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n8ivefl

Guide etiquitte

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n8ivefl

I've hired a guide for a half-day later this Summer up in Lake Vermilion and I've never had a guide before. I've been fishing for about 2 years now and before I do something stupid I thought maybe I should know a few things before I go. I get the common-sense things like showing up on time and no drinking, but is it ok for me to bring my own rod (Airrus) and tackle box? Is it fair to expect him to teach or correct me on a few techniques? Also, is $20 considered acceptible as a tip at the end of the (half)day?

Thanks,

Steve

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harvey lee

1-as you said,show up on time.

2-Most guides will let you use your own rod and tackle but just ask him.

3-Dont smoke in his boat unless he says its o.k.

4-Asking questions about catching fish is just fine as he is there to teach you.

5-respect his boat and equipment as if it was yours and ask before you use anything in the boat.

6-bring a fillet knife to clean your fish but any guide I have used has always cleaned the fish for me.

7-If you want pictures,ask him if he will have a camera with,as most do or bring your own.

8-If you smoke,ask him first as he may not want you to smoke in his boat and be carefull.

9-tip-I always give a tip to a guide who showed myself a good time and that doesnt mean that I caught a limit of fish.If he teaches me a few new things and works hard for me then the tip will reflect.I personally always give him 10-15% of what the charge for the trip was.I have also tipped him and bought him lunch to if he had time.Every one tips different and some probably none.I dont know what your paying,but yes 20 clams is pretty good and fair.

I would sum it up by saying that you should expect him to work hard,teach you a few things and you should show him respect for his boat and equipment and just have a good time learning and catching a few fish as a bonus.He is out there to see that you have a good time and learn and catch a few,but im sure he will enjoy a good client also.If you dont know the answer,just ask and you will get along with him great.

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Ufatz

Don't lose sleep worrying about whether you will meet the guides approval. Remember, you are PAYING him to help YOU enjoy the day. But DO follow most of what is said above: courtesy is never wrong, by either party. You do NOT have to tip a guide but if you feel like it please do. You should be able to expect the guide to be on time, to have good equipment in proper working condition. He should explain the boat and the safety equipment he has aboard and where it is stowed. He should not blow smoke in your face, should not match you cast-for-cast fishing (most professional guides I have fished with do not fish at all) and he should work to not only help you catch a fish or two but to have an enjoyable day.Of course you should use your own tackle. Do NOT "mess" with any of the equipment aboard the boat i.e. fiddle with the electronics etc.

Too many folks worry about pleasing the guide. Its supposed to be the other way around. On the other hand you have no right to be rude, demeaning or demanding. I have fished with some guides for years. I have fished with a few guides ONCE.

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gunflint

It doesn't bother me if clients bring their own rod and reel as long as it's good enough equipment for the fish we're trying for. It's also a good time to try out different equipment, so if the guide has some upper end rods why not try them out. I always plan on providing the tackle, So when clients bring their own it just takes up room in the boat. On a half day trip, in most cases your only going to be trying a few different presentations so you won't need to bring much tackle.

You have every right to expect the guide to give you an education, that's really what your paying for. I find it's easier to teach people techniques and presentations by example so most of the time I fish until the action pics up. When it does, I get too busy to fish. $20 is fine, but he should earn it. I personally don't care if you smoke or drink. It's your time too. Every guide that I know, cleans the fish. Most of all have fun and be safe.

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efgh

All of the other posters sugestions are right on, when first meeting the guide it sure helps to have a big smile on your face, tells him he hasn;t a old grouch for a client today, some guides will not fish unless asked to, a lot can be learned by observation, and above all don;t mess up his boat even if it looks like a old tub to you. wink.gif

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n8ivefl

Thanks guys! I'm really looking forward to the trip and I'm a pretty laid-back easy-going guy. Trust me, since he's bringing years of experience to the boat, I'm bringing tons of respect! I would never dream of fiddling with another person's stuff w/o permission. I feel better about lugging along my rod and tackle box now.

Steve

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Chris Haley

I always bait my clients hooks and take their fish off their lines also. Unless someone tells me they would like to do it. The only time I have not cleaned fish was when we fished a lake other than the one they were staying at and they told me to let them clean them when they got back. I figured the resort owner must have been cleaning them for them anyway, as I would never turn down someone cleaning my fish!!

$20 is a good tip for a half day, more if you really think the guide earned it. It really isn't the amount of the tip, it's the idea that you had a good enough time to give a little extra above the cost of the trip. It's not like a restaurant where the person is only getting paid by the hour. The guide is his own boss most of the time. The worst is when you've worked your butt off and gotten three people a limit of walleye, a near limit of perch and a couple 4-5 lb snakes and they leave with 20 lbs of fillets and no tip. You wonder if they even have a clue what they just did as far as fishing goes.

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jigginjim

Having my own guide service. I do agree with several thing's

listed in harvey lees list. I provide any thing that may be needed for the trip set-up. When I do a guide trip I really enjoy showing people things about fishing they may not know.

