A traditional method of fishing, or a particularly unethical way to treat animals, gigging is a form of spearfishing in shallow water, involving the fisherman sticking a 'gig' (a pole with several sharp prongs at the end) directly into his/her quarry:

  • frogs lying in wait for prey
  • fish lying still as camouflage, or trapped in a tide pool.
  • Salmon returned to the stream of their birth with more important things to do than evade fishermen.
                         / o  |/\_
                        / o      \\
                       /|         ||
                       |_.-        \\
                     .-'\\          ||
=====================---._______     \\  
                     `--._|_         ||
                         || `-       ||
                          \\         //
                           \\       //
                            -`-. .-'-

The gig pins the creature to the creek bed (the unfortunate flounder above has been rotated by 90 degrees).

Gigging is one of the oldest methods of fishing, practiced by humans all over the world from hunter-gatherer times well into prehistory. Gigging is amost never done as a means of recreational fishing; usually, the fishermen use their catch as a primary food source. Nevertheless, the practice is strictly regulated in the United States, usually illegal for game fish (such as salmon) and requiring some form of license for other creatures.