Beat summer heat, enjoy great table fare; go bullfrogging

PRATT -- In mid-July, Kansas temperatures may can reach 100 degrees in the shade, and the only comfortable place outside is in the water. But "in the water" doesn't necessarily mean in the swimming pool. To many Kansans, summertime means a time to cool off and peruse bullfrogs at night.

The frog season runs July 1 through Oct. 31, and the daily creel limit is eight, with a possession limit of 24. Although a valid fishing license is required, and bullfrogs can be taken on hook and line, most "froggers" use techniques more akin to hunting than fishing. Because firearms are not allowed, 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, most of the time frogs can be netted or grabbed easily.

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 fry the legs 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.