Lake Cumberland: Houseboating Heaven

Destinations, Things to Do

Lake Cumberland: Houseboating Heaven

Lake Cumberland, in south central Kentucky is a favorite destination for houseboaters and water recreation enthusiasts. It's well known for its tree-lined beauty, world class fishing, record breaking events, and sightseeing. With more than 100 square miles, and 1,200 miles of shoreline, there are endless possibilities of ways to enjoy this area.


We rent 36 different houseboats on the lake, between 5 different marinas. So how do you choose what kind of houseboat will be best for you and your group? Here are a few factors to help you narrow it down:

How many people are in your group?

  • Consider how many private bedrooms or bathrooms you need
  • If you have more than 12 people, you'll need to pick a houseboat from State Dock Marina. Other marinas have a maximum capacity of up to 12 people at all times.

Are your dates set, or you'd like to tailor your arrival/departure days? Jamestown and Beaver Creek Marinas have an open schedule, so you can choose which days to pick up and return; other marinas rent on a set schedule.

Don't want to drive the houseboat? Want more of a boatel experience? Rent one of the 'docked' cottage-style houseboats at Lee's Ford Marina.

Lake Cumberland is a top destination for anglers of all ages and levels of experience. You never know what could be on the other end of your line: Crappie, Largemouth, Smallmouth, White Bass, Sturgeon, Catfish, Striper, Trout, and Bluegill to name a few. There are many local guides that will take you out and show you the ropes, but you can have the adventure of a lifetime on your own by following a few tips.

  • Bass: Smallmouth and Largemouths are a great catch in the springtime from late March to early May where they congregate in bays and coves. They tend to find deeper coves throughout the summer. Deep trolling is recommended in the summertime, but they will forage near the surface in early mornings and early evenings. Use crankbaits, spinner baits, or jigs. Cumberland is also famous for its spring run of White Bass. Catch with 2-3" minnows in late spring, or shad minnows near the surface in late summer/early fall with artificial lures and streamers.
  • Trout: Brown and Rainbow are commonly found below Wolf Creek Dam where the water temperature remains somewhat steady throughout the season. Use corn, salmon eggs, spinner baits or spoons.
  • Striper: aka Rockfish tend to hang out in the lower reaches of the lake in late April/beginning of May but will take water baits at dawn. They feed in deeper water in the summer, so it's best to use trolling or live baits. After about mid-September use live shad, as they are typically found at around 20-30' depths.
  • Crappie: they frequent coves around brush, fallen trees, boat docks, and other cover. Use minnows or small jigs for a predictable catch. 

Did you know that there is a waterfall on Lake Cumberland that is best viewed from your houseboat? Seventy-Six Falls is difficult to access from the shoreline, and dangerous to try and get a straight shot of it. 

  • You'll find Seventy-Six Falls south of the dam, at the every end of Indian Creek. There is speculation in regards to how exactly it received its name. Contrary to popular believe, it is not "76" feet high. More like 44 feet high and about 20 feet wide. It's believed it got its name from the 18th century town called "Seventy-Six."

Lake Cumberland is a great place for family fun, and a nice quiet getaway, but it's also a popular spot for party goers and some record-breaking lake-wide events:

  • Raft Up: generally the first or second weekend in August, this event began in 2010 breaking the Guiness World Record for the most boats tied together in a single raft-up. The record was broken by more than 1,500 boats.
  • Watch musical performances lakeside floating on an innertube, beer in hand.

  • Poker Run: This event is a big deal, houseboat reservations typically book up a year in advance, so planning ahead is crucial! Poker Run takes place the weekend following Labor Day in September. It's a two-day event from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening. The idea is to visit at least 5 of the 9 marinas and collect a card at each to make up your poker hand. If you visit 8 of the 9 marinas, you receive an extra card. Winning hands win big-time prizes. 
  • Reminiscent of Mardi Gras with lakeside music and entertainment in a party-like atmosphere. Make all sorts of new friends and reunite with those from past events in this lake-wide party. 
  • The course is 110 miles, which concludes at Harmon Creek (aka "Party Cove") where people gather as the ultimate party spot.


Whatever you're looking for, you'll no doubt find it at Lake Cumberland. Start planning today! Give us a call at 888-454-8825 or send an Online Request and an agent will get back to you shortly to guide you through the first steps of making unforgetable memories.


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