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.​


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Filtering by Category: Ice Fishin

A Bid Farewell To Ol' Marble Eye's...

Travis Frank


As they say... All good things must come to an end.  Yesterday was the official close to our walleye season across the state, and while I felt like sheding a tear or two as we pulled some houses home, I was able to look back and reminisce to myself with a smile.  We really had another epic year on the ice, and I mean that in many ways.  The laugh meter kept itself at a very high level all season which makes every night a blast.  This season we had times of both quality and quantity with the eyes that we were catching, with the highlight being the 9, 11, & 12 pounders three nights in a row.  We had many first timers in the houses this year, and many nights of filling the jar with eaters.  As always, I was able to report about the "ones that got away," and the laughs associated with the tangles and messes.  We put many hours in those houses and even more hours learning the lake and its structure.  We shared many games of dice and cards, and for living on the ice, the food was pretty spectacular too.  I want to take this time to thank everbody personally for all the memories, however the list is too darn long.  You all know who you are, and I thank you all for memories and the Trophy Encounters!

While this season just came to a close, there are still so many opportunities for us as outdoors people.  This time of year still offers us walleye fishing at its finest, however we just have to travel a little further.  I know it sounds hard to believe, but I plan to be fishing open water very soon as the rivers start flowing.  Boy am I excited to be back in a boat again!  If you have never experienced the fantastic river fishing we have, I highly recommend that you make it a priority this season.  If you would like to learn more about it I would love to have you with on a trip. 

Not only do we have the rivers, but the panfish bite kicks into full stride as the ice fades off the lakes.  This can be the most exciting bite of the year for those big "bull" gills, "Slab" crappies, and Big Bellied Jumbo Perch.  So while the stories from the walleyes in the shanties have come to an end, the Trophy Encounters updates will continue at their normal pace.  If you would still like to hit the ice, we have plenty of it and it can be very exciting for you and a group of people.  Thanks again Everybody, and stay tuned for what is next on the list for us guys that like to Live The Dream!!!

BRRRRRR.....Enough Of The Cold Already!

Travis Frank

DougyT%20004.jpgI am not sure if the rest of you will agree with me here, but Dang is it cold out there.  It is almost March and yet last night we hit somewhere in the mid teens below zero.  Normally a guy wouldn't venture far in conditions like that, but at this point we are almost getting use to it, and don't even think twice about it.  Yes, you could call us stupid or crazy, but there is one thing that I do know for sure.  I have never caught a single walleye sitting on my couch at home.  With that being said, and my understanding of how ridiculous I have become this winter, I decided to move the house yet again.  The biggest factor for my decision is that giant glowing ball in the sky at night that generally likes to make big fish bite.  On top of that, there are only a few more days left of season, and I want to locate a good bite for some upcoming guests this weekend.  Although the conditions were sub par to say the least, we stuck it out until this morning, and were rewarded with yet another alarm clock rattle reel sounding off.  As you can see from the picture, the sun was already up when this 4.5 pounder woke us up.  For whatever reason, 7:00 to 7:30 AM has been dynomite this season.  I anticipate the fish cooperating quite a bit better by this weekend once the conditions stabilize and the weather warms a little bit.  However, it was good to know that even that many degrees below zero that we can still hoist a nice fish through the hole.

DougyT%20001.jpgI also have another photo to share of a catch from last weekends shinanigans on the ice.  This will be Dougy's first visit to the Trophy Encounters site, so my hat is off to him and his catch.  Speaking of hats, it is funny that Dusty told me the story behind the fish, and yet at 2:00 in da morning, Dougy wouldn't take a picture of this fish unless Dusty could find his hat.  Well, he found the hat, and now Dougy is famous and will probably be moving to Hollywood soon!  He will be trying out for parts in movies where they need a super serious guy that shows no sign of excitement!  haha!  Just messin with ya Dougy! Great fish! That's a wrap Y'all, and that's how I still like Livin' The Dream! 

Weekend Warriors!

