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: Mille Lacs

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!

A Look Back At The 2007 Season. Thank You Everybody!

Travis Frank

8yearoldnick.jpgOnce again we find ourselves itching like crazy to hit that frozen ice that is starting to take form across much of the state.  While I am excited along with the rest of you, I want to take a little time out to look back at the great months that I shared with so many of you throughout the open water season.  There were so many huge fish caught, and great laughs shared that I don't really know where to start.  I have taken hundreds of pictures yet again this season, and as I look through them, I remember each and every one of them like it was yesterday.  For me, it is always great to be in the outdoor world, however as I look at all of those pictures, I kinda chuckle at the friends I have made and the memories that won't ever be taken from me.  After all, isn't that what it's about.RockOn.JPG 

The early season started with numerous trips to area lakes and rivers and some days it seemed that we could fill bath tubs full of walleyes.  Other days were not as spectacular, but they always gave us some laughs and taught me a few more details about what I was doing wrong.  As the season progressed, I found a new style of fishing which left me sitting on a river in the middle of the night chasing prehistoric Flathead Catfish.  That was sweet too!  I had some trips up to the big pond that always seemed to coincide with a hurricane, and still we landed a few dandies. ryantimeyes.jpg

As the summer progressed I shared an uncountable number of days on the water with great people from all over the country.  For the most part, we landed that trophy of a lifetime nearly every time on the water.  Some days the muskies seemed to come into the boat like it was their job.  The largest number in my boat for one day this season was 8 fish, and streaks of boating fish each time were carried through more than one week at times.  Each time on the water I continued to learn a new thing or two to help keep the fish coming in the boat, and the results were great.  jackthelegend.jpgI had this "musky mojo" thing at an all time high, and the rewards were sweet.  People of every age landed fish with me this season, and each one of them were great in their own way.  The greatest reward for me being a guide is that I get to see that smile on a persons face when they land that fish of a lifetime, and it keeps me coming back day after day. 

50%20pounderyeah.jpgAs the season progressed into late fall, I found myself fishing much further into the year than I had ever done before. I can't even explain how great those rewards were, as I found myself in newspaper articles and chatter throughout the state for catching some "freak of nature" giant fish on the big pond.  I learned a lot in spring, summer and fall that will surely keep me progressing as a fisherman and your fishing guide.  I would like to thank each and every one of you that helped to make it such a great year, but I don't think I have enough space on this website to do so.  You know who you are, and I thank you.doc.jpg

It's a sad day that I will be putting the boat and the gear away, however it would be weird to see a guy jigging over the side of his boat through an ice hole, so I have no choice.  The stories are in no way going to slow down, and Trophy Encounters will continue to be a place to ask questions and hear some of the latest and greatest from not only myself, but by all the others that are telling me their stories to share.  I hope to have something new on this site every day to check out, so make sure you look at this page, and the page called "Its Their Story" to keep on finding new information.

Johnw.jpgIt has been a great run yet again, and I look forward to seeing all of you again on the water in the very near future.  Now its time to get the other equipment ready.  Who wants to go Ice Feeeeshin???  Thanks again everybody, and as always, Keep On Livin That Dream!

Either we are on to somethin...Or...We are on somethin!

Travis Frank


The title of this journal entry was the theme for the day yesterday on our qwest for the next state record.  As we pulled out of the boat harbor bundled to the max, we looked at each other shaking our heads yet again.  The only thing that Theo could say was, "either we are on to somethin, or we are on somethin."  I chuckled and said that we have to be on something to be doing this crazy adventure.  With the recent results of my last 3 trips to the big pond, our hopes were very high in not only landing a large muskie, but trying to break that magical 54 pound mark set 50 years ago.  P1011563.JPGI have to give my hats off to these boys (Todd and Theo) because they really gave it their all yesterday and they kept a positive attitude the entire time.  The conditions were brutal, which probably made Theo's new personal best all the more bitter sweet.  We had waves crashing over the side of the boat all morning, and the cold water and air temperatures caused everything in the boat to turn into a giant ice cube.  It really doesn't get any more hard core than what we did yesterday.  Knowing that we were after Sweet Mamma(the next state record that I have already nicknamed) our mojo was at an all time high when 10 minutes into the morning Theo got rocked by a fish.  It was a crazy few seconds of waiting to see what he was battling, and hoping that Sweet Mamma would come out from under the boat.  While it wasn't the next state record fish, it was a very nice and fat 45 incher and gave us quite a bit of excitement.  It was Theo's new personal best that he has now increased 3 times with me this season and a fish that any body would be happy to have. 

