Frog gigging is the perfect family sport, and the means to procuring a fine meal.
There aren't many ways to have more fun this time of year than to gear up and head out for a family frog-gigging trip. Frog gigging for the whole family? You bet. It's great fun for everyone, it doesn't take a lot of gear, and the results can be cooked up in one of the finest meals around.
For gear, you will need a bright flashlight or two, a stringer or bag for your frogs, and a gig. I prefer a lightweight, telescoping aluminum handle with a needle-sharp, four- or five-pronged gig. Except for the gig, you probably have all of that already in your garage.
How to do it? Simply find a body of water that holds large bullfrogs, wait till it gets good and dark and the frogs start to call out, and go after them. The frogs should be tucked up near the bank, often under overhanging cover or in weeds or grass along the water's edge.
If the water is shallow enough, you can wade out and search back toward the bank for gigging-sized frogs. Water too deep to wade? Or critters living there you would rather not run into at night? Stay on the bank and move quietly to keep from spooking your quarry. Gigging from a small boat can also be an effective way to bag a limit.
When you see a large bullfrog, shine your light directly on it. Keeping a bright light in the frog's eyes will help keep it still until you can get into position. Move the gig to the frog and hover it until you are in position. Sharply jab the gig into the frog. If the water is shallow, pin the frog to the bottom and run your hand down the gig to grab it before lifting. If the water is deep, gig the frog and quickly lift it to the bank.
Transfer the frogs to a stringer or place them in a cloth bag or pillow case. Keep it closed tightly to prevent them from jumping out.
Take the family frog gigging, they will love it. All you need is a bright flashlight, a gig, and a bag or stringer for your frogs. Be prepared to get wet and muddy, the kids will say the wetter and muddier the better.
Look for mature bullfrogs with a heavy body. Search slowly and carefully, big frogs didn't get that way by hanging out in the open. Look for them under cover or tucked into pond weeds or grass.
Photo credit Angel Dibilio
If the water is too deep to wade, move slowly and quietly along the bank while searching the water's edge for big bullfrogs. The more eyes the better, even large bullfrogs can be hard to spot.
Step one in cleaning a frog is to use a sharp knife to remove the hind legs. Simply cut just above the pelvis to remove both legs in one piece.
Work the skin loose from the legs and start to strip it down toward the feet. A pair of pliers helps to grip the slippery skin.
You can leave the feet on the legs and strip the skin all the way down or cut the feet off before skinning. Your choice. I like the crispy, crunchy texture of the feet when fried. Sort of like frog-flavored potato chips.
Once the legs are skinned, rinse well under clean water. Vacuum seal or place the legs in a freezer zip-style bag then freeze for storage.