Gigging

Gigging

[gig]
For associated uses of the word, see Gig
Gigging, not to be confused with jigging, is an American South and Midwest practice of hunting flounder or frogs with a gig, or three pronged spear. The gig is a long (typically 8 to 14 foot) pole which has been tipped with a spear, usually with three barbed tines like a trident. Four-tined spears are also used.

Flounder gigging

Flounder or flatfish lie at the bottom of shallow waters waiting for shrimp or minnows to swim nearby. Flounder gigging can be done in daylight, but is often more successful done at night using powerful lights. This method targets nocturnally foraging fish. The light is used to blind the fish temporarily. Traditionally hollow bamboo poles filled with coal were used, and later the light was a petromax. This method is effective in shallow, clear water where fish are easily observable from the top. The temporarily blind fish are speared with the gig, or sometimes can be collected by hand. During fishing events, an experienced person holds as petromax in the hand and point out fish for other people to collect.

Flounder boats

Flounder gigging can be done by wading stealthily in shallow water, but it is usually done from a flounder boat. A flounder boat is specifically designed for gigging flounder. It typically has a flat, wide bottom to provide a stable platform and the ability to negotiate shallow waters. Flounder vessels are navigated with a push-pole along the banks and flats where flounder may be lying. An electrical generator powers light arrays for viewing these flat fish.

Frog gigging

Frog gigging is often done with a four-tined spear. Four-tined spears are quite good for frog gigging, as they are normally heavier and less likely to break, and also wider, giving the frog hunter more room for error when thrusting the spear-tipped gig through the frog.

Flashlights are usually used to locate the frogs by the reflection of light from their eyes. This technique seems to stun or daze the frogs, and it definitely makes it less likely for the frog to see an approaching hunter, or the incoming gig itself. A fishing license is required in some jurisdictions. and frog gigging regulations are usually found in each state's hunting and fishing regulations.

Although capturing frogs with a net or clasp pole may be referred to as frog gigging by some, this is incorrect, as a gig is not being used. Handling frogs with the objective of releasing them may harm the creature because chemicals can easily be absorbed through their skin.

  • Frog legs are often cooked deep fried or sautéed. The hind legs can contain as much meat as the legs of a medium-sized chicken. Traditionally they are breaded with a mixture of egg and bread or cracker crumbs. Frog legs, often imported from the Orient, are available at many restaurants or stores, particularly in the Southern United States.
  • The country music duo Big & Rich mentioned frog gigging in their song "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)". The band Alabama sang about it in Red River.
  • One of the most popular Texas A&M yells is "Gig 'em Aggies!" and was created in preparation for a football game against the TCU Horned Frogs.

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