P1011559.JPGOur day went on with 3 more muskies grabbing the bait, but only to leave us wondering about what we almost battled.  How they can grab a lure full of hooks and let it go is beyond me, but they seem to do it with frequency.  We shared laughs, stories and more laughs throughout the day, and never had a dull moment on the water.  We didn't land Sweet Mamma, but were pretty confident that she saw our lures more than one time.  I truly had a great experience on the water with those boys, and will always remember the last few trips as my being completely crazy for even attempting that water.  I know that one of these days that lake will reward somebody with their efforts, and who knows, it may just be in my boat!  I put a few other pictures up to describe the type of fun we had and depics the elements that we were dealing with.  I think my favorite is the one of the Tullibee that I snagged and having Theo (Darth Vader) in the background all bundled up posing with me for the picture.  Rock on Boys!

P1011561.JPGI want to give a special thanks to everybody who has given me such great recognition for the fish I have been fortunate enough to catch lately.  It means a lot to hear from you all, and I appreciate every congratulation you send my way.  If you would like to see another story of the near state record that I boated a few days back, you can find it in the Brainerd Sunday paper.  I feel honored to be given the entire page of the outdoor section and it is a pretty neat read for me to see, not to mention a pretty neat accomplishment for a fisherman like me.  You can also check it out online by going to Brainerd and clicking on the sports section, followed by the outdoor section on the left hand side of the website.  Thanks again everybody, it has been a great run to this point.  Until Next time, Keep on Living The Dream!

Awesome...Here We Go Again!!!

Travis Frank

54millelacsski%20016.jpgI simply cannot explain how sweet it is to hold a fish of such sheer size and power, and to do it back to back times is simply awesome!  I don't know if the muskie gods feel like they owe me some kind of favor, but I am almost speechless when I get to look at the pictures of the last two fish that I have been so blessed to catch.  Yesterday I was summoned once again to try to catch the next state record up on the big pond, and we nearly had identical results as the time before.  It was exactly a week ago plus one hour between landing the two largest fish of my life.  Although yesterdays fish does not quite match up to the last beast that was in my boat, It was still absolutely monsterous.  The only thing missing from this girl was a few inches of fat on the belly, otherwise she too would have been flirting with that state record fish that we were in search of.  She measured in at another whopping 54 inches in length and had a girth that we determined to be either 24.5 or 25.5 inches.  The reason we don't have the exact, is because the tape that we used to do the girth measurements broke on us, and we were lining up different numbers and trying to do the measurements instead of just wrapping a tape around and seeing the exact girth.  It is such a fast paced and intense mess that it is hard to take your time and measure everything how you would like.  The whole time, my hurry was to get the fish on its way, and we didn't take any unnecessary time.  The only thing that I am going by, is that I just heald a 26.5 inch belly, and I don't think I was quite there with this one.  Although this hog was huge, it just puts into perspective how large the last fish truly was, and makes me think that I am going to have a better plan of attack just in case the next one is the next state record.  I certainly don't want to have any doubts in my mind once that fish is swimming away, if I truly did break that 50 year old record. 

Either way, it was an awesome fish, and yet another fish of a lifetime.  I am not quite sure why they keep grabbing my bait, because I don't want to be a game hog, but it is an exciting experience for everybody in da boat when it happens.  I sure hope the next one grabs my guests bait.  I guess it pays to knock the ice build-up off the rod and keep on chugging, because the rewards are unexplainable.  Yesterday was brutal on the water, and we were dealing with more 3-4 footers and a temp that couldn't find its way above the freezing mark for most of the day.  We looked at each other more than once and said "we are nuts," but then we just kept on going.  What a fish is all I have to say, and thank you god for allowing such a rush of adrenaline.  Until next time Y'all, Keep on Livin That Muskie Dream!

