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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Troy Landry of SWAMP PEOPLE

Mike Vicic - March 31, 2011


Main photo credit: Zach Dilgard




Troy Landry, a fan favorite of History's SWAMP PEOPLE, took some time out of his busy fishing schedule to answer 21 questions in this exclusive interview with TV Tango. He gave us some scoop for the new season, mused about how his life has changed, and talks about wanting to fish with Regis and Kelly.


Season 2 of SWAMP PEOPLE premieres tonight at 9pm ET/PT on History.






TV Tango: You always say you want the simple life, but how has your personal life changed since SWAMP PEOPLE has been on TV?


Troy Landry: It's not too simple no more, bro'. They're pulling me in all directions. I'm enjoying it though. I like to make other people happy. I put other people before me.


I never expected this to happen. I figured fishermen would enjoy the show, but not so many people from so many different walks of life.


TV Tango: Do a lot of fans take trips to Pierre Part to look for you?


Troy Landry: Yes, sure. Just about everyday someone drives up to my house -- from East Coast to West -- at 8am to 8pm looking for me. It's all good. I enjoy meeting the people. Most of them just want to stop by for a picture or an autograph.


TV Tango: What can you tell me about your new house?


Troy Landry: It's in my backyard. I've been pulling cypress out of the swamp my whole life. Pulled the first one out when i was 16 or 17. I took the wood to the lumber yard, and they did it for nothing. I gave them half the lumber.


Nothing but wood inside. Not one single sheet of sheet rock. I really insulated it.

My wife begged me to buy my grandparents' home after they died. I'd have to gut it, rewire, reinsulate, and move it. But I knew I'd been collecting the wood my whole life for a new house.


TV Tango: What's the best feature of your new house?


Troy Landry: It's most of the wood I pulled out myself. It's a really good feeling to know that you built it with wood you pulled out of the swamp.



TV Tango: Did you buy any building materials from the store?


Troy Landry: Oh yeah, on the outside. I put on cement board and painted it. It's supposed to be good for 50 years. The inside is all wood. I put a tin roof on top. It's an old-time house.


TV Tango: After hunting Big Head for two years, you finally got him. And you got Loch Ness, too, in Season 1. Did you have your eyes set on any other large gators in Season 2?


Troy Landry: Yes, in Season 2, we caught some big gators again. We manage to catch some big ones every year. It takes 60-70 years for them to get reallly big. They come in and out of the swamp with the tide so there's always a big one.

We caught four or five big ones. We named them. [I told Troy I didn't want to know their names so he wasn't tempted to spoil parts of Season 2.]


We got one really big gator. He wasn't the longest, but he was the fattest. He weighed in the upper 900 lbs...almost 1000lbs. Where we caught the big one was at a gate. We'd been fishing there a few years, and my boys kept telling me, "Why you want to set lines here?" The big ones are so territorial. I told them to be patient. It took four or five years to get him. He had no scars from fighting with other gators because he was so big.


TV Tango: While hunting gators, have you ever been knocked out of the boat while trying to bring in a gator like Loch Ness?


Troy Landry: No, I've never been knocked out of the boat. I've had some close calls. I've almost been bit two or three times. We're in a hurry. You let your guard down.


TV Tango: Your boys don't seem to be as careful as you, have they been knocked out of the boat?


Troy Landry: I look out for them. You're right, they're not as careful as I am. They grew up with daddy having their back. They don't realize the danger as much as I do. Thank god I'm there looking out for them. For now, I've always had their back.


They just take it for granted because I'm there. As we get older, you realize the danger. When you're young, we all do stupid things. I guess my boys are all pretty young. they're going to learn the danger.

My oldest is 32. He is not much into hunting. He's got a good job. He hunts on the weekend and brings my two granddaughters.


My middle son, Jacob, is with me full-time.


My youngest son, Chase, is with me full-time also.


TV Tango: How long is gator season and when is it?


Troy Landry: It lasts a month in each zone. They overlap. The East zone opens August 25 and lasts four weeks. The West zone opens up the first week of September and last four weeks. I fish both zones.


TV Tango: During the rest of the year, what do you hunt and catch?


Troy Landry: Some frogging. Some catfish. I love to fish turtles. I love to eat turtles.


TV Tango: Will we see some of that in Season 2?


Troy Landry: With me, they're going to show a little frogging. I don't know what they're going to show with the other cast members. Maybe a little fishing.


We catch a lot of our own bait because the bait you buy is so expensive. It comes from the East Coast. We used to get bait from Florida to Maine for crawfishing, but now we compete with everybody for bait. We even compete with people at Sea World for bait. We used to pay 10-12 cents per pound. Now, because they eliminated commerical fishing in a lot of states, we have to pay up to 40 cents per pound.



