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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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Everything But a Muskie...

Travis Frank

This post might make a few of you muskie guys think less of me.  Regardless of the negative perception, I will share what I've been up to because it is what I do.  Lately, I've been taking a step back from the muskie madness and focusing on other fish.  This is typical for me each year during the heat of the summer.  I don't know what it is, but my muskie mojo seems to fade and I find interest in the "other fish" for a few days.  It's usually short-lived and I get the mojo back, but while on my muskie break I try my best to give the others a run for their money.

Monday night found myself and good friend Mike Ernst down at the WCCO studio for our Live radio show.  It's a program that I've been lucky enough to co-host numerous times each year as part of my job with Ron Schara Productions.  I was honored to have my fishing pal Mike join me in the studio and Bob Turgeon made a guest appearance to talk muskies too.  Keeping it local, I also had Jeff Byrne from Cabin Fever share some mid-summer thoughts.  Click below if you'd like to listen in...


After the show, I quickly fled home and readied myself for some river action.  The object of my affection was the fish we quoted as "the sexiest fish in the river," also known as the flathead catfish.  On a typical year we would have had numerous big cats in the boat by now.  2010 has been slightly off kilter for my group and only a handful have been boated thus far.  The reason?  The high water is causing havoc on our gameplan.  Our attempts have been few and far in between since the water cannot decide what it wants to do.  Monday night was the first time that I have ever launched a boat in the parking lot.  The water was so high that we literally had zero slope and pushed the boat off the trailer in the parking lot 35 feet short of the ramp.  As we drove out we were eye level with many of the tree branches that we normally look up to see.  When we drove over a mid-river sandbar that is typically 2 feet out of the water in June, the graph said 18 feet.  If that wasn't enough reason to leave the river, when we returned to our launch, our truck tires were only a couple of feet from the water.  Hmmm, I think there was a reason we were the only ones out there that night.  Needless to say, the gushing waters kept us from our haunts and the cats remained untouched.

Tuesday night my fishin' buddy, Matt Hennen and I went on a mission to catch whatever would bite our jigs.  The weather was spectacular, and in preparation for several upcoming multi-specie guide trips, I thought I would see what the fish were up to.  In our short time on the water we had a blast catching everything lake Waconia had to offer.  Everything except a muskie that is.  We caught bass like it was our job.  Several panfish took our baits too, and the always willing sheephead battled us like crazy. I even managed to land a nice pike before Matt caught the first walleye of the evening.  It reminded me of fishing as a kid.  You know, the fishing trips where you just go for "whatever bites." 

With our national holiday fast approaching I can't say when my muskie mojo will return.  It might be tomorrow or maybe next week.  I know many of you are thinking that I may have turned soft.  I guess it's true.  Or, maybe I'm just not that mad at the muskies right now.   As I look at my calendar I have to wonder when I'll get the attitude back.  Tonight I venture to Tonka for a bass bonanza with a father and son. Tomorrow I'm heading to Mille Lacs.  Maybe the big pond will spark my muskie interest?  Or, maybe not.  If there is one lake that can get me jacked up, it is that big piece of water so I've got my fingers crossed.  Until the mojo returns, keep on livin' your dream!