Best Houseboat Fishing Trips | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Houseboat fishing trips combine relaxation with the thrill of fishing in many locations.
  • The choice of houseboat amenities influences the enjoyment of a fishing vacation.
  • Living on the water offers a unique experience complemented by beautiful scenery.

Embark on unforgettable houseboat fishing adventures, where tranquil waters and bountiful catches await for your fun.

The best houseboat fishing trip in the US is at Shasta Lake, California. With its pristine waters and abundant fish species, it offers an unrivaled fishing experience. The serene surroundings and comfortable houseboats make it a must-visit destination for avid anglers.

With over a decade of hands-on fishing experience, I've honed my skills and amassed a wealth of knowledge. My passion for angling drives me to explore the best houseboat fishing trips, providing you with expert insights and recommendations. Join me on these thrilling journeys and reel in unforgettable memories.

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Best Houseboat Fishing Trips

Imagine the peace of sailing on a calm lake, nestled in a cozy houseboat, with a fishing pole in hand as the sun dips towards the horizon. This perfect blend of adventure and relaxation is exactly what you get on a houseboat fishing trip.

Selecting the ideal spot for your houseboat fishing vacation is key. When planning, consider the type of fish you're aiming to catch and the level of privacy you desire, as well as the amenities on the boat and nearby. An ideal trip balances a rich haul with scenic splendor and creature comforts, ensuring that your time on the water is as productive as it is picturesque.

Venturing out onto these vast aquatic playgrounds offers more than just fishing; it's about the unique experience of living on the water. Picking a houseboat brings considerations of size, facilities, and onboard services, which all play a role in shaping your adventure.

1. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Nestled among the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains, Lake of the Ozarks spans over 54,000 acres with a shoreline that stretches more than 1,150 miles, larger than the coast of California! You'll find this lake in Central Missouri, which is a hub for fishing enthusiasts year-round.

Key Facts at a Glance:

  • Location: Central Missouri
  • Size: Over 54,000 acres
  • Shoreline Length: 1,150+ miles

Unique Features

Lake of the Ozarks stands out for its meandering coves and wide channels, perfect for both serious anglers and casual fishermen. From the deck of your rented houseboat, you can catch a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. The lake's unique structure with docks and underwater habitats provides exceptional fishing spots.

What Makes it Special?

  • Diverse Fish Population: Largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and more
  • Houseboat Amenities: Fully-equipped kitchens, comfortable sleeping quarters, and spacious decks
  • Fishing Opportunities: Accessible year-round, ideal for all skill levels


The cost of renting a houseboat on Lake of the Ozarks varies throughout the year. Peak season is during the summer months when demand is high. To save money, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons in early spring or late fall.

Estimated Rental Costs:

  • Peak Season (Summer): Prices may increase due to high demand
  • Off-Peak (Spring/Fall): Potential for lower rates and special offers
  • Additional Fees: Fuel, fishing licenses, and marina services may apply

2. Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Have you ever heard the call of the wild mingled with the comforts of home? Lake Cumberland offers just that. With over 1,200 miles of shoreline and an expanse covering 65,530 acres, this lake is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and houseboat vacationers. Your houseboat acts as a floating cabin, giving you access to secluded coves and prime fishing spots.

Unique Features

At Lake Cumberland, it's not just about the size; it's the diversity of fish that's truly impressive. Here's why this place is a fisherman's dream:

  • Targeted Species: Walleye, Striped Bass, Crappie, and more.
  • Fishing Hotspots: Fall Creek, Beaver Creek, and the face of Wolf Creek Dam are prime spots.
  • Houseboat Advantages: Mobility allows you to discover the best fishing locations.


Considering a houseboat fishing trip to Lake Cumberland? Here's what you'll need to know about the costs:

Lake Cumberland Houseboat Fishing Trip Cost

Rental Type Average Cost
Houseboat Rental $1,995 - $3,595/week
Fishing Gear Rental $20 - $50/day
Fishing License $7 - $50

3. Lake Lanier, Georgia

Lake Lanier, Georgia
Lake Lanier, Georgia

Imagine waking up to the gentle rock of your houseboat, a fresh breeze carrying the scent of pine and water. That's Lake Lanier for you—a sprawling reservoir renowned for its bass-fishing and picturesque scenes. Sprawling across 38,000 acres, it's dotted with dozens of parks, making it a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts. And the best part? The fishing here is year-round, so no worries about missing out on the perfect catch!

