Contact Travis Frank

Phone: 612-382-6927

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


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.​


Current Fishing Report

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Filtering by Category: Givin A Shout Out

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!

Killin Time Before the Opener, And, A First TImer!

Travis Frank


I have to start this one out by giving a shout out to Katie for her very first fish in a boat.  She will not be happy with me posting this, cuz it wasn't exactly a giant, and she didn't even want to take the picture, but I don't care, it was her first fish.  Any first fish is a great first fish, and even though most of us have caught that by age 2 or 3, you have to start somewhere, so congrats.  Roughshorekatie%20002.jpgLook for this new Ranger Model to be stealing the show here very soon!  She claims she is going to be landing muskies by the end of summer, so I'll keep you posted.  But I have a slight suspicion that her need to succeed will get her one before the year is through. 

The next Ranger Model is my mother, and we snuck out last week for a short time on the water.  Man, it seems like it has been forever since she has been out with me, but her and I had to take advantage of the warmer temps and catch a few fish.  This is the perfect time of the year to get everyone on the water.  With the warmer temps, the panfish action can be fast and furious, and it will start getting much better in the next few days as the water warms out of the 40's. 

Roughshorekatie%20009.jpgThe last few years, many of my travels have been quite random, and I just keep on looking for new species to catch to scratch my itch in the off-season.  I think for myself, it is all about a good challenge and a good battle, which is why those darn rough fish have been the object of my affection with more and more regularity each season.  When you throw some current and a hard fighting fish on light line, you have yourself a battle.  Roughshorekatie%20006.jpgLast week me and "da boys" hit a local river for some river bank action.  Yep, we did the ol, lean the pole up and sit on the banks.  The only thing that would have made it more redneck would have been if we had Beachnut chew and a 30 pack of some kind of skunky beer.  But seriously, it was a great time.  We pretty much had non-stop action with the carp and suckers, and landed a few dandies along the way.  These are a few of the activities that I have found to help cure the walleye blues.  Luckily for us, the opener is only a few days away.  Boy oh Boy, am I getting excited!  I will have more for y'all very soon.  Until next time, Keep on Livin' the Dream!

Wisconsin Opener With A BANG! BRRRR!!!

Travis Frank


Well now check out these two studs!  Mitch and Ron were willing to brave the elements this past Saturday morning for the good ol' Wisconsin Opener.  Saying that I had anything to do with this story would simply be a lie, but I felt the results were worth sharing.  Ron has been heading out for this event for many years, but he brought with him a good friend and rookie walleye angler Mitch.  The excitement and anticipation was very clear for Mitch as we chatted before he left.  He kept me in the loop via cell phone while over the border, and the excitement in his voice made it come alive for me as well.  With temps in the 40's and blustery North West winds, they fought through the elements, and guess what???  The rookie scored with the catch of the weekend.  We won't tell Ron that he was outfished that morning by a rookie, however we'll just say that Mitch caught his limit that morning, and well, Ron caught a nice pike.  All in good fun, and just what fishing opener memories are suppose to be.  You might call it beginners luck, but what a great way to spend it with a Hall of Famer.  Nice work Mitch!  Now I want a rematch from the whooping you gave me a couple weeks back!mitchwiscon3.jpg

With our opener only days away, the anticipation is building at an incredible pace.  I will be spending my hours in the new hot-rod on a few local lakes.  I anticipate a good bite this year even though the water is colder than average.  I will more than likely be fishing Tonka or Waconia, so if you see me runnin around, please stop by and say hello.  Without spilling the beans completely, I anticipate jigs and minnows doing the trick in waters less than 10 feet deep.  See ya on the water soon!  Until next time y'all, Keep on Livin' the Dream!

Congrats To Tim and Taylor!

Travis Frank


As a few of you already know, I have been donating some of my time to be a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities program.  While I find it as being one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences of my life, I am compelled to post this story which I find even cooler.  From the day I started volunteering my time, my father Tim has been right along my side donating his time as well.  A few days ago he brought his Lil Brother Taylor out on the ice with him to experience a first time memory that I'm sure will never be forgotten.  My dad brought Taylor out to his spear house to watch down the hole in hopes of seeing a monster fish come swimming through.  This story comes from my dad, so I will tell it from his perspective. 

"Taylor and I had been sitting for a while without seeing more than a few bass.  All of the sudden a very large fish appeared out of nowhere and I asked Taylor if he saw it.  Taylor never said another word while watching the fish, but his eyes got the size of Mount Everest.  After I speared the fish and was bringing it out of the water, things got very hectic.  Taylor made a b-line for the door and couldn't get out of the house fast enough.  I could hear his hear pounding like a race horse.  It took him the next half hour to calm down.  The fish and the experience will never be forgotten, and it was Taylor's first ever experience with watching such a large fish come through the hole.  Although the fish was harmless, Taylor just didn't want to hold it for a picture, and getting him to pose with it was even as much fun as the excitement we shared in the fish house together when the fish swam in.  What a great day to be on the water and I'm so glad that everything worked out.  We had a lot of fun out there, and seeing that 10 pounder come in the hole will top any fish that I have taken while spearing.  I'm so happy to have been given that opportunity and I cannot wait for the next exciting trip on the lake.  To see that look of excitement was simply PRICELESS!"

