View Full Version : The first Sack of Crawfish that I purchased

04-01-2010, 05:12 PM
As a boy, I owned crawfish nets I purchased with my paper route funds which produced $4.25 per week. A penny a paper, 425 papers, once a week, called the Westbank Guide. I was paid in brown envelopes each week, when this weeks papers were delivered to me on Tuesday night. 4 each - one dollar bills and one quarter.

I would set the nets along the drainage canals behind houses and catch a few for the pot on the stove. But when I really wanted to catch a full 40 pound sack, well - the canal banks would not produce enough.

I and a buddy would go into the swamps off Highway 90 between Luling / Boutte and Raceland to catch that many. There was a board painted Red and mounted high in the trees to mark the spot we would enter the swamps.

To get into the swamps, we had to cross a canal about 100 feet wide. There was a bridge hidden below the surface of the water, by about 1 foot. We would locate it by feeling for it with our feet on the canal bank edge. It was made of 2 each - 2 x 6's, so it was about 12 inches wide. We had to cross it very carfully, so we did not slip and fall.

Once across the canal we would climb over the levee. Then go about 100 feet to left to a hidden opening through a wire fence. Then about 200 feet to the right to find the hidden opening in a second wire fence.

This was private land with no tresspassing signs posted. We had special permission by the old cajun man that ruled this area to enter it. We had to call and tell him we were going into his swamp.

Once successfully across the underwater bridge of two 2 x 6's, we would lay our gear down on the levee and make several trips back and forth to the car collecting all we needed and staged those items on the backside of the levee.

We would bait 2 - 3 dozen nets with melt. Once baited and ready to enter the swamps, we would cross the underwater bridge and return the things we did not need in the swamp to the vehicle. We hid the car keys under a clump of something on the levee.

We were now ready to enter the knee to waist deep waters of the Louisiana Swamp.

Once past the fencing, we were in the swamp.

We pulled our tube socks over our blue jeans (without holes in them) and tied several strings around our legs, over the socks. This kept the blood suckers off of our bodies. (leaches)

We carried the 2 - 3 dozen nets, pre-baited with melt, a floating bucket, a sack, and a long stick / pole. You are only as safe in the swamps as your pole is long.

As we entered the knee deep water, we would use the 10 foot stick/pole to sling the snakes away. You know those moccasons are mean and do not run away. They would want to stay and fight !! With their head raised high out of the water and swimming straight at you, we knew they wanted us gone from their home.

So air born they became as we would use our sticks to fling them away. This really upset them, but after a few flights, they would give up and turn and swim away.

We would choose a location near a fallen tree. The tree was used to work off of.

We would select a circle in an area of about 100' x 100' and then walk it clearing it of snakes. We marked trees by carving arrows with our buck knives. This would be our circle trail we would work so we would not get lost from each other in the thick of the willows.

We never went too far into the swamps. Never past the sound of the cars passing on Highway 90. This way we always knew which way was out of the swamp.

The Swamps of Louisiana are famous for swallowing up people. As kids we knew of many stories of the swamps, people that never came home, and of course Loup Garou.

After many hours of wading around, slinging snakes, and collecting mud bugs, we would have a sack of crawfish to boil tonight. We would head to nearest pot, call a few friends and tell them how many we caught. And then boil those puppies up.

Then one day it rained while on the way to the Swamp. I did not want to enter the Swamps in a South Louisiana hard driven rain storm. I knew the sound of the storm would drown the noise of the Highway 90 traffic, and we would get sucked up forever in the snake and blood sucker infested waters.

My buddy said lets go buy some. Heck, I had never heard these words before!

So we went down the highway to Boutte to buy some bugs. I had never thought of buying them before. I had promised some ladies that day that we would eat crawfish!!

Yes Ma'am we will !!

I guarantee !!!!

I had always seen the sign - crawfish .29 cents, but never really thought about it and did not know what it meant.
It was then that I learned that for $12.00 I could buy a sack in 5 minutes, and then cook and eat them right away.

By that time in my life I was bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie and mininum wage was $1.15 per hour. So I was earning more now than my $4.25 per week paper route. I was big time with cash earned in pocket and could afford a sack now and then.

I no longer needed to spend a day slinging snakes and worrying about the blood suckers taking over my body. I never caught another crawfish after that South Louisiana Huge Spring Time Storm scared me from entering the swamps that day!!

Heck - I learned .29 cents meant .29 cents per pound. I could even buy a half of sack for $6.00 !!!

That was the first sack I bought in my life.


04-01-2010, 05:40 PM
Great read, I always like hearing the old ways!
By the way,I thought it was called Rougarou?

04-01-2010, 06:01 PM
great read... makes me wanna get out and try my hand at catchin a few. I think I know the perfect spot

04-01-2010, 10:18 PM
great story...thanks for sharing

04-02-2010, 08:01 AM
By the way,I thought it was called Rougarou?

Well Sir, you are right, there are a couple differant versions regarding your quote, depending on which part of Louisiana you are from.

I will clear up this confusion with my next story to be posted on this subject.

Stay tuned for the next story!!!

04-02-2010, 08:38 PM
when i saw westbank guide, i thought to myself, he has to be from st.charles parish. then saw luling - boutte. i as well spent many days doing the same.

04-03-2010, 09:52 AM
when i saw westbank guide, i thought to myself, he has to be from st.charles parish. then saw luling - boutte. i as well spent many days doing the same.

Gretna, the Westbank Guide was a free paper every Wed.

Every house got one.

08-25-2016, 12:46 PM
2016 Crawfish Season has ended?

08-25-2016, 02:18 PM
2016 Crawfish Season has ended?

Yep..... It's over

swamp snorkler
08-29-2016, 06:33 AM
2016 Crawfish Season has ended?

Bout 2 months ago, Fall season should be starting up in a 1 1/2 months or so.

08-29-2016, 06:41 AM
Great story really enjoyed reading it.

08-29-2016, 09:36 PM
Same here, awesomeread

10-04-2016, 09:59 PM
Grew up in Gretna and used to read the west bank guide every week. Awesome story, write some more!