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What to tip a charter captain in Mexico?

Old 02-27-2011, 10:10 AM
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Default What to tip a charter captain in Mexico?

I am doing a couple 6 hour trips fishing in Mazatlan this week. I am going out fishing 25 to 35 miles on a 27' foot super panga. The trip cost is $295 for 6 hours with me and the wife. There is just the captin on the boat. I dont do many charters so I am just curious as to what I should tip the captain for a good trip. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:58 PM
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If he owns the boat $20 is lots.

If he's an employee then he's only getting a pittance plus a cut of what the fish can be sold for-if you catch any fish-in that case I'd double the tip.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Baha272 View Post
I am doing a couple 6 hour trips fishing in Mazatlan this week. I am going out fishing 25 to 35 miles on a 27' foot super panga. The trip cost is $295 for 6 hours with me and the wife. There is just the captin on the boat. I dont do many charters so I am just curious as to what I should tip the captain for a good trip. Thanks for your thoughts.
I always do 20-30% depending on how good the trip is!!!
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:26 PM
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It depends on how hard he works. Bringing stuff like lures,hooks, line,t shirts, sunglasses ect. make for good tips.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:15 PM
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I have clients that tip me 10-25% depending on the trip. It all depends on how hard the captain worked for you and what lengths he went through to get you on fish.

$295 is cheap to run that far for 6hrs.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:49 PM
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It is customary to give the captain a prize fighting rooster for friday night cock fighting at the cantina.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:09 PM
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20%
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
It is customary to give the captain a prize fighting rooster for friday night cock fighting at the cantina.
LOL
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:56 PM
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If you want to get to the best spots, a green card and ssn for his brother
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
It is customary to give the captain a prize fighting rooster for friday night cock fighting at the cantina.


hahahah lol Pollo Pinto ...... mucho gracias
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:19 PM
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Here is the report from my first trip. We are going after yellow fin on Tuesday. We went 30 miles out to the warm water. Chappy that owns the charter wrote the following article for a fishing report.

On Saturday, February 27th, Chris Larson and his wife headed out for a day of deep sea fishing from Nautica Costa Bonita Marina with Inside Outside Charters captain Pancho "Honey" Serano. Honey has been guiding saltwater fishing trips for the past 20 years off the coast of Mazatlan and placed in the "El Debate" tournament November and drove away in a new car as one of his many prizes. So credibility, he has and a great fisherman, he is. After an hour ride outside in our 27' Center Console Super Panga, Pancho was placing the line on the outriggers with dead mullet and all of the sudden saw the fin of the mako. Not even fishing for a minute! During this time of year, we always have 1 dead mullet rigged to a steel leader just for makos. So Pancho strategically placed the mullet with the steel leaded in front of the mako's mouth and stopped the boat. Chris said that the mako darted to the mullet and the fish was on. After a 45 minute fight, the mako was in the boat and also after numerous jumps. Chris is a very experienced fisherman and fishes every chance he gets back in his hometown of Gilbert MN. This shark was an estimated 120 lbs and the best part is that this fish was caught on 50 lb Suffix mono filament line hooked up to a Shimano TLD 30. To catch a 120 lb fish on 50 lb line takes skill, which Chris proved that he has!

End of Report
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:53 AM
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10% minimum plus a share of the fish. Costs of living are similar in Mexico to what they are in the U.S. Often a charter captain is paid very little and must make it on tips.
I make one thing clear from the start of the charter and that is all marlin and sailfish are to be released or no propina. I adjust the tip upwards since this represents income to the captain. Keeping them in Mazatlan is a common practice. They are sold to processors and smoked supplementing the captains meager income.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:51 AM
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2nd on Cazadors remarks - Be darned sure you establish up front that you want to release billfish, or they will club 'em the second they get 'em near the boat!

I fish Mazatlan regularly and they do not like to release fish. They will, if they know they've got a tip coming, but they will also ask you again to keep it or tell you the fish is injured and will not live. Usually just bullshit; I've caught and released enough billfish in my life to know when they are just tired and sulking or injured and will not make it.

I typically tip $50 for a full-day billfish charter for both the capt. and the mate; always tip the capt. and let him distribute as he sees fit to the mate.

Can't wait to get back to Mazatlan this June!!
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:01 PM
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I dont eat fish very often so I try to release everything I catch. They said the mako would feed a lot of people so they kept the fish. There were guys waiting for the mako meat at the marina when we got back. (The captain didnt charge the guys for the meat and the even took the guts for soup)
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:22 PM
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Mako is very good eating. Much more so than some of the other fish they keep. Nothing wrong with keeping fish if people are hungry and eating it. It's not like the U.S. where everyone who catches a billfish has way more than they need to eat and plenty of money, too. Not many people scrounging for their next meal practice "catch and release".
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:23 PM
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Not to hijack your thread, but, does that Mako have blue eyes??
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:58 AM
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Customary is 15 to 20 percent fi they give a good effort. if you have a great day or they stay out later than the deal, id tip more. if fishing several days, I usually tip more the first day so that they give a good effort and have a good attitde the rest of the week. But if they dont do what I want, i make it clear that they are putting their tip in jeapardy. I dont punsih them if they work hard but the fishing is off or unlucky but i hate when they sit up top and each burritos and talk like Heckle and Jeckle and dont look for fish. I try to point out fishy things to keep them focused and in the game. If you have to work hard to keep them interested, id book another boat next time.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dulcecita Lures View Post

I typically tip $50 for a full-day billfish charter for both the capt. and the mate; always tip the capt. and let him distribute as he sees fit to the mate.
For good effort....$50 bucks for sure. $20 is a pretty light tip for a 2 man crew.

Shades, hooks, line, etc are always appreciated to pad a cash tip but never in lieu of cash. Skipper can't tip out his mate with a pack of Owners or put gas in his car with a spool of fluoro.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:56 AM
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$295.00 for 6 hours?

Don't be afraid to tip the captain even if he owns the boat... anybody that owns a boat knows they cost an arm and a leg to keep running.

Last edited by VanW; 03-03-2011 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:59 AM
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Van - I typically pay $250 (or less) for a full-day charter in Mazatlan. Granted, I know the owner of the charter fleet, but still, I can't even put my own boat in the water for that! The charter boat isn't a 70 ft. Viking; it's an old 40 ft. wooden diesel tub. But, it is well-kept, has plenty of shade, a bathroom, and it trolls great and catches fish. What more do you need, really? I used to fish a couple times a year out of Cabo, but wow, Cabo got so overpriced after it became "the" destination. Haven't been back to Cabo in about 15 years now.

Talking with a local in Mazatlan, he summed it up pretty well - "We were Cabo before there was a Cabo!" No longer being "the" destination it used to be, Mazatlan is a fantastic bargain. It's also gringo-friendly and safe. You're only worry about being attacked is by a rabid timeshare salesman -- man, some of those guys just do not take no for an answer!

The wife and I stayed at a four-star hotel, with it's own marina, on the beach for 5 nights. Completely remodeled, great condo-style rooms. with a kitchen, exceptional service the whole time. Including the round trip flight from PHX, for like $850 a person. Great getaway and half what it would cost to do a similar trip in Cabo. The wife and I liked it so much, we'll probably do the same thing this year in June.

Mexico gets a bad rap (and deservedly so) at the moment for all of the cartel crap going on, but it's still a bargain, good fishing, and we've always felt safe in the 25+ years we've been going. The last thing the cartel wants to do is hurt gringo tourists. That would be the nail in the coffin of an already very depressed tourism market.
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