Contact Travis Frank

P | 612-382-6927
E | travis@trophyencounters.com

To book a guided fishing trip or discuss details, please fill out the form to the right and click submit - or use the information above to reach Travis directly.


265 S Oak St
Waconia, MN
United States

612-382-6927

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.​

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Current Fishing Report

Follow Travis Frank's regular fishing report.  Muskie, Walleye, Bass, Pike and more 365 days a year across Minnesota.

Filtering by Category: Waconia

Hectic Dreams...Bro...Laura...Pete...Brian...

Travis Frank

It's been a few days since I have posted the latest and greatest.  It surely has been a week of insanity both on the water and off.  Many great things that I will continue to share as they continue to unfold.  First things first, if you happen to be at the State Fair today, swing into the Evinrude / Ranger tent for their 100 year anniversary setup.  I will be giving muskie seminars at noon and again at 6:00 tonight.  Sorry for the short notice, but it would be great to see ya and say hi!

The next thing on my list is to give a great big shout out to my boys Mike Ernst and Ben Brettingen.  These two gentlemen will be bringing those dream stories to life on this website for us all to enjoy.  They will also be helping out with some guiding duties as well.  They are both extremely genuine and true to the passions they love.  I think Livin the dream is a good fit for them as well.  Please check their stories daily as well to see what they have come up with.  Thanks Mike and Ben for sharing your passion with us.

The muskies have been doing their thing as of late, and we have been treated with some real dandies.  A few nights ago I was able to share the evening one of the best ways I know how, and that was with my brother.  He was so jacked to get after a big snaggle tooth, and the fish didn't dissapoint him.  About an hour and a half into our evening just after the sun set, all heck broke loose, and he had his second muskie of his lifetime flying out of the water.  I just chuckled and took it all in as he screamed "Get it in the net...Get it in the net!"  It was awesome, and one of the greatest joys of being an older brother.  Click Here for the full story.

Monday morning was superb for seeing huge muskies.  The size has really kept increasing the past few years, and we saw first hand how big they are becoming.  Monday morning Steve and Don joined me, and while we didn't take any pictures that day, we saw 9 muskies total, and 7 were over 50 inches.  I would put 2 of them at about 55 inches which is just incredible.

Tuesday morning we hit the water just in time for Pete to land his second muskie in my boat, and this 44 incher wasted no time getting photographed.  I believe we had less than 10 casts for the morning before he roped this fish in the boat.  We had a few more Trophy Encounters before we were done, and his buddy Bret managed to hook every pike in the lake it seemed.  A great time on the water no doubt!

Wednesday we were on the water to film a muskie show with Laura Schara from Due North Outdoors.  We will probably be airing this episode on Minnesota Bound this season, so I don't want to spoil the outcome for you.  We'll just say that there will be some mighty big teeth on the show!  Stay tuned for that exciting show coming soon.

Last night I was greeted by two very eager muskie men named Brian Smith and Jeff Keller.  I guess you could say these guys brought the excitement, and I provided them with some muskies to drool over.  The fish were very receptive in ambushing our lures.  We had excitement on nearly every spot.  The adrenaline was flying so high after seeing big fish after big fish, that I think I made addicts out of the both of them for life.  Our only picture taker came from this very nice 47 incher, but wow is all I have to say for the excitement we shared last night.  What a great stretch of days, and now as I finish writing, I prepare for what is now to come, and look forward to getting some sleep in December some time.  Just Livin the Dream the only way I know how!  Thanks for reading!

Wait...That's not a muskie!

Travis Frank

katie%20bass%20004.jpgWhere are all the muskies???  Trust me, your questions and emails are not going unnoticed.  I apologize for the lack of toothy critter reports, but don't worry, the time is fast approaching for the big girls to come out, and then there will be no lack of reports coming in.  Thus far I have made it out a couple of times in the last few weeks for an hour here and an hour there.  I've seen some real dandies come flying up, just nothing in the boat on my short outings.  I look for that to change soon.  In the meantime, everything else has been biting really well, and we have been taking advantage of some awesome walleye action and bass action on Waconia and on Tonka.  It has been one of the better years for walleyes for me, and it seems easy to go out and catch 10 walleyes.  When can a guy remember saying that???  Hmmm...I think I'm going to go catch a dozen walleyes quick!   Well, that has been par for the course this season, which is why I haven't been too stressed from the lack of muskies in the boat. 

