I believe I was around 10 years old when I tried bullfrog hunting for the first time, an activity that’s known as frog gigging, bullfroggin’ or simply froggin’ depending on who you talk to. And I have to honestly say it’s one of the most entertaining and fun things to do during the summer time.
I know many consider woodchucks as their favorite small game animal on their summer hunting list, but that’s probably because they have never tried their hand at catching frogs. But I’m sure that will change quickly once they have experienced the hunt and find out how tasty frog legs really are. This type of hunting requires simple and inexpensive equipment.
All you need is a small headlamp, old shoes, a frog gig and a cooler to store the frogs in. Then, wait until it’s really dark out before heading out to a pond. Begin your hunt by getting in the water and wading along the shoreline while shining your light up on the bank and in the tall grasses near the edge and up ahead of you. That will reveal the frog’s presence as their eyes illuminate when light hits it, like a cat or deer.
Once you spot one, ease your way towards it and, when you close in, shine your light right into its eyes. This puts them in sort of a trance and allows you to get within striking distance. Be sure your aim is true with the gig as usually they only give you one chance.
If you think you’re really good, you can try grabbing them by hand. Make sure you are quick and firm with your grip as they can easily slip away due to their strong hind legs and slippery skin.
If you prefer to seek out frogs during daylight hours like I do, there’s a simple method that works well. It requires that you stalk along the shoreline with little movement. Scan the tall grass and cattails closely as you move until a frog is spotted.
Then, take your long rod with a worm wiggling on the hook and dangle it to one side of the frog. He’ll take notice and stare intently at it. Then you move it slowly, twitching it in front of his nose and he’ll quickly grab it and hook himself.
That’s when you hang on and swing him ashore quickly as a frog thrashing on the end of a long pole is like battling a largemouth bass. That’s what makes it my preference for catching them as they are so aggressive and easy to catch this way.
If this sounds interesting, head out to a local pond, swamp or beaver pond and locate some nice size bullfrogs and give it a try. Once you catch six or eight, you’ll have enough for a decent meal. It’s up to you as how you prepare them from one of the many recipes found online.
Some say they taste like fish, while others say it’s more like chicken. Rest assured, you’ll enjoy them and be back out in search of more soon as the season runs from July 1 thru Oct. 31.