I have heard people say that kayak fishing is a new sport. They may be correct as far as the term “sport” goes. However, Native Americans were fishing out of various types of watercraft including kayaks, well before the white man even touched these shores. They were using them not for play, but to survive.
We launched the Native Watercraft line of boats after studying the various types of watercraft used by Native Americans, and have continued to utilize many of those features in our kayaks.
Being a lifelong resident of the American South, I am a student of the culture and spirituality of the southern tribes, especially the tribes that made their living from the waters. I've always had a particular interest in the Seminoles. Of all the Indian tribes of the US only the Florida Seminole can say, “We are the unconquered; we never surrendered; we signed no peace treaty.” To add to my interest in the Seminoles, my grandfather was named Osceola after a famed Seminole war leader who was seized while under a flag of truce.
If you have seen illustrations of Seminole life, you may have noticed that they preferred to stand in their dugouts and pole, or paddle with a long-handled paddle. I prefer to do the same. We designed the Native Watercraft Ultimate so you could stand up and paddle or pole, much like the Seminoles.
Seminole people sometimes had a spear or gig on one end of their push poles. I have applied the same concept to our poling paddle, a segmented push pole with a long narrow paddle blade on one end and a point on the other end.
Accessories can add multiple uses to the poling paddle. For example, a tee grip accessory enables you to: . Take the pole apart and put the tee grip on the half with the point to create a short stakeout pole . Put the tee grip on the half with the paddle blade to create a short single-bladed canoeing-type paddle . Put the tee grip on just the blade to have a really short paddle that you can use to position the kayak while you are fishing . Buy an extra paddle blade to make a long double-bladed paddle for stand up kayak-type paddling, or "striding."
I have a flounder gig head that screws into the pointed end of the pole so I can use it as a flounder gig for nighttime floundering. I have also rigged a frog gig that screws into the point of the paddle pole. I pole along in the back bays up in the delta with a special head light designed for gigging frogs. When I spot one, I pole up to it using the end of the pole with the paddle blade on it. When I am close enough, I use the end with the gig on it to gig the frog. I put it in a cooler with a mixture of ice and water that forms a cold slush so the frog goes dormant, almost immediately. It is a humane way of putting them to sleep, and they do not try to jump out of the box when you open it.
I went frog gigging with an old friend Pat Ogburn recently, and we realized that we had been gigging frogs together for over fifty years. When we were kids we would make a big to do over dividing our frogs up at the end of the night "one for me, one for you." I always ate mine right away, but Pat froze his and horded them like they were gold and going to increase in value. I will never forget that when my father died, Pat came over to my house and gave me all of his frog legs.
I have been hunting frogs since I was a child, first with poling skiffs and pirogues and later on airboats and Go Devils. I am now back to poling an Ultimate and enjoy listening to the quietness of the night.
Coco's Sautéed Frog Legs
Real Lemon® concentrate
2 sticks butter
Lots of black pepper
1. Soak frog legs in Real Lemon® concentrate for thirty (30) to forty (40) minutes.
2. Drain in a colander and toss to remove liquid.
3. In a bowl mix flour, salt, and black pepper (lots of black pepper!). Flour needs to turn gray. Roll frog legs in flour. 4. Put two sticks of real butter in a cast iron skillet.
5. Add floured frogs legs. Cook at medium heat on first side for approximately twenty (20) minutes, until brown. Turn and cook on second side for approximately ten (10) minutes, until brown. Remove from skillet.
6. Clean skillet and strain butter to re-use.
Article By: Jimbo Meador