In the next few days I am going to introduce to you a new fisherman to the Trophy Encounters world.  His name is Young Ben.  Well, actually it is just Ben, but I call him Young Ben, and he is as wacky over fishing as I am.  Look for his grand introduction very soon!  Until next time Y'all, Keep on Livin That Dream!

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Father Son Trip To Remember...

Travis Frank

Theo%20Sun%20Set.JPGWell it is clearly time that I get something new up here.  My apologiies yet again for the lack of reports.  I guess that first rain day will have to be spent pouring the pics and stories out.  Ah heck...who am I kidding, I love fishing in the rain!  I guess I am too busy livin the dream to sit down and write about it, which is good and bad.  Right now I have a few hundred photos and about 25 stories that I want to share.  I will keep pushing along and try to get as many of the stories up very soon.  In the event that I have slacked lately, I have a cool story that came from a gentlemen and his son last week.  His name is Mitch..He's a stud...and so is his boy Theo!  I hope you enjoy the read as I have.  Thanks Y'all!

TheoBass.JPGAs Travis is busy "Living the Dream" and clearly struggling to find time to blog, I thought I'd share the experience my son Theo (9) and I had with Travis last Thursday evening on Lake Waconia.

Our trip was planned on short notice; I didn't tell Theo until we were in the car on the way to the lake around 5:00 PM. Needless to say when I told him we were going out with Travis to chase big walleyes and bass, he was pretty excited. Theo sat in Travis' boat several weeks ago while it was trailered at Cabin Fever so he knew that we were about to be treated to a first-class experience! We eventually made it to the marina and Travis was ready to Theos%20Walleye.JPGroll. He gave Theo a Ranger hat which Theo proudly wore and then it was off to our first walleye hot-spot.

Theos%20pike.JPGIf you've ever fished with Travis you know it didn't take long for us to boat our first fish. In fact, Travis had a nice walleye hooked on the first cast but was a little cocky trying to swing it into the boat and it came off.

A few casts later travis set the hook and handed the rod to Theo. We were all pretty excited when Theo fought the fish and boated a nice 17" largemouth bass. It was the biggest bass of Theo's life by about 6"! A few casts later we caught another 15" bass followed by a couple monster sheephead. As nasty as the sheephead are, Theo had a blast reeling them in.

Theo.JPGWe set off for a new fishing spot that Travis new would generate more action for us....he was right! Theo caught the second 17" bucket mouth of the night and then hooked the largest Northern of his life (6#)!

While the walleye never really turned on, Travis still managed to put Theo on his first ever walleye!

While Theo was clearly the star of the show, I had a minor milestone as well landing a 15" crappie....the largest of my career!

As the sun set on our perfect evening of fishing it was clear that Travis had provided a fishing experience that neither father nor son would soon forget. Thanks Travis for sharing your passion for fishing and life.

Happy Birthday Chuck!

Travis Frank

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Happy Birthday Chuck, and what a way to spend it.  Tonight I was fortunate enough to share what Chuck described as "the best birthday ever" with this great couple.  Now that is quite the feat to hear, and I feel very honored to receive such recognition, so thank you for that Chuck!.  Chuck%20and%20Suzy%20006.jpgThis is our second time fishing together for the season, and this time, he brought his wonderful wife Suzy with to join the fun.  The first time it was 40 degrees and 30 mph wind, tonight the conditions were absolutely gorgeous.  We would have to rate it as the best of the year thus far.  We had little wind, and a perfect temperature with the nice sunshine.  We found that the deck of the boat acts as one romantic spot to have a cup of wine and a nice dinner on your birthday.  The only question that we wondered, was if we put 3 Bemidji State Beaver in one boat if the fish would run for the hills! 

Chuck%20and%20Suzy%20007.jpgChuck%20and%20Suzy%20010.jpgSuzy eliminated our worries by boating the first fish of the day, which was a very nice bass.  Chuck followed and we all went back and forth several times on the ol' bucketmouths after that.  "Where are the walleyes???" we all asked.  It took a quite a while, and a few spots to find them, but when we found them tucked in a very small spot in 14 feet of water, it was game over for the fish, and our camera's got a huge workout.  The bite was not typical for me this year, but actually more typical for normal walleye behavior.  Our action occured around the last half hour of daylight, and we caught some more whoppers.  Sheesh, I think Chuck is good luck on the biggins, cuz last time out we only caught big ones.  Tonight we had 7 walleyes right after sunset.  They ranged in literally every category.  The largest was 27.5 inches, and the smallest was about 5 inches.  Kinda funny to see such a huge size swing, and we had action from every specie in the lake to go with it.  We through all the fish back, but took pics of some dandies including a 22 incher a 24.5 incher, and a 27.5 incher that Chuck tried viciously to knock off with the net :)  A great night on the water, and as Chuck and Suzy put it, "the best birthday ever!"  Thanks for the fun guys, you were great!  Until next time, keep on livin the dream!

