How to Catch a Frog

Three Parts:Choose and Scout LocationThe Net TechniqueCatching Your Frog

Frogs are fascinating creatures, and catching them can be a lot of fun. Most are completely harmless, but even give experienced frog-hunters a challenge. Here are simple steps to help you become a skilled frog catcher.

Part 1
Choose and Scout Location

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    Generally frogs are found in ponds or swamps, but can often be found in any location near clean water without a lot of current. Muddy spots or logs in the sun are great places to see frogs. Reedy banks with shallow water also play host to quite a few frogs.
    • If you hear splashes when you approach a body of water, it is likely to be frogs. Try to move as quietly as possible without disturbing any reeds, branches or the like around you.
    • Frogs learn to be afraid of humans. If an area of frogs get a lot of people trying to catch them, they will be very shy and elusive. It may be worth finding an area that may have frogs not used to chasing them. They will still jump away--they aren't stupid--but will be easier to catch.

Part 2
The Net Technique

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    Using a simple net is generally the easiest way to catch a frog.
    • Choose a small mesh net which can handle your quarry. The holes in the net should be small enough that even the tiniest frog would not be able to fit his head through them. Nets with large holes (such as those used in fishing) can allow frogs to stick their heads or legs through, which in turn can injure the frog. Butterfly nets are typically too flimsy to be of much use.
    • The mouth of the net should be round and large enough to entirely cover a frog. The mouth can be flexible, as flexibility will allow you to pursue a frog around a rock or under a log.
    • The rod should fit your body size, or can be a little longer than you think is normal. Extra long rods, such as those used for most butterfly nets, are generally a little long for catching frogs. Shorter rods are easier to wield.
    • If you're catching a frog at night, try spotlighting. Shine a bright light at a frog or toad in the middle of the night. The frog will act like a deer caught in headlights, making it easier for you to catch it.
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    Position yourself once you find a frog. The way you position yourself depends on the type of terrain your frog is located in. If it is on flat ground, you will want to position yourself so that you can bring your net down directly on top of the frog, making sure that it is firmly on the ground with no holes under the mouth of the net. This is the best way to catch a frog—if you are a beginner you should attempt to find frogs that are on flat ground.
    • If your frog is in the water, you will want to position yourself so that you can scoop the net up and under the frog.
    • If you are using your hands, you will want to position yourself so that you are behind the frog. Frogs have a relatively good range of vision but cannot really turn their heads to look behind. Because you will need a bit of extra time to sneak up on them when just using your hands, being behind them is the best position for you.

Part 3
Catching Your Frog

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    Capture your frog. The way you do this also depends on where your frog is sitting. If your frog is on the ground, you will have placed your net over the frog. If your frog was in the water, you will have swooped the net under the frog and up.
    • On the ground: Now that you have placed your net over the frog, you will want to reach your hand down and place your hands gently around the frog’s back and legs. Your hand should be placed so that you hold onto the frog’s hips, with the frog’s legs pointing straight out behind it. You can then lift the frog up so that is cradled in the netting and your hand.
    • In the water: Now that your frog is down at the bottom of the net, it will most likely want to jump out. Either transfer the frog directly to a bucket, or gently hold the frog by its hips, so that its legs are pointing straight out behind it.
    • If you are using your hands: Slowly and quietly lower your hand until you are close enough to gently grab the hips and back legs of the frogs. Do not squeeze too hard, even if you are excited, because this can really hurt your frog.
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    Transfer the frog to your other hand or a bucket. Get the frog out of the net by gently transferring it to your other hand or placing it in a bucket. If you transfer it to your other hand, hold the frog in the same way, by holding its hips so that its legs are straight out. Allow it to rest its forearms and fingers on your other hand. Holding it this way will ensure that it does not jump out of your grasp and hurt itself in the process.
    • If you transfer the frog to a bucket, make sure that the bucket has high enough walls that the frog will not be able to jump out. You should also make sure to put a little water in the bucket, as well as some mud and a few reeds. Doing this will make this whole ordeal a little easier for the frog, who is most likely rather scared and confused. If you keep him in the bucket for a while, you may consider placing a breathable covering (a top with holes or a mesh screen) across the top, just in case your frog gets bold and tries to escape. Be sure the lid is very secure; a determined frog can often jump higher than you would think!
    • If you decide you want to keep your frog, you should already have a tank set up waiting for him back at your house. Learn how to properly care for your frog here.


  • While not lethally dangerous, the skin secretions on many other species of toads (including the ordinary brown Common Toad) can cause skin rashes in sensitive people and can irritate cuts. Handle with care, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • If a frog does not jump immediately away, do not be too concerned or assume he "likes you". He is mostly likely just dazed from all the excitement of being caught and will eventually carry on his way.
  • Frogs and toads will urinate when frightened. Urine may stain clothes and skin.
  • Many frogs and toads, particularly rare species, are protected by law. Catching them may be illegal in some areas. Check local regulations first.
  • If a frog jumps do not drop the net and run, it will hurt the frog.
  • If leaving the frog in a bucket, don't overdue the amount of water.
  • Make a little noise as possible.
  • If the sun is shining on you, try not to let your shadow fall over the frog (it might be hard to) because it can scare the frog and it might jump away.
  • Be quiet while catching them so you don't scare them away.
  • Don't freak out if a frog jumps on you! They're just afraid of you.
  • If frogs hop away from you, don't chase them, because that will make it harder to catch them.
  • Try to hold the frog by under its arms, not by its legs.


  • If possible, do not use insect repellent or sunscreen on your hands. Frogs are extremely sensitive to chemicals. While lotions, repellents, and other substances won't typically harm frogs, it is kinder to avoid it.
  • Some species in tropical regions (called 'arrow-poison frogs') have extremely toxic secretions of fast-acting nerve poison on their skin. Handling these species can kill you. Arrow-poison frogs usually have very conspicuous warning coloration patterns in bright red, orange or yellow - if you find one of these, do not touch it!
  • In general, frogs do not make good long-term pets. Most are not easy to care for: they require special feeding, they are extremely sensitive and delicate, require a lot of water filtration, and are not recommended except for experienced pet owners familiar with their needs and willing to put in the effort long-term.
  • Don't hurt the frog. When putting the frog in the bucket at the end, if you're keeping it for a short time, put the frog in a tank and make sure to take it back to its home later. Do not lift the frog in your hands high above the ground. If you don't hold it carefully enough, it may jump out and seriously harm itself.

Things You'll Need

  • A net
  • An identification guide
  • A pail/bucket
  • A frog habitat (if you plan on keeping the frog short-term only ; not recommended long-term)

Article Info

Categories: Frogs