Guide gifts

moucheur2003

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
261
Location
Boston, Mass.
Soon I will be off to the Bahamas (Great Harbour Cay) for the first time in almost 20 years for a week of R&R with my non-fishing wife. She is graciously letting me have 2 days with a guide to sharpen my bonefishing skills, which I haven't had an opportunity to indulge in since our last visit. (I may be able to sneak in a little extra DIY if the tides and beaches co-operate).

Several of the travel checklists I've seen on the web suggest packing not only enough cash for tips, but also gifts for your guides. They don't suggest anything in particular that would be an appropriate gift, though. So I'm appealing to you more experienced bonefishing veterans: Are gifts in addition to tips customary and expected in the Bahamas? And if so, what would be some appropriate items that would be appreciated, but are neither too stingy nor too lavish for just a couple of days of guiding?
 

labradorguy

Well-known member
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
48
Location
USA
When I was guiding I liked a good tip as much as the next guy, but I have to say, the ones I remember are the gents who gave me a gift to reward my hard work. That shows class, something that's in shorter and shorter supply these days. It wasn't for guiding, but a Bahamian guy I knew was grumbling about all he ever had to drink was rum so I gave him a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and you would've thought that he had died and gone to heaven. FWIW.
 

MoscaPescador

Well-known member
Messages
3,848
Reaction score
46
Location
Northern California
Actually I have experience with this although I went bonefishing at Christmas Island.

Being remote, fishing items that most of us take for granted, can be hard to come by. Bring them something that your guide could use.

When I co-hosted my last trip to Christmas Island, the bossman and I were sent with care packages for all the guides (about 21). Here's what were inside:
  • Basic fly tying tools (bobbins, whip finishers...)
  • Materials to tie a couple hundred bonefish flies.
  • Nippers
  • A bunch of other accessories that I can't think of.

We also brought a few Regal knock off vises for the guides' hut.

Quality technical clothing might be a good gift. You just have to make sure that it will fit your guide, so a bit of homework might be necessary.

Good luck,
Dennis
 

GrtLksMarlin

Well-known member
Messages
4,240
Reaction score
42
Location
Michigan
Well, I suppose it depends upon the guide's personal situation....A couple guys that I always used in Jamaica I tipped very well, something like 50% each due to their great price (so doubled it). That money however doesn't actually go too far in that what we can get here for next to nothing may be next to impossible to get there.

Know these guides from one year to the next wore exactly the same clothes. Same pair of shorts and same t-shirt...So when they kept "complimenting" my military issue/surplus Tiger Stripe BDU pants, the next year I brought them each a pair in woodland and TS camo, and a couple of t-shirts that sported marlin and tuna logos.

Same cash tip met with a grateful but "ehh" response, yet those clothes made them so excited that they couldn't wait to get away from us to change.

But that was them, others would have found the same insulting.

FWIW

B.E.F.
 

hairwing530

Well-known member
Messages
3,356
Reaction score
207
Location
beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
moucheur2003,

I don't have a lot of "angler/guide" experience, in regards to the Bahamas. That said, I've been privy to making up "gifts" for the guides in places such as a Russian peninsula or two, Patagonia, New Zealand and the like-- "bonus" boxes of flies, in addition to the $$$ tips.

As a great many of the guides tied/supplied their own flies to clients, they appreciated a "ready-made" set for their locales, especially given the quality of materials that we have available here. So, tie up some "extras" and hand them off to your guides.

Or, the "gifting" of good booze, clothing and tying equipment will work as well, as some of the guys already have suggested...

Travel safe on your upcoming trip...

Jerry, aka hairwing530
 

flyminded

Well-known member
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
14
Location
Lowcountry, SC
In the Bahamas, Cash dollars is always welcome.

But I found giving them some extra leaders, letting them pick through my fly box and take a dozen or so flies they liked seemed to be very well received. Getting the basics in fly fishing equipment is difficult for most of the independent guides down there.
 

fredaevans

Well-known member
Messages
11,301
Reaction score
110
Location
White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
moucheur2003,

I don't have a lot of "angler/guide" experience, in regards to the Bahamas. That said, I've been privy to making up "gifts" for the guides in places such as a Russian peninsula or two, Patagonia, New Zealand and the like-- "bonus" boxes of flies, in addition to the $$$ tips.

As a great many of the guides tied/supplied their own flies to clients, they appreciated a "ready-made" set for their locales, especially given the quality of materials that we have available here. So, tie up some "extras" and hand them off to your guides.

Or, the "gifting" of good booze, clothing and tying equipment will work as well, as some of the guys already have suggested...

Travel safe on your upcoming trip...

Jerry, aka hairwing530
Most of my really away fishing was in New Zealand and 'booze' there was damned expensive. In 'economic terms' booze is a 'demerit good' that you can tax the heck out of it and folks will still hand over the money.

Carry on luggage was far more liberal 'back in the day' so a strofome box loaded with Adult Refreashment. More than a few days of free guiding (secret spots) after the first paid up one.
 

duker

Well-known member
Messages
1,199
Reaction score
336
Location
Gulf Islands
The couple of times I fished in Belize I tipped my guide generously (more than what the lodge recommended; as a saltwater newbie I found them very helpful and patient) but I also gave them all of my leftover leaders and tippet material, my nippers (Dr. Slicks), and, the first time I went, my Leatherman Wave multitool. Those are very difficult to find in Belize and terribly expensive--my guide was very grateful for it. The lodge manager mentioned that nippers are also hard to get there, which is why I gave him mine.

Scott
 

moucheur2003

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
261
Location
Boston, Mass.
Thanks guys! I think maybe I'll bring some things that might be hard to get but appreciated in the Out Islands: Eucerin, Bag Balm, and bourbon. I'm sure I'll have some surplus leaders and other accessories at the end of the day too.
 
Last edited:
Top