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.​

Photo Blog

Kiss That Bass!

Travis Frank

This picture is priceless.  My sister showing love for her birthday catch - a smallmouth bass.  The lighting of the sunset sky really gave the two subjects good color.  Somehow, I manage to get lucky with these things and take another picture that I will never forget.  This one combines two of my favorite things in the whole world - my family, and fishing.  I think I will leave it at that.  A very happy birthday fish!

Fall Grass

Travis Frank

Fall is a photographers dream.  So many colors and so many opportunities.  It seems everywhere you look, another picture is waiting to be taken.  Typically these pictures are taken of the bright colors and leaves, but I was strolling through the Carver Park wilderness near my home yesterday and I stumbled upon these fine looking blades of grass.  Maybe you can help with the name, because I have no clue.  The only thing I know about them is that they sure captured my eye.  I snapped a few pics and will post them all with time.  This is one of favorites.  Just the way the light shines through makes the glow stand out.  The sun in the background and the blue sky.  I don't know why, but I like it.  I hope you do too!

Muskie Strike!

Travis Frank

It's always fun to capture the hero shot.  The big fish and the big smile always make for a great memory.  Over the years I've managed to share in many of these "fish of a lifetime" moments.  I assure you that they never get old - Ever!  While they are fun to capture, I've found it enjoyable to add a twist to the picture.  In this shot, I didn't do the standard horizontal pose with the fish.  Instead, I wanted to show off the head of the beast while also keeping other aspects of the picture in the background.  I'm not sure if this happened on accident, or by luck, but I'll take the final result.  Dusty and I have caught thousands of fish together in our short lifetime, this picture happens to be one of my favorites!

Alaskan Bush

Travis Frank

I can say without a doubt that this phrase is true.  "No picture will ever do Alaska justice."  We said that many times on our visit.  I tried my best to capture the beauty of it all, but came up short.  It was so vast and the view was all around.  Too much for a camera lens.  This particular shot is one of my favorites.  It comes from the Wood River.  As I sit down to write this I'm sure the ice is gone and the water is flowing over this log, but not then.  At that time the ice was just starting to break up and water could be found below our feet.  In fact, that was the water we survived off of during our trip.  Yep, crystal clear mountain water ready for drinking.  It didn't get much better than that.  Nor did the endless view!

Smallmouth Battle

Travis Frank

Fish, Fish, and more Fish!  My life revolves around them.  I figured it was time that I try to capture some of the cool things they do.  Some day I will own an underwater camera that allows me to go down after them and steal their picture.  For now, I have to hook them and bring them to me.  I spent an afternoon on the Mississippi river trying to get a few cool shots of the battle.  This is one of my favorites.  The water churching from a fighting smallmouth is not easy to capture.  I am very happy with this one.  In fact, it's been my screen saver for a few weeks.  Hope you like it! 

Winter In Saskatchewan

Travis Frank

I took my first trip up to Saskatchewan.  Unfortunately, it was during a very cold time of the year.  We were filming a television show in the middle of the bush.  That part of Canada actually reminds me of northern Minnesota.  The only difference was that it was far more desolate.  We were right on the fringe of the forest that runs to the arctic tundra.  I forget the name, but that doesn't matter much.  What matters was the beauty of the snow that covered everything.  While we were there a new coating covered the landscape each night.  The pines and Birch trees had a very cool look to them.  Here is my favorite shot of that place.  I'm not sure why I like it, but I just do!

Water Splash

Travis Frank

Every once in a while I get a shot that I just can't stop looking at.  A few weeks back I was lucky enough to celebrate my best friend's wedding down in Florida.  Mike and Jenn tied the knot and got baptized in this very ocean.  Prior to their big day, we took ample time to enjoy the fishing and scenery that Florida is famed for.  This was just one of hundreds of pics I took while on our stay.  For some reason, it just catches my eye every time I look at it.  I can't put my finger on it, but I like it.  I hope you do too!