Unique Features

  • Fishing Variety: Lake Lanier is teeming with spotted bass, striped bass, and even the occasional walleye or catfish.
  • Marina Services: Full-service marinas offer amenities like fuel docks, fishing supplies, and restaurants.
  • Scenic Spots: Find secluded coves that are perfect for casting a line or simply enjoying the serenity.


Renting a houseboat for your fishing trip varies by season and vessel size. Here's a quick breakdown:

Season Standard Houseboat Luxury Houseboat
Peak $300/day $600/day
Off-Peak $250/day $450/day

4. Lake Travis, Texas

Lake Travis, Texas
Lake Travis, Texas

Lake Travis is a reservoir nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country, offering over 270 miles of shoreline and crystal-clear waters, making it an idyllic spot for a serene fishing escape. Your journey here is marked by tranquil moments on the deck, surrounded by nature's beauty.

Unique Features

  • Fishing Opportunities: Packed with largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish, Lake Travis is a hotspot for anglers.
  • Scenic Views: The rolling hills provide a scenic backdrop that enhances your fishing experience.
  • Houseboat Features: Modern amenities in the houseboats, like fully equipped kitchens and entertainment systems, ensure comfort amidst the wild.


Renting a houseboat on Lake Travis can vary widely in price, depending on size and luxury level.

Houseboat Size Average Cost Per Night
Small (sleeps 4) $350 - $400
Medium (sleeps 8) $600 - $650
Large (sleeps 12) $1,200 - $1,300

5. Lake Mead, Nevada

Lake Mead, Nevada
Lake Mead, Nevada

So you're thinking about a fishing trip and wonder what Lake Mead has to offer? First off, this massive lake formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River offers more than just your average fishing experience. The lake spans 1,200 square miles, providing ample space for a peaceful, uncrowded outing. It's the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of water capacity, which means endless spots for you to cast your line.

Unique Features

Lake Mead is not only about size; it's also about diversity. The waters boast a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, and bluegill, to name a few. There's a special thrill in the randomness of each catch. And let's talk about those houseboats. They range from modest to luxury, equipped with amenities that can make you forget you're not on solid ground—think hot tubs, BBQs, and even waterslides!


Considering a vacation on the waves? Let's break down the costs:

Houseboat Size Estimated Daily Cost
Small (sleeps 6) $300 - $600
Medium (sleeps 8) $600 - $900
Large (with premium amenities) $900 - $1200

6. Lake Chelan, Washington

Lake Chelan, Washington
Lake Chelan, Washington

Nestled in the North Central region of Washington State, Lake Chelan is a 50.5-mile-long, glacier-fed lake that promises a memorable fishing experience. Here, you can reel in a variety of fish like Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, and Kokanee Salmon while enjoying the comfort of your houseboat. The lake's crystal-clear waters are surrounded by stunning scenery, including vineyards, orchards, and forests, providing a picturesque backdrop for your fishing adventure.

Unique Features

Houseboat Rentals: You have the option to stay right on the water with fully-equipped houseboats available for rental. These floating homes offer a distinct experience, allowing you to fish straight from your living room.

Fishing Options: Lake Chelan's diverse fishing opportunities cater to both novice anglers and seasoned pros. Choose from:

  • Shore fishing
  • Trolling
  • Fly fishing

Hiking Trails: When you're not casting a line, explore the nearby hiking trails, which offer panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks.


The cost of a houseboat fishing trip on Lake Chelan can vary based on the size of the houseboat and the duration of stay. Here’s a basic breakdown:

Houseboat Size Average Daily Rate
Small (sleeps 6) $350 - $450
Medium (sleeps 8) $450 - $550
Large (sleeps 10) $550 - $650

7. Voyagers Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park, your ultimate getaway, stretches over 340 square miles in northern Minnesota. Most of the park is accessible only by water, creating a unique sanctuary where nature thrives. Here, the water is your road, and your houseboat, a floating base camp, offers both comfort and mobility.