That was one of the greatest stories that my father has ever told me, and I feel that it is very cool for him to introduce Taylor to such a cool site.  Taylor had told him how much he wanted to go ice fishing, and that he had never done it before.  I don't think you could draw up a better first time experience than the one that they had out on that small lake that day.  My hat is off to both my dad and Taylor for their great experience, and I'm honored to share that story with all of you.  Now that is what I call "Livin The Dream!"

Holiday Ventures...Happy New Years To All!

Travis Frank

uploaded-file-48432The holiday season is a time that we usually get together with our families and do all the "stuff" that the holiday season entails.  While I was busy doing all of that "stuff" for most of the past week and a half, I also found a little time to get outside and share some fishing with a bunch of great people.  This update will show a few of the outings that I shared with several individuals the past few days.  It is definitely a mixed bag of catches, misses, and laughs that I hope you enjoy.uploaded-file-24022

On Friday the 28th I was fortunate enough to spend the evening on the ice with what I will call the "Engelman Clan."  This group of gentlemen ranging as far as Oklahoma get together for the Holiday "stuff" every year, and then find themselves on the ice after anything willing to bite for an evening.  This year I was fortunate enough to be the host of their ice fishing excursion, and it was a hoot.  We mostly enjoyed laughs during our hours on the ice, however the night was weighted heavier on the side of the ones that got away, instead of the ones that we caught.  uploaded-file-56077We set up on pile of boulders out on Minnetonka for the walleye bite, and while we had many chances, the only walleye king for the evening was Erik who landed his first ever walleye and followed it up with his second.  The fish were a bit on the short side, but gave us some excitement to go with the tales that are always shared when a group of fishermen sit in the shanty.  I want to personally thank Paul, lil Scott, big Scott, Tony, Erik, and Patrick for all the fun.  I would love to do it again any time!

uploaded-file-38720Saturday we picked up camp and set the house on a new spot to find a different school of fish to harrass.  While we didn't catch many numbers on that rock pile that night, we made up for it in size.  I have to say thanks to Dingy for taking a cat nap on the top bunk at 6:30 (what a bum), because it meant that I had the rattle reel when that whopper decided to grab on.  Sorry for the quality of the picture on this catch, but it wasn't quite thawed out when this fish came up the hole.  The best part about it is that if you look closely, you can even see Dingy staring at what he could have had, from his sleeping bag on the top bunk (heehee).  Also during our evening we shared a laugh when Pauly went outside for a smoke only to return to find his bobber down with a skimmer attached.  Yep, that's what makes these trips enjoyable.  uploaded-file-62367The fish are the bonus.  To see the expression on a grown man's face when he thinks he has a giant fish and you know that it's a chunk of metal.  Priceless!

uploaded-file-88771I also would like to give a shout out to a buddy of mine who landed his largest walleye to date that night in another house.  Almost hitting the 10 pound mark, Luke almost put it on the wall but decided to release it for another fight.  The best part was the excitement in the phone call that I received that told the whole story.  By the way Bails, did you by any chance consume a beer or two in that ice house before you called me??? Geez was that a funny call at 1 AM.  Classic!

uploaded-file-03156New Years Eve day Pauly and I joined up with a bunch of buddies on a panfish excursion on a somewhat metro area lake.  Wow is all that I have to say at what I was watching come through my hole.  uploaded-file-10313It is not very often that you can catch "Bulls" in the metro, but that is just what we did.  Typically a lake anywhere within 150 miles of the cities doesn't have true "Bulls" swimming in it, but this one does.  We didn't hit the pound mark, but 3/4 is huge for a bluegill, and we did bring them through the hole.  Judging from the ones we caught, I do believe that there are pounders swimming out there, and I will be finding out soon!  uploaded-file-22664On this trip I have to say thanks to Pauly, Whorl, Bails, Hennen, Hernnamen, Sally, and D to the E for all the fun.  Before it was all said and done, we battled everything from bass, pike, crappies and sunnies and brought home in the neighborhood of 65 fishies for the fish fry.  Definitely some happy bellies after that New Years Day feast. 



Well that sums up the majority of my excursions since I have sat at the computer last.  Happy New Years to all of you, and I wish nothing but the best to each and every one of you.  Here's to a great 2008!  Until Next TIme, I think we will still try to keep on Livin The Dream this year!