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.

Summer 2013

Travis Frank

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I have been completely spoiled for another summer.  No surprises there, right?  I've seen a lot of new water this summer along with a few of my favorite haunts.  Adventure and trying new things has me really excited.  Muskies, walleye, bass, cats and more.  Along with incredible fishing, the people that I've been able to share it with have really made me realize how lucky I am.  The furthest distance someone has traveled to join me has been Japan.  He also gave me a few baits to try and it only took about 7 casts to find out if muskies like them.  They do.  Life is always good on the water!

If you're reading this around September 17th, which is the date that I am typing it, then you should probably drop everything and go throw a muskie lure into any muskie lake.  They are simply destroying all things swimming at the moment.  In fact, as I look out the window the conditions look very muskie-ess.  With that said, I'll post a few of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks and then I have got to run - the water is calling.  Blessings to you and may the Big Guy up above spoil you with a fish of a lifetime...or two! 

Oh Canada!

Travis Frank

Last week I experienced my first Canadian fishing trip.  I can't believe it took me 29 years to make it happen.  Well, all the hype about fishing in Canada is true.  It's the best freshwater fishing in North America, hands down.  My trip was focused on filming a television show so it wasn't like I had free reigns to just fish every day.  The trip was very much structured to film specific segments with specific people.

The first two days we filmed walleye segments with a few of the locals.  Each trip it was ridiculous how many walleyes we caught.  A few things stood out to me while filming the walleye segments.  First, Canadians are spoiled by their fishing.  If they don't catch a walleye every 5 minutes they consider it tough fishing and start talking about how the weather messed it up.  Also, if it isn't over 5 pounds, it's not worth talking about.   

I learned that presentation isn't as important up there as it is back in good ol' Minnesota.  I'm certain that a few of the lures that we used wouldn't even catch milfoil down here.  Essentially, a 1 ounce jig hooked on a bunch of metal swivels, tied directly to 40 lb braided line AND tipped with a sun dried leech, will still catch you a 5 pound walleye.  That would never happen on Lake Minnetonka.  Also, as long as you are near the reef and somewhat close to the bottom, you'll get bit.  No need to worry about specifics. 

Walleye fishing is really good up there.   So are the sunsets, sunrises and all the views in between.

After the walleye slaughter was finished, I had a day of fishing to myself.  My goal was to film a segment based on adventure.  Without a guide, or any kind of direction, I wanted to explore waters that I never fished and catch something big.  I chose the obvious - muskie!

If I wasn't sold on muskie fishing in Canada before, I am now.  It took about 15 minutes to find the fish.  It took about 10 more to boat one.  Muskies in Canada are not like muskies back home.  They don't have the pressure we have, therefore the action is constant.  We filmed what I believe will be a very cool muskie piece.  We have footage of muskies eating on the figure 8 and muskies completely airborn.  We filmed many incredible explosions and mishaps, and what might be my biggest rookie mistake in years.  I look forward to this piece hitting the air, and will post an air date when I know more about it.  Until then, here's a couple of shots to show you why a trip to Canada is something that you have to do in this lifetime.  Minnesota is a wonderful place to fish, and we are blessed by what we have, but I have to say that Canada is still one up on us.  Until next time, keep on livin' the dream!

Walleyes, A new camera, and Waconia is Back!

Travis Frank

After a 7 month hiatus from snapping photos, I'm happy to announce that I'm back up and running.  A few sweet friends pitched in to get me a gift certificate to National Camera Exchange as a wedding gift, and it helped me pick out the camera I've been saving up for.  I'm now the proud owner of a Canon 60D.  I thank God for good friends.  

With new camera in hand, I took to the water with a couple of walleye addicts last Friday.  It took us a few hours and a couple dozen bass, but we finally got dialed in on the fish we were after - walleyes.  They managed a nice meal of Tonka eaters and another dandy in the mid 20 inch range.  The bite seems to have changed slightly, but the action is far from disappointing.  I'm now looking to make a few adjustments to follow the walleye movements into their summer patterns.  Bass on the other hand are about as plentiful as they can get.  At times the boys were landing them every single cast.

Fathers day was about as good as it gets in the weather department.  My fishin' buddy, Dusty Gesinger, and I, took our dad's out for a morning of catching on a small metro lake.  We found fat bluegills on the spawning beds with a few crappie & walleyes mixed in.  It would have been hard to draw up a better morning.

