LITTLE ROCK – Winter’s last gasp may keep some frogs quiet during the night this week, but bullfrogs should be sounding off at night again soon, and frog-gigging fanatics will be back to chasing them on ponds and lakes throughout Arkansas. Bullfrog season opened April 15 and will run through Dec. 31.
It may not come with the fanfare of opening day of deer season, and no one’s ever joined a “gigging camp,” but the men and women willing to put forth some effort can be handsomely rewarded for their “legwork.”
In Arkansas, only bullfrogs may be harvested, and a valid fishing license is required. The limit is 18 frogs per day, measured from noon one day until noon the next day. Bullfrogs may not be sold except by fish farmers with a valid commercial bullfrog permit.
Frogs may be harvested with archery tackle (bows and crossbows), hook-and-line, gig or simply snatching them up by hand. By far the most popular method is to use a 10-foot long pole tipped with a barbed gig point or spring-loaded jaw. Wading along the shallows of a pond, scanning the surface of the water will reveal the glowing eyes of the frogs. Froggers will keep the light trained on their prey, dazzling them much like deer in the headlights, and slowly ease within range of the frog to take a quick stab at it. If their aim is true, the frogger needs to act quickly to pull the frog from the gig and place it in a cooler or mesh sack before it pulls itself loose. Mesh bags and wire fish baskets used by bream anglers come in very handy, as they don’t give the frogs an opportunity to escape like a cooler lid being opened.
If the pond is