Travis Frank

P1011583.JPGWith the recent success that we have been having out on Tonka, it is no doubt that many people wanted in on the action.  This past weekend I found myself moving houses here and there in hopes of getting in on the action.  In total we had 5 houses full of eager fisherman on both Friday and Saturday evening.  How did we fare???  The jury is still out on that one, but I am pretty confident that we all had a good time.  Friday night I was not in on the action, however dropped by the houses for a quick hello and to check the results.  For the gentlemen, the drinks were a little bit more active than the fish.  In fact, the weather really must have put a damper on things, because only one of the houses managed to call me in the morning wondering how to get their picture on the computer.  Jeremy, thank you for sending this picture, but next time, you and your ol man have to thaw the camera out before you take the picture! haha!  Though the fish didn't cooperate extremely well for everybody on Friday night, the stories I heard were all spectacular, and well, we'll just say that a few of them weren't quite feeling the best on Saturday morning.  Nice work Jeremy for your biggest Willie of the season!

DSCI0003.jpgWith the lack of productivity and warmer weather coming in on Saturday, the fish house moving company was in full effect again on Saturday and we repositioned 3 houses for the night bite.  Turned out to be a good move for all 3 of the houses, because some biters were definitely located.  Dusty and I nestled in shortly after drilling the holes and banking the house, and I started the battling for the night with a good "eater."  Soon after the phone was ringing, and Mikey was in on the catching.  With a few more guys joining us on the lake, Dusty and I left the house, picked them up and placed them accordingly.  When that many great guys hit the water together, it doesn't take long before they are all packed in one place and telling jokes.  We found ourselves doing this most of the night in Theo's fish house palace, which is the location of the largest catch of the night.  During our rants and raves over the fish, one of the rattles went off, but since there was such a large crowd, nobody wanted to take the line for fear of embarrassment in loosing the fish.  Todd was the only brave soldier step up, and he was rewarded with a nice 26.5 incher.  Adda Boy Todd!  Our night continued and so did the laughs.  As we all parted our ways and hit the sack, it wasn't long before our house was dinging again.  Fish #3 for our house turned out to be the last one, and the largest one for us.  Doug pulled up his second Eye of the night at about 4 pounds.  

The other houses had mixed results.  Mikey's house had one eye, Theo's managed 3, Whorl's had 4 biters with 0 coming up the hole, Dingy had 0 bites with 0 coming up the hole, and we had 3 in our house.  What the weather has been doing to these fish makes it hard to find consistency, but the only consistency to report for this weekend is the fun times had by all.  I want to thank everyone that made this such a fun weekend including Mikey, Jeremy, Keith, Doug, Theo, Todd, Dusty, Mike, Sean, Matt, Luke, Paul, Tim, Jill, Daniel and Jason.  I will show more pictures as I have them sent to me, so stay tuned.  What a weekend it was, and that is how we all like to "Live The Dream!"

Can It Get Any Better....

Travis Frank


I really don't think it can get any better than this.  In the last 3 times out on the ice we have landed 3 giant fish with one of them being 11 pounds followed by a 9+ pounder, and last night we topped the 12 pound mark.  Simply incredible!  Along with this being amazing, the story behind this giant is almost even better.  I will do my best to put you all directly in the house with all the shinanigans.  Yesterday Mike and I moved his house to a new location that we felt really good about.  Since we both had obligations during the evening, we just decided that we would split up and tag team the fish later in the night.  Dusty and I met at his house, and Mike and Matt met at theirs to give em the one-two punch.  As we shared phone conversations throughout the evening we both went to sleep feeling like it would be a later run of activity and would discuss our results in the morning.  Well, Dusty and I had our expected results, but it wasn't until I woke up to Mike's phone call that I really got excited.  The story goes something like this.

