I’m happy to get out even once a year to gig bullfrogs given the difficulty I’ve found in finding good gigging spots. Many ponds have bullfrogs—few have bullfrogs worth actually gigging. Yes, the sport is fun but man are the legs good on these suckers. My goal this year was to hit my newly found hotspot and gig a limit for an upcoming family cookout.
In years past I’ve gigged frogs either by walking pond edges, in old jon boats, and even in a pair of waders. This year I had access to a small one man kayak and decided that I’d give that a try. Not knowing whether or not it would work as I intended, I also brought along some waders. I got lucky, with a July summer night in the 60’s. It was a clear and cool night—perfect for spending time out on a country pond on a Friday night. As I slipped the kayak into the pond, I was excited about the new opportunity.
This night, I was geared up with a bright head lamp light, a 4 prong Florida style gigger, a 5 foot pole, and a game bird bag (the kind with magnetic closers). The kayak was a sit in and I laid the game bag over the bow along with the gig. The double sided paddle worked great and I was able to sneak quietly into the shore even with a good amount of shallow water and old trees/stickups near the shore. After the first big bullfrog was in the bag I knew that this new way of taking them was going to work perfectly. I decided to just circle the entire pond and size up the frogs to ensure I was taking only the biggest (presumably oldest) frogs on the pond. I quickly realized that this pond had some incredibly big frogs for the taking and got to work to fill my 8 frog limit. I took my time and chose only the biggest frogs (which I later learned were 75% females full of eggs. In hindsight and looking to the future, I’ll probably pass on the frogs that are absolutely huge as many of these were. They were all full of bullfrog tadpoles and crawdads this night.
After filling my limit I spent a good hour just cruising the pond in the dark and admiring the stars in the sky and the quiet, occasionally spooking a roosted wood ducks as I slipped quietly through the water. This was perhaps the most enjoyable gigging trip I’ve ever had and I fully plan on revisiting it again in the future. Perhaps soon my youngest will join me on another kayak for a night in the dark on the pond. What a great experience.
The pictures I took were not great but they will give you an idea of just how big these “trophy” bullfrogs really were. The fillet knife is 9 inches for scale. . . give this a try the next time you decide to go gigging.