Untold Stories of Recent Memory...

Travis Frank

Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20034.jpgWell hello again!

Much apologies on my part for my lack of story telling lately.  Sheesh you would think that I have dissapeared lately.  But I must say that I have still been hammering away.   Much of my time has been spent lately on my new obsession and career which many of you are aware of at Ron Schara Enterprises.  I have taken on a roll that will basically allow me to keep on livin my dream.  I couldn't be more thrilled about the opportunity to further my passions with this great company.  I am doing and learning many things including how to be a tv dude, what it takes to be a tv dude, web work, sales, and helping out with a charity fishing tournament that we have coming up.  Nothing but fun, however I have to apologize for it taking away from some of my Trophy Encounters time. 

With that being said, there hasn't been a lack of fishing coming in, just a lack of posting my results.  I have been having yet again a fabulous spring chasing the old Marble Eyes around.  Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20025.jpgWaconia has been a Godsend yet again, but the surprise to me and those joining me, is the amount of large fish that we have caught the past few weeks.  In the first two weeks of season, my boat saw 10 fish over 24.5 inches.  Normally we catch many nice eaters under 20 inches and a few just over 20, but this year we have been blessed with the biggens.  The season started out by catching them in the extreme shallows, and everyone who joined me got to see what shallow walleyes are all about.  We pretty much stayed in 5 feet of water or less everywhere we went.  The #1 approach for our success was the "T-Rig" which I quoted a few years back.  If you don't know what it is, feel free to ask and I'll enlighten you further.  It's been killer.  The standard jig and minnow hoisted several nice ones also, and we started hitting some real big eyes on cranks after dark.  Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20016.jpgJust a great stretch of trips on the water with some great people.  The list is very long, and I have so many pictures that I won't be able to fit them all in this update, but thanks goes out to all of you who joined me.  Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20081.jpgTo see more of the fish that we have been catching lately, you can go to the photo albums and I will have them in there respective categories.

We also made a trip during Memorial Weekend up to the Brainerd area.  We snuck out on Mille Lacs for a quick pit-stop on our way through and caught the last 3 hours of the evening before the 10:00 closure.  We managed about a dozen fish which were pretty much all 24-28 inches.  Nothing even close to keeper status, but fun nonetheless.  We switched gears and chased the smallies around for Bass opener, but found cold water temps and blowing winds.  Our success varied from lake to lake, but we had a great time and caught about 75 total.  Our best results came from the gant Mille Lacs smallies.  Which by the way I will be enjoying with a couple of great guests in a few days. 

Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20003.jpgAlong with the walleyes locally and the trip up north, my dad and I also had the opportunity to take the boys that we mentor for out on Waconia for some fine crappie and sunny action.  They also managed a few bass, and it reminded me of my days growing up with my grandpa when I wanted to keep everything that I caught.  We were a week before bass season, and every bass they caught they wanted to put in the livewell with the crappies and sunnies.  It is sure great to be able to pass this sport on to everyone. Thanks dad and grandpa for bringing me up with this sport to share with everybody.  I strongly encourage you to get those kids out fishing if you can!

Becky%20Frank%20Invitational%20010.jpgBecky%20Frank%20Invitational%20079.jpgAs a quick update on what is happening with the local walleyes right now, well, they are biting.  The last few times I have been out, I have fished Waconia with some pretty good success.  If you have fished the lake the last two years you have seen a very distinct decrease in the milfoil, well we are having similar weed growth this year and it is causing for interesting behavior in the fish.  I have found some descent weeds, and that is where all the fish are coming from.  Literally...IN THE WEEDS!  from 5 - 12 feet is where the fish are, and I'm not pulling your leg here.  Go get em!

Again I apologize for the lack of updates, but thanks for reading as always, and until next time....Keep on Livin the Dream!