  • Access: Primarily water-based; nearby towns with access include International Falls and Kabetogama.
  • Activities: Houseboating, fishing, kayaking, and exploring the wilderness.

Unique Features

What sets Voyageurs apart is its collection of hundreds of secluded islands. Each one invites you to explore or simply bask in solitude, perfect for those seeking a quiet fishing spot. The harmony between water and wilderness teems with life, creating ideal conditions for anglers.

  • Fishing: Northern pike, walleye, bass, and crappie thrive here.
  • Houseboats: Come with amenities like GPS and BBQ grills.


Planning your budget for this fishing escapade is key. Here's a snapshot of what you might expect:

Houseboat Size Daily Rate Weekly Rate
Small (4-6 people) $200 - $300 $1400 - $2100
Large (10+ people) $500 - $700 $3500 - $4900

8. Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

Lake Powell
Lake Powell

Lake Powell straddles the border between Arizona and Utah, tucked within the vast Colorado Plateau. As you embark on your houseboat journey, the crystal-clear waters and over 2,000 miles of shoreline set the stage for an unparalleled fishing trip. It's an oasis carved into the desert, offering both solitude and adventure for anglers and leisure seekers alike.

Unique Features

Discover what makes Lake Powell an extraordinary fishing trip destination:

  • Scenic Beauty: With towering red-rock cliffs and azure waters, Lake Powell's scenery is unmatched.
  • Abundant Fish: Home to bass, carp, and catfish, your fishing tales will be as large as your catches.
  • Secluded Coves: The lake boasts countless hidden coves, perfect for a private fishing spot.


Understanding the costs associated with a houseboat fishing trip at Lake Powell is crucial for planning your budget:

Houseboat Rental Costs:

  • Standard: $350 per day*
  • Luxury: $850 per day*

Fishing Permit Fees:

  • Utah Fishing License: $34 for a 7-day Non-Resident Permit*
  • Arizona Fishing License: $40 for a Non-Resident Annual Permit*

9. Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania
Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

Raystown Lake is the largest lake wholly within Pennsylvania, stretching over 8,300 acres and boasting 118 miles of shoreline. It’s nestled in the rolling mountains of Huntingdon County, offering you not only great fishing opportunities but also a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Unique Fish Species:

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Catfish

Unique Features

This freshwater haven is known for its clean waters and scenic vistas. Beyond fishing, Raystown Lake offers an array of water sports, hiking trails, and the Seven Points Marina, which adds to the allure of a houseboat vacation here.

Why a Houseboat?

  • Offers mobility to explore different fishing spots
  • A comfortable stay with the convenience of home
  • Direct access to water activities


Budgeting for Your Trip:

  • Houseboat Rentals: Varies by size and amenities; expect to pay upwards of $1,500 for a weekend.
  • Fishing Licenses: Required for anglers 16 and older; prices start around $22.90 for a resident annual license.
  • Marina Services: Additional costs for services such as docking, fuel, and storage; fees vary.

10. Table Rock Lake, Missouri

Table Rock Lake, Missouri
Table Rock Lake, Missouri

Table Rock Lake spans over 800 miles of shoreline, offering abundant fishing spots you'll want to explore. With its clear, deep waters, the lake supports a variety of fish species, especially bass and crappie, making it a fisherman's haven.

  • Location: Southwest Missouri
  • Size: Approximately 43,100 acres
  • Fish Species: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill
  • Accessibility: Multiple public marinas and boat ramps

Unique Features

Table Rock Lake stands out for houseboat adventures thanks to the quality and variety of fishing experiences available.

  • Healthy Fisheries: The lake is renowned for its high-quality bass fishing, with frequent tournaments.
  • Scenic Views: The Ozark landscape provides a stunning backdrop for fishing and boating.

Houseboat Amenities:

Feature Description
Sleep Capacity Ranges from 6 to 14
Kitchen Fully equipped with appliances
Entertainment TVs, DVD players, and sometimes water slides


Planning your budget for a houseboat fishing trip to Table Rock Lake is straightforward, with the following cost considerations.

