Bullfrogs: big, green, bellowing creatures of the pond. They’re a common sight in Kansas, and more so a common sound at night. A bullfrog’s call seems to say “summer is here,”
and what better way to celebrate the season than to catch these water-loving acrobats with friends and family. The Kansas bullfrog season will be open from July 1-October 31. The daily limit of bullfrogs is eight and the possession limit is 24.
Frogging is a great way to cool off after a hot summer day, but first you need to locate a good waterhole. You can do this by listening for bullfrog croaks during the evenings. The more you hear, the better it will be. Next, you’ll need some simple gear. A burlap sack or fish basket to hold your frogs, old tennis shoes for wading, a quick pair of hands, and a flashlight or headlamp. Lastly, you’ll need a fishing license, unless exempt by law. That’s it, you’re ready to catch frogs. You can stick to using your hands (it’s the most fun), or you can opt for other legal methods such as hook and line, dip net, gig, or bow and crossbow (a line must attach the bow to the arrow and the arrow must have a barbed head).
While frogs can be caught during the day, most frogging is done at night. Stealth is required because whichever method you select, you must get close. Frogs’ eyes shine in a flashlight beam and the light seems to freeze them in place. However, your approach still needs to be slow and careful. Heavy footfalls on shore or ripples in the water will send the frog hopping, light or no light.
The ultimate challenge is to catch the frog by hand, which requires a low, quiet approach from behind, then a lightning snatch. Aim to grab the frog mid-body, just in front of the rear legs. It’s good fun, especially for kids; staying up past bedtime, wading in the shallows and getting really muddy on a warm summer night – it’s a 12-year-old’s dream!
Apart from providing some summertime fun, frog legs are wonderful table fare. Try yours dipped in batter and fried. After all, eating them is the next best thing to catching them.