How Much Do You Tip a Fishing Guide?

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, embarking on a guided fishing trip can be one of the most exciting adventures. Tipping a fishing guide at the end of the fishing trip isn’t mandatory, but it gives you a chance to show gratitude for everything the guide did for you that day on the water.

So, how much do you tip a fishing guide? Tipping is a customary way of rewarding good service. Fishing guides deserve to be rewarded like all other service workers. Standard fishing guide tips are 10% to 20% of the price of the charter. If the guide provided extraordinary service, reward them with a higher tip if you can afford it.

Tipping a fishing guide should be commonplace, but many anglers are confused about what etiquette calls for when leaving a tip for a fishing guide. Keep reading to learn how much to tip a fishing guide per day and why you should leave a tip even when unsatisfied with the quality of the service provided. 

What Is a Fishing Guide?

A fishing guide is a person who takes people on guided fishing tours on boats and teaches them about fishing. The fishing guide’s primary duties include creating a plan for fishing tours, teaching guests new fishing techniques, interacting with guests, maintaining the boat and other fishing equipment, and cleaning the fish.

A fishing guide must have extensive knowledge of boat operation, fish, and fishing. To succeed in their job, a fishing guide needs to have vast knowledge and experience in local waters. 

This way, the guide will know where the fish are biting and what fishing techniques and styles to use at each location. A fishing guide is also required to teach passengers on the boat how to fish and hook bait. Furthermore, fishing guides must have impressive social skills to keep the passengers entertained and happy on all fishing trips. 

Should You Tip Your Fishing Guide?

Should You Tip Your Fishing Guide

Fly fishing guides and other fishing guides provide a service, just like a server in a restaurant. If you don’t hesitate to tip a server at the end of your meal, you shouldn’t hesitate to tip your fishing guide.

The big problem for most anglers is that they don’t know what to expect when tipping their guide for excellent service. Many anglers don’t know that they are supposed to tip a guide after a full day on the water or how much they should tip.

Some confusion in this regard is expected because there are many different types of fishing charters. The amount of money you’ll leave for a tip will vary, depending on whether you booked an independent guide, a fishing boat with a crew, or an all-inclusive trip to a lodge. 

Regardless of your fishing trip’s type, tipping is a way of rewarding good service. Truth be told if you can afford to hire a guide and go on a fishing trip, you can afford to leave a tip.

Let’s say you’re spending from $500 to $1000 on a day of fishing, giving another 20% on a trip won’t make a big dent in your budget. But if giving a tip to a guide will leave you broke for the rest of the month, you shouldn’t go on a fishing trip in the first place. 

How Much Do You Tip Your Fishing Guide?

Now that you know you should tip a fishing guide, you’re probably wondering how much should you tip. Follow the same etiquette you would in other tipping situations for most fishing trips.  

Rewarding a fly-fishing guide with a 20% tip is a standard for good service, or more if you’re extremely pleased with the service and can afford a higher tip. 

If you aren’t satisfied with the service, leave a 10% tip. In these cases, not leaving a tip might seem like a good idea and a motivator for the guide and the crew to put more effort into organizing the next fishing trip. In reality, it’s a bad idea.

If you’re bad at math and percentages, here are some numbers for you. It’s customary to leave $100 to $150 for a full-day guided fishing trip without logins. If the trip is half a day or only a few hours, around $50 to $100 would be a suitable tip.

For all-inclusive package trips and lodging, don’t forget to tip the entire staff at the lodge. The tip will vary based on your destination, but it’s typical for anglers to leave 7% to 12% of the trip’s total cost.

Is It Necessary to Tip Your Fishing Guide?

Whether you had a successful fishing trip or not, it’s customary to reward a fishing guide with a 10% to 20% tip. It’s important to remember that no matter how much the fishing trip costs, there are many factors that a fishing guide can’t control.

Poor weather conditions, rain, changes in water flow rates, and temperature can ruin a perfect fishing day. A fishing guide’s job is to work hard and help you catch fish in any way possible. If by the end of the day, you didn’t catch the number of fish you’d like, that’s not the guide’s fault, and they still deserve a good tip. 


Tipping a fishing guide is no different from tipping a server in a restaurant. If you’re satisfied with the service provided leave, a 20% tip or more to show appreciation for everything the guide did for you that day. 

On the other hand, if you’re unsatisfied with the service provided, leave a 10% tip and talk with the captain or lodge manager about the issue. Not leaving a tip might seem like a great motivator, but you’ll likely earn a reputation of being a Scrooge among other guides.