I am so happy to be back after my leave of absence. I have missed visiting with you folks here in the Hernando Sun and boy have I got a lot to share with you over the next few weeks. Today though, I’d like to tell you about a fun way to earn yourself a mighty enjoyable meal. Frog Gigging!
I normally head to Silver Lake or elsewhere along the Withlacoochee, checking over grass matts and pad fields for them big old croakers. Normally, I’ll hunt them at night with a good light and I always have a buddy along to work the gig while I drive the boat or the other way around. It makes it easier and safer to work in pairs. One thing to remember is once you’ve got Mister Bullfrog in your light, don’t move your light’s beam around and keep the gig or your partner out of the light because once their shadow falls over him, he’ll be gone.
There’s a few different styles of gigs that we use, but I’m partial to a three pronged gig with six inch barbed spikes. I mount my gigs on a good stout pole and keep a few of them ready on the boat. On a good dark night, it normally only takes an hour or two to put enough croakers in the sack to fill a platter. Wallered around in a bowl of seasoned flour and deep fried, them legs will become a really welcome treat.
This month. In particular, I’m going to try to be out on the water with my favorite gigging buddy Ariel Harris, getting our teamwork in sync. She and I will be participating in the state Championship Frog Gigging Tournament on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes later next month. The competition is being hosted by the Osceola Airboat Association and all of the frogs will be prepared for a frog feast prepared for all participants at a later date. Sure, they have some fine awards for the tournament winners, but the real prize will be bragging rights; I mean who wouldn’t want the title of Frog Gigging Champion on their resume?
If you haven’t a boat to cruise the river banks in search of a frog leg feast, no worries; most ponds and small lakes in our county have a healthy population of bullfrogs. Walk the shoreline with your light and search banks and grass beds within reach of your gig pole. It’s not a difficult sport, just go slow and keep your light steady on them as you make your approach.
And by all means, play safe. Keep your gig heads well out in front of you and keep an eye out for snakes as you maneuver in the grass and weeds along the water’s edge!
If any of you would like to share a picture from your own adventures, or a story of your success on the hunt, feel free to reach out to me at Toby@HernandoSun.com. God bless and good hunting!