12pounder%20007.jpgMike and Matt woke to a rattle reel screaming out of control.  As expected, a Snot Rocket (pike) came up the hole, and they nestled back in.  Minutes later the rattle reel screamed out of control again.  Another Snot Rocket????  Well, that is what they expected to see come up the hole.  As it turns out, this was not the case.  What Matt thought was a pike, turned out to be the biggest walleye of his life on the other end.  The only problem was how to get it through the hole.  We usually like to use the 9 inch hole, but when Mike and I moved his house, I only had the 8 incher in the truck with me.  So as you could imagine, problem #1 was trying to get mr. fatty through that hole.  Problem #2 came in to play when the fish tangled itself in the other rattle reel.  So when a massive tangled walleye is stuck in your hole, what do you do???  These two managed to somehow break the line that the fish had eaten, and when the fish sank under the ice their hearts were broken for only a second.  Realizing that it was tangled in the other line, the other rattle started dinging away, and Mike jumped all over it trying to get the fish back.  Somehow the fish was still tangled well enough for them to get try number 2 at it.  So with a 12 pound walleye wrapped up sideways under 20+ inches of ice, Matt went down the hole after it and managed to turn its head upright.  The rest is history and this beast of a fatty is now on the internet.  Simply unbelievable, but what is funnier, is that neither one of them can take full credit for the fish.  Since they couldn't label it as to who caught it, they decided that neither one of them were going to put it on the wall.  They both took their picture with the 30 inch 12 pound fattso, and if you look at Matt in his boxer shorts, you can even see how he was laying on the floor in the water trying to get that beast!  Hilarious!  Man oh Man! What excitement yet again, and this giant is still swimming in the depths of Tonka.  That is 3 nights that we have hit the water and 3 spectacular fish.  I just can't believe that we have landed a 9, 11 and 12 pounder on three straight nights.  Amazing!  Well done boys!  Only you two could pull of such a great story behind that catch!!!

d6%20003.jpgHow did our house fare???  We didn't catch anything for the record books, but we had some middle of the night events capped off by yet another fatty ourselves.  Dusty hoists yet another 6 pounder that is almost seeming small at this point.  I am just in awe for what is happening, and loving every second of it!  Can this get any better???  I think not!  And I have to walk away from this journal entry saying that this is how we go about "Livin The Dream!" 

Now This Is Just Getting Ridiculous...

Travis Frank


Now Seriously!  This is almost getting ridiculous!  What is it that they say???  It's not quantity, but quality that we are after.  Well, I'll take whatever it is that we are after.  As I sit at the computer yet again writing another journal entry I giggle, smile and then giggle some more at the pictures that I am fortunate enough to keep on sharing.  Fresh off of a Trophy Encounter with an 11 pounder, Dusty, Matt and I returned to the house last night and Dusty almost matched my catch.  He didn't quite hit the 10 pound mark with this beast, but who cares.  That fish was HUGE!  We figured it to be in the 9 pound class, and that is just another one that left us smiling from ear to ear after we released it.  9pounderdusty%20011.jpgThough we tried to take a minute after the release to celebrate his catch, it was very short lived.  The line from his rattle reel hadn't even reached the bottom when Matt looked at his vexilar and said "Dude, there's another one down there!"  After swinging and missing the fish on its first nibble, he dropped his jig back to the bottom and proceded to put the smack down on it for bite number 2.  Yep, within 5 minutes my camera was getting a true work out, and the high fives were flying left and right.  It's not that we have been catching 50 fish a night, but the ones we are hoisting are really nice fish to say the least.  To land such huge walleyes in our back yard night after night is simply awesome.  9pounderdusty%20016.jpgA few weeks ago I put pictures up from some really nice fish and I commented that I wasn't sure how long this bite would last.  Well, I am being surprised more and more with every trip to the shack.  The weird thing is that they seem to be getting bigger.  We were wondering if we would even be able to catch something to eat the way the size was going, but then a few minutes later Dusty Bottoms set the hook on another one.  Finally!  An eater!  Not that we were complaining about the size, but we hadn't caught a fish under 20 inches in quite some time.  Since it is my fathers birthday today, I requested that we keep the 19.5 incher for him since he loves those tasty eye's.  A quick flurry of activity like that still has me pumped to write about a few hours later.  It just doesn't get old for me.  And then this morning on the way in I had a close encounter with another toothy critter.  Only this guy spends his time above the ice.  It was cool to drive alongside this coyote, but all I kept thinking about was how fun it would be to have a weapon in my truck and try to put a good stalk on him.  hahaha!  Yet again, a great night shared in the house, and more beauty's for the books.  Thanks for the fun times fellas.  And that is what I call "Livin The Dream!"9pounderdusty%20021.jpg