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Phone: 612-382-6927

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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: Muskie

Mitch Wins Gold!

Travis Frank

No, I'm not talking about the gold medals that everyone is watching on the olympics.  I'm talking about gold in the form of a first time muskie!  While this fish wasn't the largest guy I've ever seen in the boat, I will take nothing away from the experience and the perserverence that Mitch put in to catch it.  For heavens sake, he woke up at 3 o'clock on a sunday morning to fish for an hour and a half, and head back home before his family got out of bed.  Now that's determination!  He has had a few close calls in our previous couple outings (all boatside attacks that have left him sleepless at night), he's seen a giant 51.5 incher come in the boat, and learned many tricks for success.  When that muskie grabbed his bait 3 feet from the boat in the darkness of a Sunday morning sky, he was ready for battle.  The funny thing about it all was that when the fish hit, it smacked so hard that it set the hook on itself causing a backlash in Mitch's reel, which basically left him helplessly holding onto the rod and an angry muskie.  He had the right steps figured out, however he wasn't able to use any of them during the intense battle.  That's exactly the type of fish that a guy needs to break the ice and get that first time muskie slime!  This muskie was in the low 30's, but will forever be a trophy for that lucky Mitch Petrie!  To top everything else off, a few minutes later we watched a spectacular sunrise that just never gets old.  What a morning!

The action the past few outings has been very sporadic.  One minute it is incredibly intense, the next you are wondering if the fish have dissappeared.  The pressure is really getting to many of these muskies, which is the main cause for this behavior.  The traditional spots are being hit 2, 3, and sometimes 4 boats at a time all day long.  If you are heading out there, try something different and investigate waters that aren't necessarily the best looking.  There may be fewer fish in the area, but odds are they are more likely to eat a bait.  Stay tuned, as I will give my advice on heavily pressured muskies in the near future.  Watch for it on this site, the MN Bound site, or even the Due North site.  Also, I will be telling my tales in the Outdoors Weekly paper in the very near future.  Watch for it!  Until next time, Keep on Livin the Dream!

Yeah Baby!!!

Travis Frank

What a sweet day to be on the water!  Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching the sun rise and set from the seat of my Ranger Boat.  Fortunately it was a good day to be spending on the lake, cuz those muskies were darn hungry.  I'll start with last night because it is still so fresh in my mind.

Mitch, Kristin, Mike and myself hit the water at about 6:00 pm in hopes of continuing the streak of fish that I have been recently compiling.  With high hopes from the great morning that I will soon share with you, we shot out of the access to see what we could come up with.  Kristin was our professional photographer for the night, and we were really hoping she would get to put her camera to use.  The weather was strange, with high sun, dead calm waters, followed by high winds and storms from many different angles.  At times the wind would be from the North, and at times from the East, then West, well you get the deal.  Needless to say, it wasn't prime muskie weather, but we pushed on with high hopes. 

As the sun set, there was a feeling in the boat that something was about to happen.  I went to one of my absolute favorite spots on the lake for sunset bites, and we fished it very slowly.  To set the stage a little further, this is only the 3rd time Mitch has fished for muskies, and he has yet to land a beast or see one in the boat for that matter.  His excitement to see a muskie caught was as high or higher than the rest of us.  As we worked slowly down the structure manuevering our baits to the "spots on the spot"  I had Mitch cast his bait to a specific weed patch where I had seen a giant earlier.  To my surprise, nothing happened.  Two casts later he had a muskie crush his lure at boatside and go hog wild.  At one point I thought my rod was broken.  The fish, while not huge, gave us an adrenaline rush before it shook the hooks.  Literally the very next cast, Mike chucked his bait to the spot I had Mitch cast to, and it was all over.  The beast decided that it just had to eat.  For the next few minutes, it was absolute chaos.  Kristin was snapping pictures like crazy, and Mitch and I were running around trying to position ourselves for the success of a net job and a quick safe release.  This muskie measured at 51.5, and is Mike's second fish over 50 inches.  For such a true monster to be the first that Mitch and Kristin got to witness was surely a life changing event.  To see more pictures from last night, check out the numerous photo albums to see Kristin's work.  I do believe that the addiction of the muskies just got passed down to another poor soul.  AWESOME!

