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How Much To Tip A Deckhand (Tipping on Fishing Charters)

In this post I try to not only explain the importance of tipping on fishing charters, but also how much you might want to consider tipping the deckhand, captain and crew. 

Tipping On Fishing Charters: How Much To Tip Deckhands and Crew

Mate. Deckhand. Second in command.  Regardless of what you call them, the person on the fishing boat that’s working his or her tail off to get you fish, is literally worth their weight in gold.

From tying gear, baiting hooks and even serving beer, a deckhand, or mate, is a critical member of the team when you’re spending a day out on a charter boat.

But how much are you supposed to tip a deckhand?  

Keep reading to find some guidance on this very common question.

How Much To Tip A Charter Boat Mate

First of all, many professionals will tell you that tipping your boat captain and deckhand is not required or expected.  But at the same time, they’ll also tell you that tips are always very much appreciated.

Boat mates, or deckhands work very hard at helping you catch fish. And these hard working folks are always grateful to know their hard work is appreciated.

Required? No. But it is customary to tip your boat mate.  The tips deckhands receive are a very large percentage of the income deckhands earn.  

So how much should you tip a boat mate?  Generally speaking, for customers who are pleased with the service they received, a tip of 15% to 25% of the price of the charter is fairly common practice for the captain and the deckhand to split between each other.  

The Captains of many larger fishing charters will give the entire tip to the deckhand, as they tend to make a significant amount of more money from the charter fees.

Final Thoughts

Always keep in mind that these hard working people are making it possible for you to have a successful trip out on the water…and they are in the service industry.

If you’re happy with their service, let them know!  Be generous. And go into your fishing trip prepared to tip between 15%-20%.

It works both ways though.  If you’re unhappy with the service, be sure to let them know that as well. A tip is still recommended in these situations, but perhaps without the generosity you would have shown in the case of excellent service.

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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