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Phone: 612-382-6927

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265 S Oak St
Waconia, MN
United States


Travis Frank and Trophy Encounters Guide Service specializes in fully-guided fishing trips for Muskie, Walleye, Bass, Northern Pike and Panfish on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Lake Mille Lacs and other Metro Minnesota Waters.‚Äč

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The Quest, Part 1

Travis Frank

Thursday morning started off without a flaw.  I met Todd and Theo for our first epic quest in two years.  These boys weren't able to make it last November, but were very eager to hit the water in '09.  We met up at the lake and eagerly started putting on the warm gear.  It would be an understatement to say that we were all pumped up.  The smiles, laughs and jokes started before we even hit the water.  This reunion was worth the wait.  Todd and Theo are two of my favorite guys to have on the water.  There is never a dull moment, and their patience and hard work for the fish is almost unmatched.  They always have the "musky mojo" running at full speed, and this day was not any different. 

Of course with this being my first attempt at the mille lacs muskies in quite some time, I figured it would take us a while to get things dialed in.  The morning came and passed and not a fish was seen.  With the temps starting to climb, the action was assumably going to happen during the afternoon hours.  As I approached a favorite haunt, Theo had the first bite of action.  A fish that stopped him dead in his tracks, gave him a few giant headshakes and just as quickly escaped the grips of the hooks.  Bummer!  That was all we could say.  This time of the year things happen very quickly, and sometimes you are only given one chance.  With the hours of anticipation and casting without seeing a thing, one can often become sluggish and the unknowing strike can quickly result in a fish that got away.  This wasn't the case as Theo did everything correct with that fish, but somehow she still managed to shake the hooks.  About 2 hours later we had another very hot fish come boatside from the same exact spot, but that 40 pounder decided our lure was not going to be dinner either.  With that, our action for the day was through.  The sun faded on our glory and we now have to start up a new streak when we hit the pond next time.

Friday I was graced to have two incredible men in the boat with me.  Pete and his father-in-law Marcus met me at the water for an outing to remember.  Marcus is a lifelong member of muskies inc. and the stories this man could tell made me feel honored to be in his presence.  He was part of the original muskies inc, and the guys that started it all.  Heck, even some of his good ol' fishing buddies that we now have tournaments for and do things in honor of were in his fish tales.  Needless to say, this was a cool experience for me.  With that said, I wanted nothing more than to get Marcus his largest muskie ever. 

While the goal was to get one for Marcus, Pete was the one finding the first muskie on his ine.  About an hour into our morning he was stopped in his tracks over an open water trolling run.  Dang!  Again, that was all that I could muster after the fish shook the hooks.  We will never know what we had on, or lost, but it did give us encouragement for the rest of the day.  That day, and that afternoon could be summed up in one word - almost.  Almost, because we "almost" had several fish in the boat.  Everything came together and the fish cooperated, but they just didn't come into our boat.  At one point the window of opportunity opened up for us, and we had 3 seperate fish screaming in boatside, with two coming literally at the exact same time, doing simultaneous figure 8's.  Unfortunately, as fast as that window of chance opened up, it closed even faster.  The three of us saw 4 more muskies that afternoon, but we once again came up on the short end of the battle.  Oh well, that is how things can go in the November muskie outings. 

During the two days, we saw some nice fish, but I have yet to locate that monster.  I have learned a few new tricks and located a few more concentrations of fish that I hope will provide action over the next two weeks.  The Tullibee numbers are mind boggling, and we accidentally snagged and had thousands follow over the two days.  It was simply ridiculous.  I also have to laugh at myself, because I somehow got my schedule mixed up, which meant that my outing this Monday actually happens next Monday.  I think that is a sign that it has been a long year!

Deer camp was the object of my affection from Saturday through Monday.  I was dreaming of that big muskie the entire time in the stand, but had a goal to see antlers in my scope at some point.  That too did not happen, and for the first time since I was old enough to hunt, I have failed to tag a deer.  The season isn't over yet, and I still have a bow tag, so who knows?  Our group of 8 mighty hunters managed to take 7 deer the first two days, with Bails taking home bragging rights with a nice 8 pointer.  Congrats buddy, and thanks to all that made the last several days so enjoyable.  I now am looking forward to the next few as my fire to catch that record is burning more than ever.  Until she strikes, keep on livin' the dream!