Opening Week of Brown Shrimp Season — 86 Comments

  1. Oh heck guess I am first ok with me. Blue Tee?
    I need to make a run down. Back has me all messed up.

  2. That was an awesome trip through shrimp season–speaking as a landlocked Iowan, where we grow our livestock in the 1300 pound range rather than 16/20. Thanks for sharing.

    • Just a wave from an Iowa born-and-bred gal who’s here in the Houston area now. I was born and raised in Newton, and I still have my taste for heavy beef, sweet corn and tomatoes!

  3. Though I live right here on the coast in SC, I’ve never been around the docks during shrimping season. This was an informative and interesting read.

    Those 16/20’s are some HUGE shrimp.

    • Yes, they are huge. Bigger than I like to stock the freezer with. I prefer something in the 30/50 size range for everyday cooking of gumbo, stew, and jambalaya!

      • I usually buy the smaller size too. On occasion I’ve had to buy the larger ones because that’s all that was available. A good sharp knife will turn them into gumbo size really fast.
        Does Bluewater have trucks that come to Ascension Parish? The name sure sounds familiar.

        • I’m not sure. Kim showed me a long list today of all the retailers, but I haven’t been able to find it online yet. They do go quite a few places, though! Yes, I’ve done my share of cutting larger shrimp down to size!

    • Yes, I did remember you, but I didn’t buy a whole ice chest full, because they are way too big for everyday dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and stew. I’m waiting for the mid-size in order to buy an ice chest full. I can trade you a couple packs for some venison, though.

  4. I’m from La but have lived in NE Tx for the last 20 yrs.. Sure miss those fresh out of the water shrimp!

    • Well, then, welcome back to Louisiana for a little visit, Pamela! It’s great to have you, and I can promise you those white shrimp were delicious!!! Come back any time and join us down the bayou! BW

      • I thought Spring and Summer were Brown Shrimp season. Learned something new. Brown or White, they both taste great.

  5. I like the mid sized also but, sometimes, I wish I could afford the 16/20s. You stated about $4 lb? How about nearly $9 lb here? I like them for shrimp scampi and for peel and eat. I splurge about every 3 or 4 years. 🙂

    Hope there are still some good crawfish left, we are planning our annual boil the 27th. We had planned for it a couple of weeks ago but, it didn’t work out. I do have plans to have a big batch tomorrow at my husbands company picnic. They bring them in from New Orleans and cook them. Will eat a few for you.

    • So, Cam, how were the crawfish? I was hoping someone would post how much the price increases as the shrimp go to markets up north and across the border! The price doesn’t surprise me at all. If you could afford the shipping, I think she would ship you some! I’m ready for the right size for a shrimp boil, too! Mmmm good!

      • That crawfish today was superior! The same company from 4 years ago that comes in were there. The company had them cut back on the amount they served each person so, by the end of the picnic, there was still LOTS of crawfish. I talked the manager of the ranch into giving me half a bag of ice and loaded it down with about 6-10 lbs of left over crawfish, potatoes and corn! A friend had his roasted corn booth there and had a fridge on the trailer and stored them until we were ready to leave. I had extra smoked brisket & smoked sausage also. We made a drop by our sons house and when we got home, I wiped out half of the rest. 🙂 I am stuffed and happy!! They were super large too but, the shells were really hard to peel away. My thumb is sore tonight.

        • I do have a question I bet you can answer. What causes the variation in the shell colors and thickness? Some were the color of boiled lobsters, some a reddish/orange and a few were almost black.

          • So glad the crawfish were good! Did you notice that the bigger ones with the harder shells also were the darkest in color? That’s typically how it goes; but also, where they come from affects the color. For example, spillway crawfish are lighter in color than pond crawfish. And the darker the mud, the darker the color of the carapace. The toughness of the shell comes from age, my dear. Around here, we never buy the “large” ones. They are graded in three sizes here before being sold by the bag, so we have a choice!

            • Ahhh, thanks. I checked the shrimp prices at the store today. The brown & white 16/20 were $9.99 a lb. Some a bit larger were $14.99 lb. Those a bit smaller than the 16/20 were $8.99 lb. All were marked “caught wild” and “gulf shrimp”. The best fish price of the day that I found was frozen fillets of “wild caught” salmon. There was about 2 1/2 lbs at $9.99. If it is till that price this weekend, I’ll put some on the grill to add to our boil.

  6. Grrrrr…. it ate my first post. Probably a good thing.

    We were discussing shrimp the other day. I mentioned I used to buy cases of 1 lb frozen bags of 70 count cleaned shrimp. Always had some in the freezer. They were perfect for what we called cookin shrimps. Due to their small size we also dubbed them all river shrimp. I knew they were not cause when a kid we used to put shrimp boxes out in the Mississippi. You got shrimp but they were all little. Hence why we call the frozen migets river shrimp. With all that explained, I said I had not been able to find any in years. They were perfect to cook with, that left the fresh for frying, shrimp-k-bobs, and boiling.

    I personally like the small shrimps they taste better, they are usually sweeter and more tender. Thats right sweet. But since BW doesn’t rent the Capt to peel shrimp I usually go with the middle sizes. Usually 25/30 or there abouts, but been slipping up to the 20/25 since baby Sis has been getting ’em. LOL. The 20/25 are big enough to need deveining, thats also a consideration when chosing a size. The smaller ones don’t need deveining.

    What up with the crawfish? Its season now, I don’t use Chinese, not out of local support (I believe in free trade), but they are too tuff to enjoy with me store boughts. So I go to the local IGA, everything is Chinese. I ask for US, they bring out their last two packages, 12 ozs of cleaned tails at 17.00 a bag. I asked for the butcher. He said it was the right price for Des Almandes crawfish. That all they stock domestic.

    Baby Sis hears me griping (I said that nicely), and brings me two 1 lb cleaned w/ butter bags. which I learned were 15.00 each from a seafood distributor in Baton Rouge. People are paying this for peeled crawfish?

    Back in the day when it was the fade, we had a small crawfish pond. Ok, these folks getting 17.00 a lb should be ashamed, and those buying ’em at that price are crazy! I thought pet rocks or canned air was out there.

    Sorry to go off, I just can’t believe it, Those are the most expensive stuffed bell peppers ever made! From now they are getting shrimp stuffing!

    Rant off……

    I guess I belong here ’cause I do like seafood. Shrimp, crabs, crawfish, fish, oysters, heck I like squid and octopus too. Thats why we have three large freezers.

    Now I am babbling, BW great article with wonderful pictures.

    • I agree that $17 a pound for peeled crawfish tails is outrageous, but you didn’t say anything about the price of live crawfish? You know how this goes, Foamy. The deal is, you’re supposed to boil way more than you can eat, then sit around with the family and peel the leftovers for crawfish stew and then freeze the rest for later on. NOBODY down here buys frozen crawfish tails. Historically, crawfish were what the poor Indians ate, and they were definitely a sign of poverty. All it took was a couple of Cajun chefs to make a big deal about them, and up went the demand and the price and the beginning of crawfish farms across southwestern Louisiana. Nothing against free enterprise, but we often forget our history. It was a shame if you had to eat crawfish back in the day. And now, they charge $17 a pound for frozen tails? PLUS, they’re easier to peel than fresh shrimp. So, boil up a batch and GET AFTER IT!!!!! Call me when the etoufee` is ready!!!

      • The last peeled tails I saw were about $14 lb at the grocery store. When I first started enjoying them about 5-6 years ago, they were $3.99 lb. Unfortunatey, the last bag of peeled tails I bought were old tasting. I did price fresh crawfish for our cookout. They are $2.79 lb, 30 lb minimum. I think we are only going to buy one 30 lb bag this time and add hamburgers and hotdogs for the nuts who do not like them.

        • My problem here is………

          When I was a kid we always put up crawfish. BUT, if you wanted ’em to last longer than an ice cream cone in August, you blanched, snaped the tail off leaving the shell on. If you remove the shell they quickly either freezer burn or get mushy when thawed out of ice. Just like shrimps only worse IMHO.

          So back then we used the old waxed cardboard 1/2 gal milk containers, would fill half the way up with tails in shells and then cover up in water. They last that way for years. I just hate peeling tails to used them. At 17 dollars for 12 ozs, I believe I can make myself get over that peeling problem!

          All that being said, I see some blanched crawfish in the near future.

