Bullfrog Season Opens April 15th

By Staff, 04/14/17 1:50 PM

LITTLE ROCK – April 15 isn’t just the time to do your taxes. It’s the kickoff of the most exciting summer pursuit in Arkansas bayous, the opening of bullfrog season. Bullfrogs can be found across Arkansas, but the heaviest concentrations usually are found along the many ponds, slow-moving streams and fish farms in the east half of the state. It may take some door-knocking and asking for permission, but some small, private ponds can prove worth the effort once you break out the gigging gear.

Some froggers don waders or rubber boots to ease along the banks as quietly as possible, but many slide silently along in an aluminum johnboat or kayak, using only a an electric trolling motor or a sculling paddle to get close to the easily spooked amphibians.

It’s possible to sneak up on a frog or two during the day, but the real action takes place at night, when spotlights and headlamps come into play. The reflective eyes of bullfrogs will shine brightly at the water’s edge, and the beam will daze the frog enough that a careful sneak can get you within arms reach. Then a fast stab with a gig or a quick grab of the hands will nab the frog before it gets away.

Experienced froggers know to scan the bushes along the banks before making an approach on a frog. Plenty of spiders set up shop along the shores edge to catch their prey, and the webs can be a pain. Snakes also climb into low-hanging branches of brush among the water’s edge. Many tales of men walking on the water on a frog-gigging trip began with a snake falling into the boat. While most water snakes are not venomous, it doesn’t make it any less frightening when one plops in the floor of the boat next to you.

Frog giggers are required to have a valid Arkansas fishing license. The limit of bullfrogs is 18 per day, which runs from noon to noon. Along with grabbing them by hand and gigging, frogs may be taken by hand-net, hook-and-line, spear or bow and arrow. Firearms and air guns may not be used.image

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