Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best month to come to Ontario Wilderness Houseboats in Morson, Ontario, Canada?

A.    Prime time for fishing and houseboating on Lake of the Woods is May 15 - August 15.  For those looking for sun and fun only try June 15-August 15. 

In terms of tackle for fishing, what do you recommend?

A.     Walleye typically like live bait presentations.  Lindy style spinners in bright colors like hammered brass, chartreuse, or orange are hot.  Use with bottom bouncers in 3/8oz – 1oz.  Jigs are the other part of the equation.  Think bright colors like white, chartreuse and pink in 1/4oz -1/2oz weights.   Deep diving crank-baits in baitfish patterns work well too.
B.    Bass and Northern Pike like Spinner-baits, tubes, and crank-baits.  Chartreuse, gold, and baitfish colors for these.
C.    Muskies are looking for buck-tails throughout the year.  Make sure to have a good selection of these on hand.  Later in summer jerk-baits and top-water presentations are key.
D.    Perch and crappie prefer smaller 1/16 oz – 1/8 oz jigs tipped with minnows or tube bodies.

Do you supply pots, pans, cutlery, and dishes?  What about bedding/linens?

A.     All of our houseboats have those items as standard equipment.  Even a couple shore lunch pans are on board. Electric Coffee Makers are also standard equipment.   Items like paper plates, paper towels, and solo plastic cups are always nice to bring to speed up the after dinner cleanup to get back to fishing!  Linen packages can be rented (or you can bring your own).  See our rates page.

How does the water work on board the houseboat?

A.     The water for the showers and sinks comes from the lake.  We provide 20 gallons of fresh water on the large houseboats and 15 gallons on the smaller boats.

What should we bring for clothing and gear for our trip?

A.     We recommend a mix of warm clothing like sweaters and light jackets along with warm weather clothing like shorts and t-shirts.  Make sure to bring raingear, mosquito repellent, sunglasses, and sun block.  Electric or battery operated fans for warmer weather also help to cool at night.

How many gallons of gas does the houseboat hold?  What about extra fuel for fishing boats?

A.     Larger boats have 60-70 gallons, smaller boats have 50-60 gallons.  All boats have extra fuel tanks from 25-60 gallons in size.  You will not run out of gas on your trip.

I use a CPAP machine at night for my sleep apnea, will the Houseboat accommodate this?

A. Yes. We have two options during your stay. 1. We have batteries and inverters, for each guest in need or we have 1000 watt generators that allows you to plug into a wall outlet. These small generators sip fuel at night and are extremely quiet. 

What is the average amount of fuel usage by the houseboat?

A.     Larger houseboats use $150-$225/week while the smaller boats use $75-$125/week.

What is the price of gas in Canada?

A.     We use only non-ethanol blended premium 91 grade gasoline.  Right now the price per US gallon is $5.60 USD (based on 25% exchange rate)  (Updated Jan 6/2020)

What identification do I need to cross the border?

A.    American visitors will be asked to verify their citizenship with such documents as a passport or a birth certificate. Naturalized U.S. citizens should carry a naturalization certificate. Permanent U.S. residents who are not citizens are advised to bring their Alien Registration Receipt Card (Green Card). Travelers under the age of 18 and unaccompanied by a parent need a letter of permission to travel in Canada from a parent or guardian. If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents.

How much liquor can I bring into Canada?

A.    You are allowed to bring in 24-12 oz. cans or bottles of beer or 40 oz. liquor or 1.5L of wine free of duties and taxes. You must be 19 years of age to import alcohol into Ontario. Any amount in excess of 45 liters will not be allowed entry.

How much tobacco can I bring into Canada?

A.    1 carton of Cigarettes and 50 cigars and 1 – 200g can of tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks.  Duties and taxes are collected on any excess amounts. You must be 19 years of age to import tobacco products into Ontario.

What is prohibited to bring into Canada?

A.    List as follows,
*Radar Detector.
*Live minnows, leeches, or worms (night crawlers) unless not packed in dirt.
*Fire Wood.
*Military style attack rifles.
*Large Capacity Cartridge Magazines (Exceeding 5 rounds for center fire rifles)
*ALL fully automatic weapons, handguns and pepper spray are prohibited in Canada.

What food am I allowed to bring into Canada?

A.    -Visitors to Canada may bring certain goods as “personal baggage”, duty and tax free, provided all such items are declared to Customs upon arrival, and are not subject to restriction.
-A reasonable amount of personal items, supply of food (for personal use) and a full tank of gas.
-Gifts not exceeding $60 Canadian for a friend/relative in Canada. This does not include tobacco products, alcohol or advertising material. Gifts valued at more than $60 Canadian are subject to duty or applicable taxes on the amount the gift exceeds the $60 value.
-Live earthworms are permitted, but only when packed in artificial bedding (no earth or soil). Frozen or salted minnows are allowed.

Can I bring a pet?

A.    Dogs & cats enter Canada must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate, signed and dated by a veterinarian issued within the preceding 36 months. The certificate must provide a sufficient description and detail in order to identify the pet.  There is a $75 fee per pet.

What is the protocol for bringing fish home to the USA?

A.     Fish must be packaged with clear identification by way of a patch of skin left on each fillet.  Each person should have their fish with them when they head home in the vehicle they are in.  Make sure to have your fishing license handy when heading across the border.

What is the price for a Non-Resident of Canada Fishing License?

A.     There are several different options, but most fishing licenses are between $44-$69 cad funds/week

Where do we locate fishing licenses, bait, ice or Liquor/Beer stores?

A.     We have fishing licenses, minnows, leeches, nightcrawlers, and cube or block ice at our base at the Gill’s Morson Marina.  Liquor and Beer can be purchased at the L.C.B.O. in Rainy River, ON when you cross the border (some days the L.C.B.O is closed)

Do you do a midweek run to our houseboat?

A.     If you are on a 7 night trip we do a midweek run to pick up garbage and to resupply you.  Please call in the night before (usually Tuesday) to let us know what you will need.  Shorter trips we can come out for a fee.

If we would like a fishing guide, what hours does he fish with us?

A.     Normally a guide will fish with you for 8 hours which includes a shore lunch.  $500 CDN ($445 USD approx.) and up

Do we take the houseboat from the dock the first day by ourselves?

A.     For those that haven’t been with us before, we take you out and show you how to drive the houseboat and explain the navigational buoys and hazards.  We will also take you to your first stop on the trip and show tie off procedures if you'd like.

Are we allowed to Consume Alcohol on the houseboat?

A.     When travelling with the houseboat, it is considered a vehicle.  At that point no one is allowed consume alcohol.  When the houseboat is parked at shore, with intention to stay overnight, you may consume alcohol.  Alcohol is prohibited at all times in your personal boat or fishing boat unless you are transporting it from our base to your houseboat.