Tips for the boat crews when fishing in Costa Rica can be a sensitive topic for clients and crew members alike. Industry standard tip rate is 15-20% of the cost of the charter, but it can vary widely based on the experience and expectations of the angler. One of the easiest ways to overcome the tip reluctance is to budget the tip into the total cost of the fishing adventure, so that you don’t incur sticker shock when your Costa Rica fishing vacation is all said and done. When ever I start to budget for a fishing charter, I automatically add on 20% of the cost of charters to cover crew tip, to be on the safe side. The good news is I have yet to be on a Quepos charter where I felt the need for any less than 15% tip, as the vast majority of crews I have used for fishing in Costa Rica have been great!
Here are some practical, economic, and “cosmic” reasons for tipping your crew when fishing in Costa Rica:
When a Quepos crew works hard to put me on the fish, I reciprocate in kind with a good tip knowing that I very well may use this crew again for fishing in Costa Rica. I am pretty sure they remember tip amounts….one Quepos fishing crew I regularly use and tip well once kept me out on the water an hour past “lines in” time to get me on the fish…and guess what? A marlin showed up to check out the baits during that overtime!!
To be frank, Costa Rica income per capita is far less than what North Americans and Western Europeans enjoy. Without revealing numbers, Costa Rica income per capita is about 75% less than United States. The Quepos fishing crews are not immune to the 75% income disparity, so your tip is not simply sweetening the pot; it is providing a meaningful amount of income to the crew members and their families. In addition, fishing in Costa Rica is seasonal; charter crews can be idle for several days or weeks at a time during green season with little or no income.
When I tip Quepos fishing crews, I am rewarding people who have helped me create lifetime memories, which is a definite key to happiness throughout life. I could do with less “stuff” that the tip would normally buy, for sure! In addition, as an avid angler, it is simply good karma to tip the crews…..I definitely don’t want any superstitions playing a part when I am out trolling for marlin and end up thinking I lost the big one because I stiffed the crew on the tip on a Costa Rica fishing vacation in years past!