We have really been enjoying crawfish this season. Our "special seasoning blend" consists of a spicy Swamp Fire mixture from Oak Grove plus our friend, Wayne's, blend he uses for catering. Yummy!
But you know when crawfish taste the best? When they are caught here at Agriana. We do not have a crawfish farm or anything like that . . . but we do have a few spots that have proven to be great crawfish holes. We have found that mid-April to early May is our Agriana Crawfish Season. That's not to say we do not try earlier in anticipation.
We tried something different this year . . . we put hay in one crawfish area to attract bugs, hoping the crawfish would come out early to eat. We put some traps out last weekend, but caught only a handful. They were a good size, but not even enough for an appetizer.
The first year, I learned just how "dangerous" crawfishing can be. Jeff is usually the one picking up the traps.
As you can see, he made it look easy. So while he was out working in the shop one day, I thought I would go run the traps by myself.
One of the first traps I tried to lift with my pole was heavy. I thought about all the crawfish that must be in it! Imagine my surprise when this is what I found:
Not a snake. Not quite an eel. Just a heavy, ugly, slimy thing called a mud-puppy. Yeah, not cute like my real puppy, Roux! Because my pole is long, I was able to move it to the ground without fear of it touching me or getting out. I took a quick picture of it, then pushed the trap over into the water. The thing slid off into the mud and I decided I wouldn't put my traps in that area anymore.
Side note: Jeff thought it would be fun to catch another one and try to cook it. Thank goodness there are no mud-puppy recipes to be found online! Trust me, I wasn't going to eat it. I wasn't even sure I could watch him prepare it or eat it. Thankfully, we have not caught another one. Yet.
The next area had an even bigger surprise. I picked up the trap and heard this interesting "eek! eek!" sound. In my trap was the cutest baby alligator. It couldn't have been more than 6 inches long. I didn't get to admire it long . . . did you know that "eek! eek!" sound is a baby's way of calling it's Momma when it's in distress? Momma not only heard, but was coming to it's rescue. Mouth opened, swimming fast on top of the water. Talk about a scary sight! I dropped the trap and the pole and ran. Thankfully, the trap landed on it's side and the baby gator crawled out. Momma was appeased. I didn't go back. I went straight to the shop and chastised Jeff for letting me go on such a dangerous mission on my own. We get a good laugh about it now . . . but it certainly wasn't funny at the time. Not to me, anyway.
My favorite crawfish hole is a cypress swamp. Some friends from Virginia came to visit last year and Jeff took Joan for a ride to check the traps.
This is our best to catch them. We can put out about 30 traps and catch a sack of crawfish easily. This is the area where we put the hay.
I am really looking forward to the next few weeks! And, yes, I will be careful this year.