BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Crawfish season is in full swing. General manager of LA Boilers on Perkins Road, Dylan Lane, says the rush to grab a pound or two usually starts around noon, but around 5 p.m., the phone rings off the hook.
Longtime customer, Jarvis Victorian, says he had a craving for crawfish. "So I had to come get it. I guess it's the flavor and the taste," he said.
Right now, a fresh bag of boiled crawfish is averaging customers about five to six dollars per pound. Lane says that's due to the hard freeze the area faced weeks ago. "The weather is a huge factor. It always is. That's what we deal with in Mother Nature. We can't predict it," Lane explained.
Lane says his family has been in the crawfish business for 15 years, and about every 5 years, weather plays a role in the crawfish size and selling price. He explained the somewhat slow start to the season doesn't come as a surprise. Lane also says the high price for crawfish happens when supply does not meet demand, but he's hoping if the area can dodge another cold snap and the crawfish start rolling in, customers won't experience so much sticker shock. "And if we can get it to do that, the price will d rop," Lane explained. "And I know that's what everyone is waiting on. We're waiting on that too. We want that."
Emma Remetich, a veteran crawfish eater, says she doesn't allow that to slow her down. "Ever since I was little. I'm from New Orleans, so I grew up eating crawfish. The season began and I couldn't pass it up," she said.
Ryan King, co-founder of The Crawfish App, says this year's price is similar to years past. He says the entire Baton Rouge market is hovering around five to six dollars per pound for boiled crawfish, about a dollar cheaper than last month. "We know people are lowering the price every day and we see that every week. Next week, I'm sure we will have a lot more updates and cheaper prices as well," he said.
King says a foolproof way to catch crawfish on a good day is simple. Just check the app. He says early in the week, vendors will sometimes momentarily d rop the price. "A lot of them ordered maybe too much crawfish for the weekend and they can't sell it all at that price, so on Monday and Tuesday they get real big bargains on their live crawfish," King explained.
King says the app is updated every Thursday with crawfish prices from Louisiana, Texas, even as far as London. He says they have a team that calls every vendor that doesn't want to update their own price, but they also allow vendors to log into the app to change their price whenever they see fit. Right now, about 500 vendors are listed on the app, according to King.
But crawfish lovers say price and a slower start to the season doesn't push them away, especially when there's potential to end on a good note. "It's looking good. Everything is starting to take off. This week actually looks really good, the size is getting a little bit better," Lane explained.
"We only have a few months to eat crawfish, so you might as well start early," King said.