What goes on on the East Coast and the West Coast affects us big time. Even though we live and work in the swamps, we need gas. We need bait. It's really expensive now. It's more epxensive for everything. it's getting harder to harder.


TV Tango: What did you do when you had bad hunting and fishing seasons?


Troy Landry: If there are no crawfish, we have to do other things. My whole life, except for maybe one or two years, where i had to work for somebody else for a few months, i lived off the land. Sometimes your money runs out if you have a couple of bad years in a row. But I've been very fortunate.



When the fish wasn't biting, a friend of mine has a construction company and I was a helper. I'm not afriad to have a shovel in my hands all day. I'd do anything.


The last couple of years the alligator market has been terrible. Thank god History Channel came along. I don't know....


A lot of the alligator skins are sold overseas for luxury items. The demand for aligator meat has been pretty good, but the price of the hides went from $40/ft to $12/ft after the overseas market crash. It's almost not worth killing a big gator. It's almost not worth it. You have to wait so long for them to get that big.

TV Tango: Will your boys keep up the family tradition?


Troy Landry: There will always be people out there. Even today there are weekend warriors who have jobs and fish on the weekend. Not too many people like ourselves who make a living doing. It's slowly changing. It's part of life. There's nothing you can do. My mom and dad started school and couldn't speak a word of English, only French. Now the kids don't speak any French. It's slowly fading away.

TV Tango: You tell the story of One Eye. Have you personally seen him? Has anybody in your family seen him?


Troy Landry: My dad has seen One Eye. I've never seen him. You hear noises when it's real quiet and you don't know what they are.

TV Tango: Do you have scary stories about any other creatures like One Eye?


Troy Landry: They got Bigfoot sightings in the swamp. They got screams at night. I think we have a few black panthers at night. Especially during mating season, I think that's what they hear. A big gator, when he's mating, let's out a roar, and people aren't used to that.


There are things out there that I've heard that I don't know. I'm not scared, but i wonder what it is.

I got really scared a few years ago when i got attacked by a black bear. I thought I was going to die, but I made it out OK.


But I'm not scared.


TV Tango: What's your favorite TV show?


Troy Landry: I like comedy. I love to watch comedy movies. I like old TV. I love to watch the History Channel because they show the old stuff. If I could go back to school I would learn about American History. I love to watch history shows about the old days.


I grew up listening to people talk about the old times. My parents didn't have electricity or power. They grew up with nothing. We grew up with radio and TV.


TV Tango: If you could have one TV star come out and hunt gators with you, who would you choose?


Troy Landry: [laughing] That's a good one. I don't know 'bro.


I heard that Kelly and Regis are big fans. Maybe I'd like to bring Kelly and Regis. Somebody told me that they love the show. They talk about it on their morning show.


I don't know who I'd like...

TV Tango: Since you like history so much, what historical figure would you like to fish with?


Troy Landry: I am fascinated by Native Americans.


My ancesters -- my grandpa -- lived on boats and picked moss. They sold moss to people who would come down once a month. Back in those days, if you bought a sofa, it was made of moss. They made a living outside of fishing. Native Americans had to live off the land just like my people.

I'd love to bring back Geronimo or Andrew Jackson. People who put us where we are. Lewis & Clark did what they did. if I could bring them back, I'd love to take them gator hunting. What they did was unreal.


We had French people before us -- and Spanish people.


I'm just a sucker for history.

TV Tango: If you had your own fishing show on TV, what would you call it?


Troy Landry: I don't know. I'm so glad for SWAMP PEOPLE. I hope it lasts a long time. We've been very fortunate.


TV Tango: Who's your favorite fisherman? Why?


Troy Landry: There's a friend of mine. All the old timers who fish for a living are fading away. I have a friend of mine from Morgan City right here. He's one of my favorite people that I look up to. He's been doing this way longer than I have. He's done very well for himself. His family was dirt poor and he did real well for himself.


TV Tango: Do people often compare you to Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter? Have you even been called the Cajun Steve Irwin?


Troy Landry: Oh yeah. The Steve Irwin of Louisiana. I used to love that show. I used to watch him all the time. You have to be careful. I'm sure one of these days we won't be so lucky and something might happen. If you mess with fire, someday you're goingg to get burned.

And in typical Troy fashion, he ended our interview with two simple questions for me, "Did you get everything you need? Are you happy?" As he said in the interview, he likes to make other people happy and put their interests before his.


So tonight, you should make Troy happy by making yourself happy -- watch SWAMP PEOPLE on History at 9pm ET/PT. And you can make him even happier if you watch this preview of Season 2: