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Swamp Breakfast

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I’m just getting back from a short vacation in New Orleans to unwind a bit after 45 days of turkey hunting in a row. I’d been in the field so long, I was getting a bit ragged and had been pretty scarce around the homefront, so I promised Cheyenne that we could take a trip; And she chose New Orleans. Now I didn’t complain much, as I love the food and music and laid back lifestyle. But, while dining at one of the tiny market café’s in the city’s French Quarter, I discovered what may be my new favorite breakfast…. swamp beignets with gravy!

What it is, is the beignet is basically a fried French doughnut and these are stuffed with a seasoned mixture of boned out frog’s legs, sausage style, and covered in a white gravy. If you’ve ever been a fan of biscuits and gravy for breakfast, this is similar, yet so much more flavorful.
Well, now that I’m home, I want to perfect this new recipe. That means I have to sharpen my gigs, charge up my spotlights and load the boat; it’s time to go fetch myself a cooler full of frogs home. I’ll likely start out shining to spot them white bellies, along the banks of the Withlacoochee River and all along the edges of Silver Lake. The last time I was out there catfishing, I recall hearing a good man’s big croakers sounding off and I hope they’re still there.

The trick is to keep your light on him. Once you’ve spotted that big bullfrog, keep your light on him as you approach, either by trolling motor or sculling along with a paddle, until you can jab him with your gig. Now, lots of guys have preferences over which type or style of gig they use, with different numbers of tines. I’ve always used three or four prong gig heads with zero preference between them. Whatever was available is what has always suited me, but then, I’m no pro, just a fat guy who loves frog’s legs. And of course I have to mention bugs and safety. Thermacell and spray is your best defense. The cheap spray that’s at all the major retailers is plenty fine, so long as it has 40% DEET or better. It does a fine job with or without the Thermocell to ward off the swarms, but for the sake of my deckhand, I always bring both; She doesn’t like the mosquitoes. Safety? Yes, those tines are awfully sharp. Just keep the pointy ends towards the frogs, not each other.

And you really need to take a second to identify your target. Sounds silly at close range, to mistake a target, but more than once I’ve had my gigging partner gig a moccasin or water snake and swing it up to me to take off. Well, I’m not in any way a fan of having injured and angry snakes shoved in my face, I don’t care who’s on the other side of that gig pole!

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As always, if you have any comments, questions or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout out at [email protected]. God bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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