“Froggers” Ready to Leap After July 1

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Bill Schroter of LaCrosse filmed his daughter Adalie with a bullfrog she caught while fishing in early July.Bullfrog season a favorite pastime on hot summer nights

PRATT — Kansas summer temperatures frequently reach more than 100 degrees, and many Kansans prefer the comfort of air conditioning to the outdoors. Others, however, relish the freedom of summer nights, when shorts and a T-shirt are all that’s needed to cool off in the water and pursue their favorite quarry — the bullfrog.

These “froggers” can enjoy a season that runs July 1 through Oct. 31 although most frogging activity is in the hotter months of July and August. The daily creel limit is eight, with a possession limit of 24. A valid fishing license is required, and while bullfrogs may be taken on hook and line, most froggers use more primitive techniques. Firearms are not allowed, so bullfrog hunters usually employ a light, a sack, and old pair of tennis shoes. The only other necessary ingredient is access to a local pond or lake.

Frogs can be taken legally day or night by hand, dip net, gig, or bow and arrow, as well as by hook and line. The best method is to walk quietly through the water at night and shine a bright light along the bank until a pair of glowing eyes appear. Temporarily blinded by the light, frogs can usually be netted or grabbed by hand.

The fruits of this effort are not only fun times but good food. Frog legs are regarded as a delicacy and have a taste and texture resembling a mix between shrimp and fish. A popular way to cook them is to dip the legs in egg and then into a mixture of flour and corn meal, seasoning salt, and pepper. Then the legs are fried to a golden brown in about 1/2 inch of oil. This gourmet meal is a bonus to a great summer evening that both kids and adults will always remember.