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Frogs are a surprisingly good source of meat, specifically in their hind legs. But frogs can be tricky to catch.
Perhaps the easiest method of gathering frogs is to find a nice pond full of the little hoppy critters, and toss an explosive into the water.
Uh, that’s actually a really bad idea. Don’t do that.
Why don’t you try frog gigging?
Don’t know what that is? Read on to find out!
What is Frog Gigging?
Frog gigging is the venerable art of hunting frogs using a spear with multiple points.
People who gig frogs often don’t call it a spear though, it’s a gig pole. Otherwise you’d call it frog spearing, I guess.
You don’t have to use gig poles on frogs. They can be used to hunt fish as well.
The typical frog hunted this way is the bullfrog, as they are large and meaty.
The pole is often five to eight feet long, and has three to five points.
The length lets you stab at the frogs to get them before you spook them from being too close, and the multiple points increase your chances of actually hitting the frog with one of the tines.
If you use a net, that’s okay too, but it’s not frog gigging, it’s just frog…netting.
Frog gigging requires the use of a gig pole, less ye attract the wrath of frog gigging aficionados.
Next, we’ll learn how to frog gig.
How to Frog Gig
As far as hunting methods go, frog gigging is one of the simplest.
All you need is a gig pole, a location with frogs, and maybe a flashlight. A boat may be a good idea too.
If you want to catch more than one frog and are not skilled at juggling multiple frogs with one hand, bring some sort of container in which to hold the frogs.
I guess a good knife for preparing the frog after harvesting is a good idea too. Frogs don’t have the toughest skin, but good luck using your finger nails.
Typically, you want to venture on the hunt for frogs at night. You can do it during the day as well, but you’ll likely find fewer frogs.
Do you have a pond with frogs? Then visit it. Tromping around the water bank will lead you upon some of these tasty amphibians.
You can also use a boat to travel onto the pond itself. You’ll probably find more frogs this way, but sneaking up on them with a boat takes more skill.
Once you have the prey in your sights, hold the gig pole as if you were an ancient Roman javelin thrower ready to throw your spear at an enemy.
Sneak up on the frog. Get close. It’ll take a bit of practice to learn how close you can get before the frog tries to bound away, but that’s why you have a gig pole that’s many feet long.
Once you are close enough to be accurate, strike!
Hopefully you will have impaled the frog on your gig pole. Put it in a container then move on to the next!
If you’re gigging in the dark, a flashlight is helpful in several ways.
The light will not only help make hazards visible and thus keep you from falling into the water, but will also help with the hunting as frogs have a tendency to be transfixed by the light. This makes them easier targets.
You can buy a fancy, commercial frog gig. Or you can make your own. Read on to learn how!
How to Make Your Own DIY Frog Gig
We’ve talked about how to make a fishing spear before. You can use the same idea to make a simple frog gig pole.
The best wood for a gig pole is a hardwood sapling, about six to eight feet tall. Bamboo is also a great wood choice.
Trim off all of the branches. We want a straight pole with no pokey-outy bits.
Take your hefty survival knife (need some suggestions?) and split the thickest end, about six to eight inches deep. The deeper you go, the wider apart the tines will be.
Do this again at a perpendicular angle to the first split, so there are four ends.
Take two finger-thick twigs and stick them down the split in an X shaped pattern. They will force the tines apart.
Remove the bark and whittle down the ends so they become four points. If you’d like to, you can cut a shelf on the inside of each point to turn them into barbs. Barbed points will catch frogs better, but won’t be as strong if you hit a tree trunk instead of the froggy.
Lash the twigs to the pole. Paracord, shoelaces, paracord shoelaces, almost anything will work.
Trim the ends off of the twigs so they don’t stick out past the cordage, otherwise they may catch on underbrush or hit rocks!
That’s it! You have a simple four point gig pole.
Field and Stream also has a great guide on building a homemade frog gig pole if you have more materials (and tools) available: https://www.fieldandstream.com/how-to-make-ultimate-frog-gig
Now that you’ve got a frog gig pole, go out and get some frogs!
Frog Gigging Tips
- There may be laws which govern frog gigging in your jurisdiction! Make sure to know the laws which apply to you and follow them.
- Don’t practice catch-and-release frog gigging, even with a net. Frogs absorb chemicals from your hands through their skins, so they are more sensitive to being handled than fish. Releasing them after handling may just doom them to a slow death; only go frog gigging if you intend to harvest the frogs.
- Perhaps the best choice for a light is a headlamp, which allows you to use both hands to handle the gig pole.
- Potato sacks make great storage containers for caught frogs. Ice coolers are also a good idea. Some fishing regulations require a different container for each person, so keep that in mind.
- Keep the container wet, to keep the frogs moist until you are ready to process them.
- The easiest to see part of the frog is their eyes, since they reflect lots of light from the flashlight. Their light colored chests also catch light, too.
- Frog legs are not only the meatiest part of the frog, most people think they’re the only part worth eating. Try cooking them as if they were chicken legs (here’s a great recipe)!
- Gig poles also make a good weapon against snakes, especially water moccasins that try to get too close!
Go ahead and put that dynamite away, you now know how to catch frogs without blowing up the whole pond.
Stalking frogs then pouncing on them with a gig pole is fun and adds a new source of protein to your diet.
Plus, frogs take way less effort to hunt and process than deer.
After you go frog gigging, be sure to let us know how it went!