Tips for a Successful Houseboat Fishing Trip

Guest Blogger (Adam Brown)
Guest Bloggers, How To, Things to Do, Tricks of the Trade

Tips for a Successful Houseboat Fishing Trip

It is finally here. Your big freshwater fishing trip. You've chosen the destination, rented the houseboat, packed your what? We've listed some tips to help ensure a successful vacation packed with fish.


It may seem obvious to pack 'supplies' but what do you really need? Many houseboats will include basic utensils, plates, dishes, cups, silverware and cutting boards. But do they have filet knives? A garbage disposal, or just a trash can? What kind of refrigerator or freezer storage is available?

Depending on what is included with the rental, you may need to bring storage coolers and ice for your catches. Don't forget the ziploc baggies! If you plan on eating what you catch, you will need to bring any specific rubs, spices or marinades you like.

Many houseboat renters assume there will be fishing, but they might only have the bare essentials when it comes to cooking or preparing your fish.


Assuming your purpose of the houseboat vacation was to go fishing, we can assume you have carefully chosen the destination for your trip. The lake is known for its fish, its beaches, or its beauty. But do you know where the young crowds hang out? Where the no-wake zones are? Where the best spot for bass might be versus pike?

Some of the fun of fishing is figuring it out for yourself, starting from figuring out your gear to understanding fish behaviour, but if your goal is to call out "Fish on!" it might not hurt to do a little more legwork. Ask the marina where their top spots are, or if you are so inclined, ask for a guide recommendation.

There's always the old man at the townie bar with a whopper fishing story - find him!


Since this will be a new adventure, you will need some help getting around. While some lakes are small, they may have unremarkable features. Chains of lakes are notorious for getting green fishermen turned around. Modern GPS are a fantastic option, and often they are cheap for versions with basic features. You can save your launch point and any places you drop anchor.

However, GPS can fail. Batteries can die. Engines can go out. You can never go wrong with a secondary form of navigation, and there's nothing better than a laminated map. Again, the place from where you have rented the houseboat will usually have these items on hand, but sometimes you have to ask.

Further, it is never a bad idea to prepare ahead of time and create your own map. Pay close attention to public vs private land borders, state borders, and even international borders. Some places are so remote, it is up to you to know where these are, and knowing can save you from a fine or worse.

If you prepare for your houseboat fishing trip by researching your supplies, securing a fantastic location (and boat!), and marking your navigation, there is little stopping you from reeling in the big one.

Or telling the story about how you 'almost landed' the big one, anyways. 

Hooking a big one at Lake of the Woods

Hooking a big one at Lake of the Woods

Chilling On The Top Of Our Houseboat

Chilling On The Top Of Our Houseboat

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