Bald Eagle vs. Catfish

Travis Frank

Who wins in this battle?  Bald Eagle vs. Catfish?  I think this is an easy one.  Me!  I win because I get the chance to sneak close enough for a shot at the distracted eagle.  Ha!  These birds are becoming more common every year.  A few weeks ago I was floating down the Mississippi river in search of walleyes.  Yes, we found the walleyes, but we also stumbled across this epic scene.  The eagle was totally consumed by his meal and we drifted within range of my camera.  I must say that a close glimpse at these birds never gets old.  Never!  I hope you enjoy this view as much as I did taking it!

Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights

Travis Frank

I was recently on a trip to Alaska.  First off, what an incredible opportunity.  I am truly blessed for the opportunity to work in such an amazing place.  As I do on every work trip, I toated my camera at my side.  To my surprise, I was rewarded with one of the most incredible pieces of scenery I have ever seen.  To some it's called the Aurora Borealis.  To others, it's the Northern Lights.  Whatever you call it, it's an incredible sight to see.  Each of the 8 nights we spent in our secluded river valley cabin, you could see them dancing in the sky.  To make it better, they covered the entire sky, not just the north facing side.  I may never see these again, so I took the time to capture them.  The secret that I learned after 3 nights of poor quality shots was this.  Focus your camera on the moon, then set up the tripod for the shot.  This brings everything into focus.  This shot was a 30 second exposure.  I hope you enjoy!

Diamondback Rattler...

Travis Frank

First off, I hate snakes.  I've hated them ever since I was about 12 when I realized that it aint cool to pick up a snake and play with it.  Even though I hate them, I still wanted to find a Diamondback while in New Mexico.  I've never seen a rattle snake in the wild and it was high on my list for critters to photograph.  The 2nd evening of our trip, our truck came to a slamming hult as two diamondbacks slid across the road in front of us.  I instantly had the heebie jeebies, but I put my long lens on and tried to get a good shot.  This isn't the highest quality photo in my gallery, but it has sentimental value to me.  This is the infamous view of a rattle snake in the attack position.  Scary!   I wish you could have heard the sound of the rattles while I snuck in for a close shot.  Goosebumps still cover my body when I think of it.  Cool stuff!

Blue Lizard...

Travis Frank

I love chasing moving objects with the camera.  Scenic shots are great, but my true thrill comes when I get close enough to photograph some kind of critter.  This is a shot of a blue lizard.  I was walking across a desert landscape in New Mexico when he shot out from beneath a sage bush.  Because of the rattle snake scare and other dangerous critters, I jumped a solid 2 feet.  When I came to my senses, I quickly grabbed the camera and followed him until he would stop.  Its called a New Mexico Whiptail, and they are lightning fast.  This lil' guy was about 6 inches in length.  I've seen other lizards before, but I really liked this one because of the unique colors.  You aren't seeing things, it really is neon blue.  Talk about sweet!  I was jacked to get this shot!

Guadalupe Full Moon...

Travis Frank

A few weeks ago I was on a trip in New Mexico.  While there, we stayed in an extremely remote ranch house at the base of the Guadalupe mountain range.  It just so happened that our timing revolved around a full moon period.  The first day of our trip we pulled in just in time to watch the sun set to the east and the moon rise to the west.  An indication that it was in fact the "true" full moon.  Typically, you would want a tripod for this lowlight scene.  I had no tripod, so I improvised and used a fence post.  I had to leave the shutter speed open long enough to gather light to show the mountains and the surrounding.  I'm satisfied with the results.  I can now say that I have taken a photo of a full moon rising over a New Mexico mountain range.  Pretty cool stuff.  I am truly blessed!

Fall Reflections...

Travis Frank

Fall Reflections offer some of the best photo opportunities each year.  The cool nights bring the heat out of the water and if you are an early riser, you can catch the steam with your lens.  The other morning I snuck out to lake Minnetonka for an early morning outing.  I came around the corner to this beautiful scene.  I put the breaks on the boat and grabbed the camera for a picture perfect shot.  I just love when God blesses us with such incredible beauty!  This one is for him, I had nothing to do with how it all turned out!  I am blessed!

