‘My fishing journey’: Fishing expert launches business to help others embrace the sport


Fishing with his father when he was a child gave Clint Kowalik a love for the sport. In 2022, he turned his hobby into a business by launching a fishing guide company.

“I’m on this lifelong fishing journey full of exploring and trying and learning,” Kowalik said. “My favorite place to fish is the next place or a new place. So, that’s my fishing journey. And I just love how I can play a role in the fishing journeys of others. That gets me really excited.”

Through Go Fishin with Clint, Kowalik offers private sessions, group demonstrations, and camp workshops throughout the Indianapolis area, including Carmel’s Central Park, Flowing Well Park and other places in the city.

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Go Fishin with Clint clients fish in Carmel’s Central Park. (Photo courtesy of Clint Kowalik)

“The name personifies what fishing should be, just hanging out with a buddy,” Kowalik said. “I like to think of myself as an urban/suburban fishing guide.”

Kowalik, a Greenwood resident, gave up his nearly two-decade career with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to pursue his passion full time.

“Near the end of that run, my position changed to an administrative overseeing position. So, it took me away from my happy place, which is the water’s edge and interacting with people through giving back by sharing my passion and joy,” said Kowalik said, who travels within 60 miles to meet clients.

Kowalik worked as a fisheries aide, assistant fisheries biologist and as the state sport fishing educator while with the DNR. He also ran the Indiana State Fair fishing pond. The experiences provided him with a depth of knowledge of the sport and area fishing sites.

“I’m part environmental educator, and part fishing guide, so underneath the environmental educator umbrella, I’m an outdoor skill instructor and a presenter,” Kowalik said.

He works with individual clients, families and groups of all ages and abilities.

“Taking someone fishing that already knows how to fish is something that I discovered the possibility of when I worked for the DNR,” Kowalik. He would get calls from people in town for meetings or conventions wanting to get away and fish but in need of gear and location ideas.

“I didn’t really have a lot that I could give that person other than I could tell them where to go,” Kowalik said.

Now, he can offer visitors or new residents equipment and guidance.

“I ask them, what their experience is, what they want to try to catch what kind of experience that they want to have, and then I pick a location based on that,” Kowalik said.

Kowalik tracks weather, water levels and seasonal factors to know the best places and what fish are biting at the time. He also considers client skill level and mobility.

“I like to meet my clients where they are by picking a spot near to them, near where they live, even a place that they may have visited before and didn’t realize that they can go fishing at this water at this particular park,” Kowalik said.

Client Bret Updegraff of Noblesville said Kowalik “has a passion for all things fishing.”

“I had a goal to catch crappie and had never had any luck on my own,” Updegraff said. “Clint started by teaching me the approach and the how. Within 15 minutes I had my first crappie. Clint scoped out the areas around my home several days before meeting with me.”

When choosing locations for families he focuses on “local, simple, safe and fun.”

“For someone that already knows how to fish, then a great place is far away from people that is quiet and provides an opportunity to catch either a lot of fish or big fish or a different fish than they’re used to catching,” Kowalik said.

Although he teaches mostly catch and release, Kowalik will teach clients how to prepare fish for cooking on request.

Kowalik also gives instruction at field day stations, birthday parties and camp workshops using plastic fish to teach the fundamentals of fishing.

“So, instead of getting lines wet in the water trying to catch fish, participants learn how to put together fishing poles during the class and cast lines,” Kowalik said. “It’s really hands-on.”

Kowalik works with clients of all ages and abilities starting at $50 per hour. To book a session or for more, visit gofishinwithclint.com

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Lee Stephan, center, and his grandsons, Luke and Tommy Meils, with a fish they caught after receiving instruction from Clint Kowalik, founder of Go Fishin with Clint. (Photo courtesy of Ali Meils)

Fun for all ages

Ali Meils of Fishers said fishing guide Clint Kowalik’s expertise led to “an exciting day for three generations of fishermen” in her family.

“Clint met us at one of our neighborhood ponds as we requested, and he brought all the equipment we would possibly need,” Meils said. “He had a variety of fishing poles set up with different lures, which allowed our 6-year-old to fish with one set up, while also challenging the more experienced anglers who were able to cast and reel with different lures.”

She said he offered suggestions and equipment to ensure those participating caught as many fish as possible.

“We all caught multiple fish the short time we had with him, but more importantly, he taught us which lures would be good for those ponds and gave us tips for our future fishing adventures. He even looked through the fishing gear we had on hand to recommend which to use in our ponds,” Meils said.

Meils described Kowalik’s enthusiasm for fishing as “contagious.”