Breaking last year’s records, Rodney Curry and Steven Matherne took first for heaviest catch and the largest bullfrog caught in Fisherman Wharf’s second annual frogging tournament.
Weighing in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces, the two caught the five frogs weighing the most, up from last year’s 5 pounds, 4 ounces. This year’s biggest frog came in at 1 pound, eight ounces, up from last year’s winning 1 pound, 3 ounces.
“We loved it,” Curry said of winning. “It’s good that we finally knew we won. At the last hour or so, when the boats are still coming in, you worry they’ll beat you.”
But they didn’t beat this twosome.
Frogging on Friday (June 7) night for the next day’s weigh-in became an adventure for Curry and Matherne in St. John the Baptist Parish.
“We had a big alligator garfish, close to five feet, jump into the boat,” Curry said. “It thrashed around on the bottom.”
Matherne added, “We brought it home, too … just like the frogs.”
Curry said the biggest bullfrog was caught in St. John Parish.
“We were just going down the canal and shining with the light – and there he was behind the tree,” he said.
The two, who are experienced froggers, knew where to find prime their big catches. The Fisherman Wharf tournament allows hunting them anywhere as long as it’s a public waterway.
“I love to frog and fish,” Curry said.
But he doesn’t like eating frogs so whoever is with him on the hunt gets the catch and that’s usually Matherne and his brother.
Curry’s frogging tip is when grabbing frogs beware it’s not a small alligator because from the side the two tend to look alike in the water. In the light, an alligator’s eyes reflect red.
For Matherne, he agreed to go frogging on his brother’s urging and it turned out to be something he really enjoyed.
“It’s was kind of exciting,” he said of winning the tournament. “I’ll be here next year. I just hope it will be more kid friendly.”
His seven-year-old son, Tayton, wanted to join the group and he did. This was their first time weighing frogs, which they don’t typically do on their frog hunts, and it was fun seeing they’d caught the winning 6.6 pounds of frogs.
At the weigh-in at the wharf, there was suspense.
“I didn’t know actually who won because I know those guys have air boats and can go to areas where no one has ever hit before so it was kind of iffy,” Matherne said. “But we know there’s bigger frogs out there.”
- First-place winners Rodney Curry of Luling and Steven Matherne of Paradis (pictured right) with five frogs weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. They also won the biggest frog category at 1 pound, eight ounces. They won $200 and a frog cage, and won $130 for the “lunker” or largest frog.
- Second-place winner Ken and Jacob Breaux won $175 prize, a Yeti cup and $10 off a bullfrog pen case for having the second biggest catch of five frogs at 5 pounds, 12 ounces.
- Third-place winners Shawn Matherne (Steven’s brother) and Alyssa Vicknair, won $135, a hat and $5 off of a frog cage, for their catch weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces.