Dropshots Key Last Year
CFT’s Frost Could Be Hot This Season
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Simon Frost of St. Catharines, Ontario is emerging as one of the hottest anglers in Canada. He’s come up through the ranks, and after an up-and-down 2004, he’s ready to tackle the Canadian Fishing Tour’s (CFT) pro-am format this year.
In the mid-1990s, Frost joined a local Bassmaster club and began fishing competitively. But it wasn’t until the late ’90s that he began getting serious.
In 1998, he entered a major tournament, his first, run by Niagara County, N.Y. Competitors fished Lake Erie on day 1 and moved to Lake Ontario on day 2. Not only did Frost win that inaugural event by more than 4 pounds, it helped springboard his confidence and instilled pro fishing aspirations that would soon see him recognized as one of Canada’s top Great Lakes smallmouth experts.
In 1999, he entered several major Canadian bass tournaments, including the Canadian Open out of Port Colborne. Despite fishing from a 16-foot aluminum boat, he came in 11th.
A year later, still fishing out of that boat, he won the same prestigious pro-am event. His winnings included a fully-loaded Triton TR20 with a 200 hp motor and $5,000 cash.
When asked what it was like to fish out of that smaller rig for several years, Frost said, Patience is one thing you really need due to the simple fact that you can’t run as much or as fast as you’d like. Decisions you make during a tournament are always crucial regardless of what type of boat you have, but if you’re stuck in a16-footer with a 75 hp tiller outboard, you better be darned sure of your moves before you make them.
He added: “Running a slower boat never bothered me because my mindset was simple: It doesn’t matter how fast your boat goes, it’s what’s in the livewell that counts. A lot of fishermen with smaller boats are intimidated by anglers with larger rigs, but they shouldn’t be. The boat doesn’t catch the fish, you do.”
2004 In Review
Still fishing in the prize boat he won in 2000, Frost had an up and down year last year. Early in the season he fished with his wife Melanie, and they won four U.S.-based tournaments run by the New York BASS Federation and two run by the state of New York.
Like many avid Canadian bass anglers who live near the border lakes like Erie and St. Clair, Frost enjoys getting a head start on his tournament skills by crossing over to the U.S. side of these lakes where bass season opens earlier than in his native province of Ontario (last Saturday in June).
The first CFT tournament of the year was the CFT Canadian Open Pro-Am on St. Clair. Frost had to pull out due to mechanical problems that seemed to plague him throughout the CFT circuit.
But it wasn’t an awful year. He ended up placing 37th on the Ottawa River, 19th at the Lake Ontario event out of Kingston, 27th at Lake Nipissing in North Bay and 11th on Lake Erie.
“Even with the mechanical challenges we had all season, we still ended up making the CFT Classic thanks mostly to my tournament partner, Claude Desrochers, who held our team together,” Frost said. “That Classic on Simcoe was one that I was really looking forward to as normally I love fishing that great smallie lake. Unfortunately, those finicky bass just didn’t cooperate at all for me that weekend and I ended up a disappointing 31st overall.”
Several top Canadian pros such as Frost also fish the one-day CFT series. Frost fishes it with Melanie. Last year they started the season with a 6th on Lake Ontario’s Bay of Quinte.
Next up was Rice Lake, one of the great multi-species Kawartha Lakes northeast of Toronto. Here husband and wife won the event with an 18.66-pound bag of smallmouths. They caught these by fishing Shuberts tubes on 10-pound test with 1/16-ounce jigheads on transition areas, and dropshotting weed edges with the Poor Boys Erie Darter.
The final two one-day events weren’t as great – a 26th on Sturgeon Lake, and a 31st at the One Day Championship on Sparrow Lake.
The 2004 CFT season wrapped up for Frost when he competed in the first Ontario Place CFT Pro-Am held out of downtown Toronto in late September. Here, Frost and most of the other anglers fished urban waters that overlooked downtown’s famous waterfront for the first time.
In prefish, Frost was impressed with the potential of the largely untapped bass fishery. “During the early days of prefish, 20-plus pounds were possible every day,” he said. “But, due to a freakish warm front that saw temperatures over the 80-degree mark just before the event, fishing began to really slow down as the week went on.
“The warm spell put a halt on the smallmouths’ traditional fall feeding frenzy, and come tournament time, weights of as little as 12 pounds were even hard to come by.”
Somehow, though, he managed to pull off a 4th-place finish with a 2-day total of 39.2 pounds.
And with this showing, he pre-qualified the 2005 CFT Classic out of Kingston on Lake Ontario.
Looking Ahead to 2005
Like all of CFT anglers, Frost is looking forward to the all new CFT pro-am format.
“I think this year will be very exciting for all the anglers that take part in this new series,” he said. “For the pro, it will give us an opportunity not only to compete against the best Canadian anglers but also against top anglers from the U.S. The amateurs who compete can look forward to the prospect of learning something different each day from a new partner.”
- Frost has qualified for the past five CFT Classics and over the years has accumulated over 30 Top 10 finishes in the CFT and other Canadian and U.S circuits.
- One technique which stood out for Frost throughout 2004 out was dropshotting. “Whether you were in 3 feet of water on Rice Lake or 53 feet in Lake Erie, the dropshot was one very hot presentation last summer,” he noted.
- He said the highlight of the 2004 season was being able to take his youngest son Tyler with him as a prefishing partner.
- Frost has ambitions to compete in more U.S.-based trails, including the Bassmaster Opens, and really enjoys competition south of the border. “Competing in the U.S is always a thrill. The different kinds of water, structure and patterns make it completely different from most of the bass fishing we have here in Canada.”
- Although he’s become an expert at catching deepwater smallies from clear lakes like Erie and Ontario, his true love is casting crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs for smallmouths in hallow water. Weak points are precise flipping and pitching for largemouth bass.
- Asked what it’s like fishing the one-day circuit with his wife, Frost said: “Fishing the tournaments with my wife Melanie is always a thrill, and we work very well together.”
- During the off-season, when Frost isn’t working at his own environmental pollution maintenance company, he spends most of his spare time with his family. They enjoy ice-fishing for perch and crappies, and even fishing the Niagara River for steelhead.
- His sponsors include Schubert’s Pro Lures, St. Croix, Set the Hook, Bay City Marine, Fishing World Picasso Spinnerbaits, Bass Pro Shops and Evinrude Outboards.