When our catching was done, I ventured to Waconia with my wife.  She was after a tan.  I was interested in the walleyes.  This was my first time fishing Waconia walleyes this year and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.  I caught many walleyes with very little effort.  This is a very good sign.  For those of you that aren't aware, lake Waconia was missing 5 year classes of walleyes and the lake has been hurting.  The DNR attempted to stock fry instead of their usual planting of yearlings.  They tried twice and the fry never made.  Since they stock every other year, we essentially went 5 years without any walleyes added to the lake.  Waconia has almost zero natural reproduction, so we rely heavily on the DNR stocking efforts.  To their credit, they were looking to increase the amount of walleyes in the lake and wanted to give the fry stocking a shot.  Whether it was from the cormorants or other factors, they didn't survive and a lesson was learned.  2 years ago they changed their stocking back to yearlings and the fish have grown quickly.  The results I had on Sunday were encouraging and I'm confident that Waconia will return to the walleye gem that it once was.   We are now only 1 year away from having a healthy year class of 16 to 17 inch walleyes in the lake.  In my opinion, next year will be a banner year to walleye fish on lake Waconia.

Now is a great time to be on the lake.  I have several bass trips coming up and I'm going to start switching gears to the muskie side of life.  It's a good place to be.  Until next time, keep on livin' your dream! 

Walleyes and a Wedding!

Travis Frank

Life is good.  The walleye fishing has been incredible this year, and I'm proud to say that I'm now a married man.  May 31, 2013 was easily the best day of my life.  I married my sweetheart and made a sincere promise to always show her my secret fishing spots.  She's definitely my best catch yet, and I'm a proud husband.

Prior to our wedding day I was able to enjoy several great outings.  I could argue that it's been the best spring of walleye fishing that I've ever had on lake Minnetonka.   It's been a good combination of size and numbers.  There's a very strong population of fish in that lake in the 16 to 18 inch range right now, and the trophy class fish are equally as abundant.  There was a 4 day stretch where we boated at least one fish over 28 inches.  Quite incredible on a metro body of water.  To this day, the bite is still going strong. 

This album should be the last of my cell phone pictures.  Thanks to my sweet friends, a wedding gift card to National Camera Exchange means that I'm going to be back in the photo taking business by the end of today.  If you follow this blog, you should expect to see better images in the very near future.  Like maybe tomorrow.  Until then, remember that life is short.  Keep on livin' the dream!

Opening Day Walleyes & Wind.

Travis Frank

Saturday at midnight the fishing season kicked open.  A few minutes later, so too did the wind.  This year will forever be remembered as the year for wind and ice.  I've fished in crappy weather before, but this was brutal.  Being tough guys, we battled it all day long.  After all, walleyes are always worth it.

My fishing crew consisted of Bails, an opening day regular.  "New Chad," which as the name suggests, made his first opening day start.  And, last but not least, Eric, "the lone wolf," Wolf.  A motley crew of walleye lovers, for sure.

We opted to keep our tradition going and started at midnight.  Lake Minnetonka was our lake of choice.  Chad kicked off the event with Nitty Gritty Dirt Bands, Fishin' in the Dark, at 11:57pm.  Then, at 12:00 on the dot, we were down to business.  Our first spot was fish less.  At about 12:15 we moved on, and as we motored to spot number 2, the lake erupted.  Gale force winds literally knocked us sideways.  It blew so hard that it would have been miserable even if the walleyes were jumping in the boat.  We opted to take a skunk to bed and get some rest before sunrise.

The morning started slow and cold, but as the sun warmed up, so did the walleyes.  Well, technically just Bails turned on.  While I did my best circus act to hold the boat on the spot he landed 3 dandies.  Interestingly enough, all three were big males, all in the 24 inch range, and all spewing "white stuff" on the bottom of the boat.  Getting rid of the skunk was all we really wanted, then we pulled the plug on our morning.

After lunch and a nap, we returned for the evening bite.  Eric instantly boated his first walleye.  The skunk remained for Chad and myself.  Soon, they placed bets on who would catch a walleye first.  Bails put his money on Chad and Eric took yours truly.  Fortunately, Eric didn't have to wait long to get paid.  My drought was over (insert a Hallelujah)!  I boated my first, followed by a second, which also happened to take big fish honors for the day.  She was a spawned out female over 27 inches in length. I thanked her for the sunset thrill, then sent her on her way.

As darkness approached, "New Chad," was the only man without an 'eye.  His depression was reaching new depths when suddenly he hooked up.  It was a big fish, possibly larger than mine.  Just as we were about to catch a glimpse, the line snapped.  If he hadn't fished so hard all day, it would have been hilarious.  Seeing the defeat in his eyes, we could only laugh at half throttle.  He escaped the full blown harping that we normally dish.  As he re-tied his line we talked about what we could have done differently.  "Nothing," he said.  A new jig and two casts later the man was hooked up again.  Thank goodness, this time, the walleye made the net.

With Chad's fish, we called it a day.  Mission accomplished.  4 tired boys left the lake with a handful of new walleye tales, and wind burnt faces.  In total, we managed 8 walleyes.  4 for the jar, 4 for the photo album.  A far cry from a normal year, but considering the conditions, we called it a success.  Another opening day is in the books.  Until next time, keep on livin' the dream!