By Team member Courtney Schnitzler
I remember spending my summer evenings as a child walking around the pond with a dollar store flashlight, a gig, and my buddy Molly.
When I visited my hometown on college breaks, I found myself doing the exact same thing at night.
Now that I’m married and living in a new town, I ask locals where good gigging spots are. They either A) look at me like I’m a crazy person because they’ve never considered doing that, or B) they tell me how long it’s been since they’ve gigged and say they wouldn’t have a clue where to go. Why is frog gigging becoming a lost art?
Bull frogs. Big ones!
Where to gig?
Frogs like mud, tall grass and still, murky water. If you want to find big bull frogs, look near ponds or lakes surrounded by grass. If you scare them, they’ll jump into the water and bury themselves in the mud a few feet from where they just sat. If there are rocks along the shallow edges of the pond or lake, they won’t have any mud to jump in, so you probably won’t find them in rocky water.
How to gig?
All you need is a flashlight and a long pole with a pronged end; however, this is something you really want a friend with you for. Typically, one person holds the flashlight and collects frogs while one does the gigging. Make sure your light is really bright, and can be focused in on a small zone. Shine the flashlight along the edge of the water/surrounding dirt ahead of you about 10 yards until you see a little yellowish-green reflective glow. Frogs eyes reflect light like other animals do. Once you’ve caught the glow in your flashlight, try to keep it as you walk quietly towards the frog. Extend the gig towards the frog, without breaking the beam of light (with yourself or the gig) and quickly stab it in the main body or head (you don’t want to mess up the leg meat).
Cleaning the frog
Frogs have tough skin but really loose bodies so it’s easiest to use scissors to cut right above the hips. Now, grab the skin at the hips with some pliers and the hip bone with your other hand and peel the skin down the legs, much like skinny jeans. Lastly, cut the feet off right above the webbed portion.
My favorite recipe:
I like to separate the legs, so they are easier to handle in the pan. I soak them in buttermilk or eggs while my oil is heating up, then I drop them into a powder mixture of: flour, corn meal, pepper, salt, garlic, and onion powder. If you want more of a Cajun style taste, add in some cayenne and paprika. I use just enough seasoning so I can smell it in my dry mix.
After I drop my frog legs into the dry mix, I set them on a plate for a few minutes to give the mix time to stick on good. I like to roll them in the dry mix one more time, in hopes of getting a little more mix to stick (because I love the crispy coating).
Fry until golden brown, drain on a paper towel, and enjoy!