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Mike LaneIt's Really HOT at Night in Louisiana! - Frogging is a blast!
Category: Fishing - General
Date: 6/25/2004
Written By: Mike Lane - Louisiana Fishing and Hunting

It's Really HOT at Night Here in Southern Louisiana!
Frogging is a blast!
by Mike Lane

All you need is a sack, a multimillion candle power searchlight, a lease with freshwater ponds and a $14,000 mudboat... or

Hire an experienced frogging guide. Then all you have to do is bring an ice chest, some old clothes, a Louisiana fresh water fishing license and have a ball!

The two types of frogs that are widely available here in Southern Louisiana are Pigfrogs and Bullfrogs.

Pig Frogs (Rana catesbeiana) are generally 3-7" long, They are olive to grayish-green to dark brown, with numerous dark spots and distinct band on thighs, large eardrums, and fully webbed hind feet their belly cream coloerd, often with heavy mottling.

These frogs emit a short, explosive pig like grunt, from which it gets its common name. These frogs are nocturnal. The Pig Frog spends most of its time floating among water hyacinth, cattails, or emergent sedges.
It is territorial and feeds primarily on crawfish, but eats minnows, snakes, and smaller frogs

The North American Bullfrog (Rana grylio) is the largest frog in North America. they are commonly 5-15 inches long. The adult females average 10.7 inches and the males 9.2 inches. Green to yellow above with random mottling of darker gray. Large external eardrum; hind feet fully webbed except for last joint of longest toe. Belly cream to white, may be mottled with gray. These frogs are nocturnal. Less aquatic than the Pig Frog, it is usually found on the bank at water's edge. They prefers ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams large enough to avoid crowding and with sufficient vegetation to provide easy cover. Large bullfrogs have been known to catch and swallow small birds and young snakes; their usual diet includes insects, crawfish, other frogs, and minnows.

Frogs are in season in Southern Louisiana ever month except April and May. Now is a great time to get out and do it. It is not unusual to get 25 - 50 frogs in a few hours of frogging and it is fun. Everyone can do it kids and adults, girls and boys. Some people like to catch the frogs by hand. That's the way I like to do it, other people use a paddle to stun the frog and then just pick him from the water.

We have a person laying low on the front side of the boat, a person with a bright searchlight. The person driving the boat slowly glides up to the frog while the light person holds the light on the frog. The "catcher" lays very still and when the frog is less than a foot a way he/she reaches out with the speed of a cobra and grabs the frog. Many are caught and many get away. Lot's of laughter and screaming. You hear... "you missed another one"... "he's in the boat, don't let him get away"... "about six of them just got out of the sack, get them"!!!

What a way to spend a hot summer night, it really is a blast. You will see and hear hundreds of frogs and see (don't catch) probably 50 alligators. The fun does not stop when the trip is over. These frogs are some of the best eating any where.

Fried Frog Legs Recipe courtesy of http://www.cookinglouisiana.com
Fried Frog Legs is a very popular dish in South Louisiana. Oh I know "those poor little frogs", well.... "those poor little shrimp!" I've heard people say " try them, they taste like chicken", hey, they taste like frog legs to me.... whatever... This is a "tight crust" recipe so greasiness is at a minimum! This recipe will fry about 2 doz. small Frog Legs. Frog Leg preparation: Wash the legs, season them and keep them cool. That's it.

Wet mix

2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1 tbs. Creole Seasoning (your choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Put legs in wet mix. Mix it all up and marinade it for 30 or more minutes in the ice box.

Dry Mix

2 cups corn flour (see note 1) or fish fry, or just plain flour.
3/4 cup cornstarch (makes it stick better)
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp lemon and pepper seasoning

Don't hesitate to adjust any of the above to your liking...

Cooking: Dredge the legs in the dry mix and let sit a minute or so moving them around just a little. Using a paper bag works good for this too. Just drop the legs in and shake it up a few times. Use peanut oil, about 2" in the pan depending upon the pan depth. Heat to 365F (hot oil will burn you badly, be careful). Place legs in the oil a few at a time leaving at least a 1/2" space between pieces. Why? If you pack the pan with too much meat the oil cools too much and that equals soggy legs (not good). Stir them around every 10 seconds or so.

Timing: Cook them about 5 minutes. I watch the bubbling to judge the doneness, I don't time it. Let them fry until they bubble lightly. If they quit bubbling completely they're overcooked. With practice you can get each piece done perfectly. You cannot tell how done the legs are by the outer color, it's all in the bubbles!

Remove the legs and place on paper towels. Move them around so the grease is soaked up. Taste one once they're cooled a little to see if you need to add any seasoning. Transfer them to another pan with more paper towels and cover with paper towels.

Let the oil come back to 350F for the next batch! Remember, the oil cools as you cook. If you don't have a frying thermometer get one, guessing just don't get it! If the oil gets too hot turn the fire off, or lower, and let it cool to the right temperature. If the oil smokes you've probably ruined it. A thermometer prevents all of this trouble.

Note 1: I am lucky enough to be able to get corn flour from a wholesale distributor. A 20lb. sack costs about $5.00. You can also use a commercially sold fish fry mix which uses the same basic ingredients. It's mostly corn flour (read the ingredients), and comes seasoned and unseasoned. You can also mix corn meal and flour and that works okay too. Corn meal is coarser than corn flour, hence the name, "corn flour". Corn flour is pulverized corn meal.

Note 2: To keep the food warm put the oven on 200F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up about 15 minutes. Cover the legs with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or loosely with foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the legs will become soggy. If you leave the oven on they will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the legs will dry out anyway.

Warning: This is nothin' but good!

To Book a Trip:

Dandry's Duck Talk

Rene Dandry

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