Holy crap what a way to finish out gator hunting season in Louisiana!
The new blood of Ashley Che “Dead Eye” Jones teaming with Ronnie Adams was brilliant and he gave her a big ol’ hug of thanks at the end of their day after her secret Mississippi Magnolia Sauce brought all the gators to the yard, as they say.
But we are ahead of ourselves.
Rolling with the Punches is Swamp People’s episode this week, and it is aptly titled.
The final days are here for gator season, and Ronnie and Ashley Dead Eye Jones are pulling out all the stops.
So is Mr. Daniel and Big Tee.
In Franklin, Mr. Daniel is getting ready as Big Tee is riding with the old man. The two are in a self-described “monster frenzy” and heading to a hole that’s “money in the bank” according to Mr. Daniel.
He practically goes all the way into the water as he unsnags a line. But his reliable spot is turning out to be a bust. A swarm of willow flies is a clue and he says they are “ice cream” to fish. And fish are ice cream to gators – the bayou circle of life.
Mr. Daniel asks Tee to catch an Asian carp for bait. And boy, the carp hear the boat and do all the work, jumping in on their own, nearly smacking Tee who says: “Right now we using this little food chain we got going on as a secret weapon, not too many people know about this.”
Carp are not good eating fish according to fellow swamper Ronnie Adams. And that’s saying something when a Cajun hasn’t a recipe for a particular fish.
Over in Bayou Sorrel, Willie Edwards has one tag left and he’s saved it for his big nemesis, Ironside.
He treble hooks a junior and has to keep on his search. Willie estimates “old” Ironside is about 60 years-old.
He says: “Older a gator gets the smarter he gonna be…and he learns from his mistakes…he gonna get away from you every time.”
Willie treble hooks a stretch of the bayou he knows the beast to reside and starts whispering: “This alligator [is] smart he knows what he’s doing.”
Bullets do not penetrate this gator’s skin. Frustrated he couldn’t get a shot, he says: “That sonofabi*ch…” Ironside will live another day.
Psyche! No, he won’t!
Willie eventually got him WITH A PISTOL and had to use a winch to get him in the boat!
Over 12 feet and 800+ pounds, Ironside was so old he had no eyes. This happenstance was not explained, it just was a fact according to Willie.
Meanwhile, at Belle River, Ashley Dead Eye Jones has made gator juice and is dousing all their lines with it.
Mississippi Magnolia Sauce!
Ronnie dares to call it ‘crap” but she showed him. They catch a monster right out of the gate and Ronnie is loving that sauce now!
These two are racking up gators like fish in a barrel. They get 22 gators thanks to her sauce.
And in their neck of the swamp, Frenchy and Gee bring out Cinderella, a shallow water boat.
Last season, the duo struggled to load gators in Cinderella and Frenchy modified the boat and made a roller system for the big boys to get them in without capsizing.
Gee thinks it will solve their problem.
Then it’s game on and “Whoa Nelly” time as Frenchy taunts a gargantuan and nails him. This 8 footer is too small to test out the roller system.
The two close out the season with an 11-footer, their roller system needs some grease or oil, and Frenchy vows to tweak it some more.
The two follow their tradition and salt and pepper their catch as a blessing and thanks to the good Lord as Frenchy sheds a Cajun tear of sadness he “can’t shoot nothing no more” until it’s deer season…or someone wanders on his property.
In the end, the big man-hunters were bagged like mad this season.
However, the Asian carp situation (an invasive species) coupled with the depressed prices for gators means these reptiles are going to be exploding in the next few years…meaning more Swamp People to come.
And they better bring back Che Lau, aka Dead Eye… y’all know who I am talking about.
Swamp People airs Thursdays on History.