April 29, 2002 - Crawfish Man

The ladies in the candy factory don't eat chocolate. Folks who work in the brewery don't drink much beer. So what about the man who makes his living catching crawfish? Does he eat the critters? You bet! If he's from Amelia, in Assumption Parish.

Phil Fryou pours water in a heavy iron pot. "That was my dad's pot," he says, "and he bought that pot about 20 years ago."

For this third generation crawfisher it starts with the pot. "This is a well seasoned pot," he says. "It's been used! Run your hands through them like that, and they won't even mess with you. They're not mean yet. Next month when that water gets hot, and the weather gets real hot, he would have done bit me."

The mean weather can't be far off, but for now Phil gets first bite. "I love them. You know, you see 1,000-1,500 pounds of them every day, but they're good to eat. It's something I was born and raised to do." Phil brags that he never bought a crawfish in his life, and with a fourth generation of crawfishers on his heels, his table will always hold the bounty of the basin.