Praying Mantis

Travis Frank

When I think of Washington, the state, I think of mountains, trees and rain.  A recent trip out there revealed that I was way off in my prediction.  Dry desert conditions are the norm on the western side.  Exactly the habitat for this little creature.  It's called a Praying Mantis.  The cool thing about this little bugger is how they change their colors to match their surroundings.  Similar to a chameleon.  I didn't know this before, but I do now.  Accidentally, I stumbled on a cool photo op.  I hope you enjoy it!

Utah Flow...

Travis Frank

I was in the state of Utah a while back.  This picture sat in my folder for many weeks until I finally realized what I had.  Turns out the colors and the fast flow eventually grew on me.  I guess it's cool to go back and look at old photos.  Sometimes they are more than they seem.  I can vividly picture this mountain stream flowing rapidly down the steep mountainside.  The red rock cliffs that surrounded this watershed are eminent in the dirty water color.  I assure you that this was one of the cleanest streams in the US.  A memory that I will now be able to relive every time I look at this photo.  Pictures rock!

Sail Away...

Travis Frank

Sometimes a picture can jump out of nowhere.  The other day I was cruising across the lake and as I looked over my shoulder I saw the sun setting over the horizon.  This is an every day occurance, but just at that moment my view was blocked by a sailboat waiting for a gust of wind.  Realizing that this was one of those picture perfect moments, I hit the breaks on the Ranger and turned the boat back around.  Finding that perfect spot once again, I stopped for a few quick pictures.  Like so often, timing is everything.  The second I finished taking the picture, the clouds engulfed the glowing ball of sunshine, and the photo op was over.  Luckily, I was there just in the nick of time.  I hope you enjoy it!

Raging Waterfall...

Travis Frank

Normally this type of shot would require a tripod.  By adjusting the shutter speed, the camera can turn the rushing water into a smooth flow.  Any movement of the camera when the lens is open ends in a blurry image and worthless picture.  Shooting on the fly, I didn't have a tripod, so I was forced to improvise.  By placing the camera between a couple of large rocks, I did my best to hold steady for the "artisic shot."  Looking at it now, I am pretty impressed with the turnout.  This is my first attempt at the smooth look to flowing water, so I guess I can cross that off my list of pictures to gather.  Hope you like it!

Bassin' Jigs

Travis Frank

I like to find interesting still shots to capture the movements on the water.  This wasn't the largest bass in the world, but he sure attacked the bass jig.  Before the angler could unhook it I snuck in for a quick shot.  There is something cool about the colors of the jig and the largemouth bass that eat them.  I haven't quite put my finger on it, but when I fish bass on jigs, the bass always crush it and leave me with a feeling that I really tricked the big one into biting.  Nothing beats bass fishing with a bass jig!

Just Another Sunset...

Travis Frank

Just another ordinary sunset on the lake.  NOT!  It seems that no two sunrise or sunsets can ever be the same.  Fortunately, I am lucky enough to watch many of them.  The other evening I spent some time on the water and wouldn't you know, the sun brought out its magical colors once again.  It never gets old to see, which is why it never gets old for me to share.  Livin' in the land of 10,000 lakes is a blessing when you get to stop, think and enjoy the creations of our God given blessings.  Pretty cool stuff!

Minnesota Muskie Opener Sunrise...

Travis Frank

This picture is long overdue for me to chat about.  I took this shot on the opening day of the Minnesota muskie fishing season.  Joining me was Young Ben and we both put our fishing sticks away for a bit and jumped for the camera.  I've watched the sun rise thousands of times from the lake, but rarely have the colors shown such beauty.  I'm pretty sure there were thousands of hard-core muskie nuts that saw the same thing that morning, and I wouldn't be surprised if they softened their hearts long enough to take a photo too.  I swear if there weren't trees in the background, you wouldn't have been able to tell where the sky ended and the water began.  Simply spectacular.  Thank you God for sharing this wonderful prize with us early rising muskie dudes!