I also have several types of rods in the boat. From the low end $30 rods to $175 rods so they can feel the difference while fishing. You can see the rods at the stores but you don't know, "how is the spendy rod going to help me"? I normally will bring my knife. But many of my clients are in the twin cities on bussiness, or thier wife is shopping the Mall of America. He would rather fish than carry bags like a mule. I will show how to read locators on the water, gps, maps of lakes and most anything else that may help them on thier next trip at home or if they go with a friend fishing.

As for tips, I don't expect a tip, I leave that to how the client feels about the job I have done for them. Much like going out to eat.

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BobT

Personally if you worked your butt off, as you say, then you have done your 100%, which is what you were hired to do in the first place. Your price should reflect the service you provide. If you are not charging what you feel you are really worth, that's not your client's problem. If what you feel you are worth is more than the market will bear, perhaps you are in the wrong business or in it for the wrong reason.

I aplolgize for sounding so negative but I couldn't help but feel that someone should stand up for the clients of this world. If I'm in business, I'm in it for my clients. They don't need me near as much as I need them and I am not going to fault anyone for demanding my best from me because that is my goal and nothing less.

Don't beat up your clients for not tipping to your satisfaction. Offer praise for those that do and more.

Bob

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Havin' Fun

Bob,

Have you worked in the service industry before??

I too don't believe EVERYONE deserves a tip. However, it shows the person providing the service that you appreciated their hard work. Some people work very hard, others do not. I personally will let people know why they aren't getting tipped and those that do...well, they usually can see why! LOL.

About guides and guiding. Enjoy your time out. Ask lots of questions if your into if for the help...otherwise if it's about enjoying your time on the water, do just that, however you want.

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Cliff Wagenbach

I believe that my job as a guide is to use 100% of my knowledge of the lake and my fishing experience to give my clients an enjoyable and learning experience.

I expect them to ask questions when they have one!

I also fish most of the time while we are on the water as that way I can determine if the fish "ARE" biting, what presentation works best, and also experiment with different presentations and baits.

Most clients like to use their own gear, as that is what they will be fishing with while on their own. They are also welcome to use my gear if they want to.

I allow a few brews also as long as they do not over do it!

If in doubt about something, ask your guide!!

Tips are optional at all times. If as stated above the guide gets you into a great bite a $20.00 tip is very welcome! grin.gif

Hope your trip to Vermilion is great!

Cliff

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harvey lee

I never tip for average service,but I will tip when the guy has worked his butt off for me.I know that most people expect a good job but some time you dont get it.I tip them to just say THANKS for a great day.Just me.

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senkoskipper

No disrespect to any guids here but heres my take on this. From what i have seen looks like the average price for a full day (8 hrs) is about 300.00 - 350.00. That comes out to 40.00 an hour!!!. So even if the guide got you into a school of smallies, at the end of the trip, the guide still made out like a bandit.

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Bobby Bass

I know other people will point this out buttttt the guide is never making 40.00 an hour. Any business that provides a service unless you to have a small business do you see all the hidden costs. After you put in the cost for fuel, the boat, equipment, bait. Maintenance, towing rig, storage, advertisement, insurance. Rain days, winter, if you provide a seasonal business you got to make money to cover your down time. Travel time. Of course they don't do if they don't enjoy doing it but to say they are making 40.00 an hour does not really cover it. I am sure you get my drift. Wish I had a job that would actually pay me what I charge. Did I forget income taxes hahahh.. confused.gifgrin.gif

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croixeyes

40 bucks an hour .Maybe if you punch a time clock,there is alot of prep work that a guide goes through before he even sees his clients.It is not just an 8hour shift,Guiding is fun but if you think a guy is gonna rake in the money from it your foolin yourself.

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Wayne Ek

Senkoskipper: I've been guiding full time since 1999. If you can show me how to make $40.oo per hour after expenses I will pay you 100.00 per day until I learn you secret... blush.gif

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senkoskipper

actually you guys are right. I didnt even think about calculating gas, boat payment, insurance, ect into this. I was just thinking about it from straight numbers stand point. laugh.gif

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gunflint

Agape,

If there's room in that boat, I'd like to ride along. I'll even split expenses with you. smirk.gif I always like learning new things, particularly when it comes to making money on the water.

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Wish2Fish

I've fished with a number of guides on a variety of waters all over the country. What do you get for your fee from the poor guides?

- Dull hooks, poorly maintained gear, reels short on lubrication, stingy use of live bait or beat up artificials, and the feeling that you're simply an afterthought.

What do your fees get you from a good guide?

- Razor sharp hooks, plenty of the right bait, nicely maintained gear, a clean boat and the feeling that you're the most important thing in that guide's mind.

As for a tip, in my mind the fees are just my price of admission. If my guide puts forth a genuine effort to give me a quality day, I'll gladly give him a quality tip. And some of the best effort comes on some of the toughest fishing days.

