It is not often that one can claim to have gone on the bayou in an airboat with a television star. But Houma, Louisiana natives R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere of the History Channel’s "Swamp People" hope to change that with their new venture, Rising Sun Bowfishing and Swamp Tours.
For over 10 seasons, "Swamp People" has been one of the History Channel’s best known reality series, with seasons reaching over 4 million viewers. Since the show’s opening in 2010, numerous fans of the show have made their way down to the Houma area.
R.J. Molinere said the new swamp tour will allow more fans to get up close and personal with the bayou experience they see on the show.
"Being on the show, people want to meet you and talk with you and have us show them where we fish," Molinere said. "People want to go on an airboat ride, and we didn’t really have time. Now that the show has been on the air for 10 years now, things have settled down a little bit, and we have a little bit more time on our hands."
Though alligators feature prominently in the TV show, Molinere said he doesn’t want to deceive anyone by emphasizing them in the publicity for the swamp tours.
"I just call it an airboat tour," Molinere said. "You’re going to see alligators, but I don’t tell them we see alligators because if it’s cool and cloudy you might not see anything. I don’t tell them ‘I promise you you’re going to see a gator.’ "
The tours are scheduled for 60-90 minutes on the airboat, with occasional stops to allow for questions and for other information along the way. The main airboat holds up to 10 people with a backup craft that seats four.
And if those questions are in French, Molinere can still answer them, which he said is increasingly rare on the bayou.
"I speak the Houma Cajun French," Molinere said. "That opens the door for (French-speakers) to come down and do a swamp tour. I brought some Canadians out a couple of days ago, and they had a blast. We spoke French, we spoke English, we went back and forth, and we understood each other well. That’s a big plus."
For information, visit facebook.com/risingsunbowfishingtours.
Scott Yoshonis can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Foster_Cajun.