Despite his years fishing professionally in tournaments and promoting the fishing industry, the daily thrill for Guide Rick Lisek, Jr., is showing off the lake wildlife to his clients.
“I see wildlife everyday — foxes, eagles and waterfowl in addition to the fish,” he said. “I love watching my customers enjoy the wildlife – and I love the trout fishing.”
Lisek, who guides about 90 percent of the summer on Lake Taneycomo, moved to the Ozarks in 1995 when his father retired from the U.S. Marine Corps to the postal service in Springfield.
“I put myself through college fishing tournaments,” he said. After earning an associate’s degree from Ozark Technical College in Springfield, “I went to college at Evangel where I majored in business and marketing.”
He has won 19 tournaments — including the FLW Champion at Lake Champlain in 2003 – finished in the top five, 18 times and the top 10, 26 times.
Lisek also ran a fiberglass business for eight years after college until auto accident injuries in 2006 made him re-evaluate his work schedule.
“I have had my U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license going on 12 years now,” he said.
He commutes from Springfield where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their 9-year-old daughter Trista Rose. From his home base he has also presented seminars at sport and boat shows throughout the Midwest, promoted bass fishing in area schools and conducted product demonstrations at regional and national marine dealerships.
In the fall and spring, Lisek said about half of his gude trips are on Table Rock Lake in search of largemouth, smallmouth, white or Kentucky bass, bluegill and crappie. He is equipped to handle groups, as well as individuals, even those with physical handicaps.
His commitment, he said, is to provide all ages and skill levels of clients, be they beginners or seasoned fishermen, with a great time on the water.