‘Swamp People’ meet with fans
Published 11:20 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Approximately 200 people got to meet the stars of the popular cable television show ‘Swamp People’ at the Bainbridge Country Club this past Friday evening.
Father and son gator-catching duo, Troy and Jacob Landry, were the special guests at a family fish fry hosted at the country club. They took the time to greet and chat with young and old alike, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
The country club used proceeds from the event to help fund capital improvements to the club in the future, said Zack Parsons, one of the club’s board members.
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“How y’all doin’, buddy?” said Troy Landry, who speaks with a thick Cajun accent, to his young fans as they approached a table where he and his son were sitting.
The elder Landry happily obliged fan requests to rattle off some of the catchphrases that the “Swamp People” cast members like to say as they get close to an alligator: “Dat’s a tree-shaka!,” “Alligator jambalaya!,” “Looks like a crime scene here, boys…,” and of course, “Choot ‘em, Jacob, choot ‘em!”
The Landrys signed glossy photos made available to attendees of the fish fry, as well as t-shirts, hats and other memorablia, including a bobblehead doll brought out by a young fan.
The Landrys also posed for pictures with fans and took a few shots next to an alligator that set a Georgia record for its length of 13 feet, nine inches. Randy Hand of Decatur County caught the alligator on Lake Seminole in September 2010.
“That alligator is probably about 70-80 years old,” Troy Landry said. “The ‘knuckles’ on his back are smooth and he doesn’t have any teeth. You usually don’t see any that big unless you’re hunting in a new area that hasn’t been hunted that much.”
The Landrys have been in commercial fishing for 20 years and focus on their seafood business for about seven to eight months of the year, when filming for The History Channel’s “Swamp People” is not active. In addition to catching alligators, the Landrys also harvest crawfish, a freshwater crustacean, and distribute them to restaurants and stores.
“Swamp People” is the most popular show ever aired on The History Channel and an estimated 5.5 million people view each week’s new episode.
“We never thought the show would be as popular as it is,” Jacob Landry said. “We figured hunters would get into it, but when you go to some of our larger appearances, there might be several thousand people waiting to meet us and 70 to 80 percent are women and children.”
“Swamp People” is currently airing its fourth season on The History Channel on Thursday nights; filming of the fifth season recently started.
“Each season is different, both in what we focus on hunting and who gets featured on the show in addition to our family,” said Jacob Landry, who has two other brothers who help with the family business. “There’s so many different factors in what happens because our business is dependent on Mother Nature.”
“Last year, a hurricane came to Louisiana a week before gator season was to start and we had to postpone our hunting because the gators were getting full off dead fish and wouldn’t go after our bait.”
Jacob Landry said he encourages hunters to have fun if they go gator hunting, but to remember that safety comes first.
“You have to remember to respect the alligator,” he said. “Luckily, we’ve never been bitten, but that chance is always there that could happen.”