While last night was amazing in its own way, yesterday morning was one of those mornings that I wish would never have ended.  Brett, Russ and I hit the water early, and we had fish going nuts nearly every place we went.  We saw fish on almost every spot we went to for the first 2 hours of fishing.  It was predictable as we would pull up to the spot, and I would point to where they should be sitting.  Instantly the fish came screaming to the bait, however they seemed to be extra smart at getting the hooks out of their mouth.  Brett was on fire, and he had a solid 15 different muskies attempt to get caught by his magical lure.  Although we were all throwing the same bait, Russ and I had only one muskie each attempt our lure, and Brett had over 15.  That's just how it works some days, but I am happy to say that I made the most of my chance, with a nice 39 to 40 incher.  Brett followed up one of the fish that he missed earlier in the morning by catching it the second time around.  While not huge, the sub 40 inchers always seem to go airborn, and this fish was no different.  We saw some real giants again yesterday morning, but they won the chess match.  All in all, it was another one of those days that I will look back on for years with a smile.  And, I'm thinking that a few other guys will be doing the same.  Gosh are those muskies addicting.  Until next time, Keep on Livin the Dream!

Ada Boy Allen!

Travis Frank

This morning well before the normal man or woman was thinking about rising, I was gearing the boat up for what I hoped to be an awesome morning on the water.  Joining me for the 3rd straight season was the father son duo of Jim and Allen.  Now these two guys are no strangers to muskies, and I must say that I think they have a slight horseshoe of luck in their pockets.  The past two seasons they have joined me once each year for their muskie excursion of the summer.  Each time out, we have had muskies jumping like crazy at their baits, and many in the 50 inch class.  While most of them have found their way off the hook, we have boated 3 of them, so we are batting well over 100%  This morning was right on par for the type of trips that we have experienced in the past.  While it started slowly, it ended with a bang!  For the first two hours, we saw nothing, but then things really let loose.  Allen landed his first fish ever at roughly 40 inches.  Not a giant, but a great fish, and the strike was unbelievable.   We'll just say that this muskie cleared the surface by a good 2 feet.  After that excitement, Allen had another one nearly take the goods, but fall just short.  3 fish in 10 minutes was pretty sweet.  We left that spot, and Allen instantly had a very large fish screaming to the boat.  I would put it at about 50 inches.  

A few casts later it was Jim's turn, and you would swear that he had a sumo wrestler do a cannonball the way that the fish moved the water around his bait.  Somehow Jim came up empty after the dust settled, but he was a shakin!  A few more spots, and a couple encounters from some more 50 plus inchers, and it was nothin but laughs and good times  To see that many huge fish in one short outing is almost unheard of.  As our day was approaching and end, we were reminiscing about the morning when all of the sudden I spotted one coming out of the depths towards Allen's bait.  I told him to get ready, and just like a champ, he sweet talked his second muskie into biting.  It was so cool to see that 46 incher come from so far down, and in the clear water and high sun, everything was crystal clear.  Almost too perfect, and on that note, we decided to end the day with a slimy handshake.  Nothin but great times when these two boys jump in the boat.  Now Allen has bragging rights over a few buddies, and Jim has some pressure on him for the next time out in a couple of weeks.  Thanks for the fun boys!  See ya again soon!  Until next time, Let's keep on livin' the dream!

Is it a 50...

Travis Frank

The question my buddy Matt asked me as we laid his new personal best back in the water last night.  "Is it a 50?" Well, the answer was nope, but it was very close to reaching that magical mark.  Last night we snuck out on the water to give a couple of casts before bedtime.  We hit the water at about 8 pm knowing that there was only time to fish maybe a couple of spots.  While I haven't been fishing as much as in the past, I have snuck out for an hour here and an hour there the last couple of weeks, and I have located some really nice fish.  Last night, my goal was to put a beast in the boat, and with the help of Matt, we did just that.  Matt, Katie, and Myself (with Woody watching of course) were fishing spot number two just before dark when the fish struck and the battle was on.  This was a very cool battle for the simple fact that it was Katies first time seeing it happen.  Up until this point she had only heard me talk about it, and I must admit, I think she was a little surprised by the insanity that takes place.  It was funny when everything was said and done, she looked over at me, shaking her head and said "I can't do that. are you crazy!"  This 49.5 incher went airborn 4 times and tail-walked the surface for half of the battle.  A great sight to see, a good hour on the water, and now Matt has a new personal best.  As he put it, "Man am I glad we came out tonight!"  Keep on Livin The Dream!

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!