and paid the agreed amount - let them know you expect them to live up to theirs, you're not there for a relaxing boat ride for them, or yourself.

I find that in some waters where the fishing is usually excellent, Haida Gwaii for instance, some guides just don't know, or don't care to change things up on the slow days. They just think that the fish will turn on again in a day or two and then continue dragging around the lure/bait that usually works, telling stories and watching whales, without thinking of all the resources you've put into the limited time you have there. Get to work. Nothing worse than hearing "You should have been here yesterday" from your guide. Any fool can catch a fish when the bite is on - it's when it's slow that a guide will or will not show what he's made of - and you can base your tip on that.

If it's awkward for you to be so direct, try telling your guide a few stories of past excellent, hard-working guides that tried everything to put you on to fish. That often inspires them to get off their seats, checking baits, chasing birds and really getting motivated.

Good luck!
This is good info, but a good thing to keep in mind - don't be too pushy.

Hot tip for the OP, never - ever tell the guide "Big tip if you get us big fish". Generally won't get you very far, and usually ****es guides off, and the trip is a write off before you even leave the dock.

I've been on charters in MX and SA where the guides and deckhands were lazy, lazy, LAZY despite my friendliness and willingness to help - they then expected a tip. If you aren't having fun, let them know. A good guide will recognize that, and do his best to turn your day around. A bad guide will ignore you.

Luck of the draw sometimes. Know this; every guide knows where he can save a day by getting onto fish. Motivating him to take you there is the difficult part, and generally waving money at them doesn't work. Find other methods of motivation, and you'll hook up.
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