The Story...The Fish...Wow...The Story of Ol' Betsy!

Travis Frank

50%20pounder%207.jpgOh My God!  What a fish!  Sooooo close to breaking that precious 50 year old record that we as muskie fisherman are so avidly chasing.  I have several pictures that I will post on here that kindof show different angles of that pigs gut.  The official measurements of this beast top out at 54.5 inches (Todd says 55, but I'm sticking with 54.5) and a girth on this girl at 26.5 inches.  When you calculate that up, you get a beast that ends up in the 50 pound range.  The sheer mass of this girl makes the Mille Lacs fish a truly sought after beast, and different lakes may never reach the potential and girth of the fish swimming in this giant pond.  I truly must say that this was a struggle for every second that I was holding her.  I have held onto hundreds of muskies in my day, but this one takes the cake.  Now I know what my fishing partner was screaming about when he was holding his huge 54 incher a few years back.  The only difference with this fish is the insane belly that they possess this late in the season, which is truly remarkable when you get to hold it. 


What would a Trophy Encounters update be without the story, RIGHT???  Well, here we go!  Todd had this craving to see a state record caliber fish, and knowing what to expect this time of the year, he had to twist my arm for about zero seconds to get me to hook up the boat.  There was an unfortunate event in my morning that caused me to lose my train of thought at the access, and resulted in the two of us unknowingly hitting the water without my digital camera.  I don't want to get into the details, but that makes the first time in years that I forgot the darn camera.  Our hopes were high, and there was a vibe between the two of us that we were going to land a giant in the 26 degree cold.  I don't know why we had that mojo working for us, but we seriously went about our business and prepared for this big girl to come in the boat, like we knew it was going to happen.  With the temps being so cold, it took a while to thaw out our reels and equipment to work properly for us.  Well, about 2 1/2 hours into our morning, my ungodly large lure was stopped in it's tracks and out of the depths rose this beast that I will now name as "Ol' Betsy."  I didn't quite realize what I had until it was in the net and rolled onto its side.  Instantly the two of us were screaming like school girls, and I'm sure it could have been heard for miles.  The girth was impressive, and needless to say, I was instantly shoulder deep in the water trying to grab the tape measure from under the belly.  I went for the camera, only to find that it wasn't in it's normal spot.  "Oh No" was all that I said, and then a pause.  50%20pounder%206.jpg

Thank God, I reminded Todd to grab a back up camera that morning just in case of this exact situation.  He later told me that he had left his house only to drive back to get that camera.  What a relief, and I pulled Betsy from the water.  I was in shock at how hard it was to hold her, and I basically just leaned back on the butt seat and held her on my body.  Todd snapped about 8 pictures as fast as he could, and afterwards said that he was shaking so bad that he wasn't sure if any of them turned out.  We released the fish and she swam away instantly as if not even harmed by the process.  We were shaking with joy and instantly headed to shore to first grab my digital, and then we couldn't take the curiousity of knowing if the old school film camera actually worked.  Needless to say, there aint no place to develop one hour photos within a half hour of Onamia, so don't bother looking.  We hit the water to finish out the day, and I made a pit stop on my way to deer camp to verify our catch at the local Target store. 

It was such a great time sharing this with Todd, and although I am glad that I caught this fish, I really wish Todd would have landed ol' Betsy.  I actually think that by his reaction to nearly seeing a state record fish being caught, I think that if he would have landed it, that it may have killed him.  Haha, but seriously, sharing your excitement during this process is what truly made that day on the water for me.  I have caught many a musky in my day, but nothing can compare to what we experienced in that boat on that cold November day.  I want to give a big shout out to Todd on the assist, and oh, by the way Todd, I had total faith that you wouldn't knock that fish off the net:)  Thanks for the memory of a lifetime, and fellas, Ol' Betsy is healthier than ever, and still waiting for that next battle.  That fish will be a state record in a very short time!  Hope you enjoyed that story everybody.  Until Next Time, Keep on Livin That Muskie Dream!