As the sun settled down behind the horizon, not far from the DesPlaines River, we heard our first "Barooomp, baroomp" echoing across the lilypad laden backwaters. Before jumping out of the truck I ran through my checklist— bug spray, cooler, knife, flashlight, and gig. Gig? Yep, a long wooden pole with barbed spear forming a trident-like tool known as a frog gig. We weren't out for night fishing, but bullfrog hunting. I met up with my buddies Cody Kowalczyk and Nico Soave to try and put some of these tasty critters in our freezer. With the hot weather and slow fishing, what better way to still enjoy an evening in the outdoors.
Our method was pretty simple— we would wade along the banks shining our flashlights along the waters edge, spot the frog, ease in close, then stab em with the gig. Easier said than done. Downed underwater trees, logs, slime-covered rocks, biting insects and backwater muck all made this a little more than a stroll along the bank. In about two and a half hours, we had 19 frogs on the stringer. The legal limit is 8 frogs per person per night. Anyone who has tasted frog legs might agree that all this is worth it. Frog legs area a common delicacy in many fine restaurants.
Bullfrog hunting or "gigging" season in Illinois runs from June 15 through August 31, and you need a valid fishing license. Also, make sure you have permission before entering the land or water. It's also a good idea to go with a buddy or two.
For the full story and tips on frog gigging, visit DanStefOutdoors.com.