In Pursuit of Jumpin' Jack Splash
a little slack. In both species, the deeper the voice, the bigger the frog.
Do you need a boat? That depends. Wading works fine in shallow water, which describes most frogging spots. On the other hand, steep banks or edges overhung with vegetation can be unapproachable without a boat. In general, less boat is better, because stealth is important when trying to get close enough to bag a frog.
Methods and Gear
Frogging is unlike most other legitimate forms of hunting in that using an artificial light is not merely legal, it’s indispensable. Frogs have excellent night vision, and because they are on the menu for lots of predators besides humans, they must be wary and fast on their webbed feet. Consequently, you stand little chance of getting the drop on one unless you shine a light in its eyes.
Brightness and portability are the two most important characteristics for a frogging light. I prefer a hand-held spotlight with a rechargeable battery. Headlamps and ordinary flashlights are better than nothing, but they often are not bright enough to prevent frogs from seeing you. Frogging often requires two hands, so working with a partner is advisable. One of you can handle the light while the other stalks the frog. A third person is handy if you use a boat.
No other game animal permits so wide a range of legal methods of take. You can even take your pick of whether to pursue frogs with a hunting or fishing permit.
A hunting permit allows you to use .22-cal. or smaller rimfire rifle or pistol, pellet gun, bow, crossbow, atlatl, hand net or your bare hands. With a fishing permit, you can take frogs by hand, hand net, atlatl, gig, bow, trotline, throw line, limb line, bank line, jug line, snaring, grabbing (what most people call “snagging”) or pole and line.
Firearms demand least in terms of stealth. Rimfire pistols or rifles can be used safely only if you limit yourself to shooting straight down. Using a pellet gun vastly reduces the risk of errant shots due to ricochet.
I don’t like using firearms, because I always lose some frogs that leap into the water when shot. Using hollow-point bullets helps but does not eliminate this problem altogether.
I have tried most of the legal methods and settled on two as most satisfactory. I like taking frogs by hand because of the