Duration Average Cost
Weekend (3 nights) $1,200 - $3,000
Week (7 nights) $2,000 - $6,500

11. Erie Canal, New York State

Erie Canal
Erie Canal

The Erie Canal is a legendary waterway flowing across New York State. Spanning 363 miles, it connects the Hudson River to Lake Erie, providing a serene and picturesque setting for a houseboat vacation. You can take the helm and navigate through the calm waters, cast your fishing line, and soak in the beauty of small towns and countryside views as you make your way on this historic canal.

  • Starting Point: Buffalo, NY or Albany, NY
  • Length of Trip: Typically ranges from a few days to a week
  • Best Season for Travel: Late spring to early fall

Unique Features

The Erie Canal isn’t just a strip of water; it's a corridor brimming with history and nature. While on your trip, you’ll encounter unique features that make it an unparalleled experience.

  • Locks System: Navigate through an engineering marvel, the locks system, that lifts and lowers boats between the canal’s water levels.
  • Wildlife: Catch a glimpse of diverse wildlife and maybe some fish for your lure!
  • Historical Sites: Visit landmarks and museums along the way, like the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, telling the tale of this centuries-old waterway.

Activities Besides Fishing:

  • Biking along canal paths
  • Visiting wine trails
  • Exploring local festivals and events


Even though costs can vary based on the season and duration of your trip, here's what you might expect to spend on this tranquil escape. Just bear in mind that prices are indicative and can change, so checking with houseboat rental companies beforehand is a smart move.

Houseboat Rental Prices

Duration Average Cost (USD)
Weekend $1,000 - $1,500
Week $2,500 - $3,500

Other Costs

  • Fishing gear and bait: Prices vary
  • Local fishing permit: ~$25 (pricing subject to change)
  • Docking fees: $10 - $20 per night

Tips for Choosing an Ideal Houseboat Fishing Trip

Seeking the perfect houseboat fishing vacation? Here’s a concise guide to aid your selection process.

Location Matters

Pick your fishing arena wisely! Different waters, different catches. Freshwater lakes, brackish backwaters, or deep-sea adventures? What's your scene?

Comfort is Key

Your floating abode should feel like a second home. Look for houseboats that offer cozy sleeping quarters, a functional kitchen, and relaxation spaces.

Essential Amenities

A quality houseboat comes equipped. Demand features like fish finders, rods, bait fridges, and cleaning stations. Here's a handy list to ensure you don't miss out:

  • Fish Finder: Never miss a hotspot again.
  • Rod & Tackle: For beginners and pro anglers.
  • Bait Fridge: Keep your bait fresh, and keep the fish biting.
  • Cleaning Station: Hygienic prep area for your catch of the day.

Navigational Ease

Worried about getting around? Seek out vessels with easy-to-use navigation systems. Less hassle, more fishing.

Rental Options Galore

From budget-friendly to luxury liners, there's a spectrum. Reflect on what's essential for your trip and budget accordingly.

Houseboat Vacation Perks

  • Freedom: Chart your course and fish at your pace.
  • Scenery: Wake up to water views, and dine al fresco under the stars.
  • Fish Variety: Explore and target diverse species.

Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions provide valuable insights for planning an enjoyable houseboat fishing trip

Is a houseboat permit required for houseboat fishing trips in the US?

Yes, a houseboat permit is typically required for staying overnight in national parks or certain locations. The cost varies, and permits can usually be purchased online.

How many people can a houseboat accommodate on a fishing trip?

The capacity of a houseboat varies by model but can comfortably sleep from ten to twenty-two people, depending on the rental.

What should I bring for a successful houseboat fishing trip?

Depending on the rental, you may need to bring storage coolers, ice, rubs, spices, or marinades for your catches. It's advisable to check with the rental provider for specific requirements.

Are there any unique fishing spots in the US for houseboat fishing trips?

Yes, destinations like Rainy Lake in Minnesota offer peaceful and less crowded fishing spots compared to other popular lakes.

What are the general costs associated with houseboat fishing trips in the US?

The cost varies based on activities and accommodations. Houseboat rentals, fishing permits, and entrance fees may apply. It's recommended to inquire with local providers for current pricing.