Do the math; by the time a guide pays for his insurance, his boat, equipment, fuel, bait, maintenance, taxes and promotes his business, the $400 I part with is probably a better deal for me than it is for him. I assure you, he's not getting rich! And my $400 buys me more knowledge in a single day than I could possibly assemble by a full season of trial-and-error on my own.

I'm a big fan of good guides...

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Captain B.R.K

I'm glad this topic came up as I'll be going out on a guided trip on Mille Lac's early June. Never been out on a guided trip on open water before so this is definately a good read in my book.

My buddies and I had a guide on a lake up in Cananda for lake trout. We had the guy for 2 days and I thought $15 to $20 was a good deal. We didn't catch any fish, got our stuff busted (didn't pack things up correctly) and had to start the guys snowmobile for him because he had a bad shoulder. PLUS the guide was independent and he was using the resorts gas/machine so he had no costs what so ever!

My buddies really razzed me when I gave the guide that much money....now I'm wishin' I hadn't after seeing what a standard tips is on a good guide service.

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harvey lee

Tipping is cheap in this area.When I go to Mexico deep sea fishing they want a tip of half the days fee if you catch a billfish.One year we rented the boat for 5 straight days.On the first day I caught a striped marlin,that cost a tip of 150 dollars.I knew this going out and I did not have to tip him,but we were fishing with him for the next 4 days.If I would not have gave him that tip,the next 4 days would have been terrible.Iam not saying this is right but that is the nature of the beast. frown.gif

So,when I go out with a guide around Mn. and he teaches me some new things and I catch a few fish,what 20-30 dollars extra? smile.gif

The old saying holds true,You get what you pay for.

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fishing tech

Don't forget, you are paying for knowledge. If that guide gets you on the fish, shows you differant techniques, and you have a good time. It sure beats working. I love to fish. Most of what I know I learned from this website or reading others. I have never fished for walleyes because I don't have the time or knowledge yet. When i do get the time I will hire a guide and he will get a tip for showing me a fun time. Fish or no fish. I fix cars/trucks for a living, it is not an exact science like some poeple think. Niether is guiding. In my 21 years at my job I have probably received 3 tips. Not a big deal. But when a customer comes in to the dealership and ask that I work on their vehicle it tells me that I do the job right and they appreciate it. A smile and thank you go a long way.

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Down Deep

I've only used a guide once and that was for a day trip out on Lake Superior. I'd like to comment on what I expected.

I expected the guide to be on or near the boat and ready to go. I expected all the equipment to be ready and rods rigged. I expected the guide to give me an overview of where and what we were going to be doing for the day. I expected some boat rules and safety information. I expected the guide to check my personal gear so I would have what was necessary for a comfortable day. I expected the guide to be friendly and enthustiastic. I expected the guide to answer my questions like I was the first person who ever asked it. I expected to catch some fish. I expected the guide to let me do some of the fishing chores. I expected the guide to fish till the end of the day. I expected the guide to show me how to clean the fish.

How did my guide do. He scored great on everything but the gear check and safety information. We came in brooms up. You guides should know what that means. He also got a 20% tip and lots of referrals.

I'll know a lot more about guides by the end of June as I'm going to AK and will be using 4 differnt guides over 11 days.

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jigginjim

Down deep, I agree, with what you would expect of a guide, who is do a good job for you. I hired a guide in florida for salt water fishing. I don't know which fish you can touch without dieing. Which one you just look at and wonder are those teeth sharp? We caught several fish in the 4 hours. Anchored in 1 spot for most of the time on water. Showed us, how to bait the hook,(used live shrimp) how handle different types of fish, and which ones are edible(good for the table and not boney). I was very happy with our trip, as I learned several things, from our guide. I was happy he shared some knowledge of salt water fishing. I hope to go back again, maybe bring my boat, to fish the shallows.

PS: Yes , I did give the guy a tip of 20%, He showed me things I had never done before. We had fun catching fish even if they were small.

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BobT

Figured I'd spark something.

Yes, I have been in the service industry for the past 15 years. Unfortunately in my industry tips are unheard of and maybe that's a good thing. In my business I'm called in to solve a problem and nothing less. If I don't deliver at least 100% I have failed and do not deserve a tip at all and if I am successful I have done what I was paid to do.

The bottom line of my comment is that we put too much emphasis on tipping; who appropriately gets tipped and who doesn't; who deserves a tip and who doesn't; how much is appropriate, etc.

What bothers me is when a person looks down on his/her customers (optimum word here) because they didn't tip to their expectation.

Personally, my best tip didn't come in the form of $, it came as, "Job well done!"

Go into business to offer a service, charge a fair price and expect to be paid nothing more. If a customer opts to tip, accept it with gratitude. A customer that doesn't tip doesn't necessarily tell you he is unsatisfied. Maybe they didn't know a tip was appropriate or maybe they were on a tight budget because your price was already excessive. Who knows?

If one believes it's because their customer was unsatisfied or ungrateful then a truely service oriented business person would be doing everything possible to discover where he/she failed instead of brow-beating the customer. It seems to me that if this customer was just cheap, he certainly wouldn't have forked out to hire a guide in the first place.

Bob

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