          BTW I never knew we were poor, but BW keeps telling me we were.

          Anyone ever tried using one of those vacumn bags putting up seafood? I wonder how they would do?

          • I never said you were poor! Did you know the crawfish is the symbol of the United Houma Nation? It’s not because it’s a fierce warrior! It’s because the Indians thrived on something everyone else thought was trash or fish bait!!! Smart Indians!!! And yes, I use a Food Saver for my fish now and I LOVE it. Works very, very well. It wont’ work well for shrimp because I think they must be frozen with water.

            And funny you mention blanching crawfish. When we first moved to this bayou, there was a bumper drop of them in a ditch about 200 yards behind our house–lots of hauling of traps and ice chests, but we caught more than we knew what to do with, and we didn’t have enough seasoning for the last batch to boil, peel, and freeze, so we boiled them without seasoning, and they are HORRIBLE plain. I mean flat out disgusting. So how in the world could you ever make them tasty if you only blanch them? There would be no real way to infuse flavor into them after they are parboiled, would there??? So, educate me, please.

            • When we blanched ‘em, it was fast, like you shock veggies to freeze ‘em. The tails were not cooked, but they were less firm than a raw one. I was a kid, it may have been more an attempt on my Dad’s part to appease Mom, and I know she would have not liked pulling tails off live crawfish. That’s just how she was. The lady tamed a wild mink! Well she could hold it, the rest of us gave it wide berth….. LOL

              But that’s how we did it ‘em, shell on, blanched, and frozen. I know some lasted at least 10 years cause when Pop gave the old freezer away we found some, also some fish frozen in water in the milk cartons. When they thawed out we couldn’t believe they were just as fresh as when we froze ‘em. You know those old milk cartons worked a heck of a lot better than zip locks and they were free.

              The blanch didn’t change the crawfish flavor. When Mom cooked with them I can’t recall a different taste. They were used for ettouffes, gravy, bisques, pies, stuffing’s, I was a kid, but I can’t say I ever knew the difference.

              Most of what we got was those old big black hard crawfish, neighbors called ‘em devil crawfish from the Atchafalaya . Big enough to break off the claws and save them too. That’s what she cooked with and if us kids crawfished the railroad tracks we had a crawfish boil.

              • I use a food saver/vacumn seal for seafood/fish and I love it too. Those that need to be frozen in water are and then removed, inserted in a bag and sealed. I use whipped topping containers to freeze them in water. They work fine to seal in the 11″ wide bags.

  7. Hi, Bayou Woman! I love these informative posts with lots of photos. Northern Michigan has lots of big water, but of course no shrimp. That’s okay with me as I do not enjoy fish, except in aquariums. I’m writing for two reasons – to thank you for the great post, and to congratulate Termite on the graduation! Big achievement for him! You all must be proud. And relieved. 🙂

    I’ll leave the fishy tee to someone more fish-loving.

    • Carolyn, I so enjoyed your comment with my morning coffee! Breath of fresh air! So, northern Michigan, right? Near Mackinac? (I spelled that wrong). Well, I’ve never been to northern, but guess what? My mother was from Ludington on Lake Michigan. Some of my fondest memories are of being on the beach there and trying to swim in the 68 degree water! My dad is from Louisiana and met her while he was up there working on an oil rig. She was a waitress at a diner where he ate regularly. He stole her and brought her down here and she never looked back. Kind of like me moving even further south in Louisiana and not looking back. Thank you for the kind words, which tell me mission accomplished with at least one reader. And just to clarify, when I say “very special son”, I mean the one with Down’s Syndrome. Yep, HE is the one graduating, and I will be doing a story about him, although it doesn’t have much to do with bayou life, per se`. So, if you are randomly selected for the T-shirt, I will go to the person below you. How’s that? BW

  8. By the way, those large pink feathery flowers – Mimosas?- are gorgeous! I thought a Mimosa was a brunch drink. 🙂

    • Are you joking? They are a non-native tree full of these beautiful fragrant blossoms. You should smell the sweet aroma! And as kids, we used to tickle our noses with them until we sneezed, as they are very soft and fluffy!!! And the first time I saw a drink called a Mimosa, I thought it would be pink. What a let down.

  9. I meant to comment on that mimosa, too. It’s beautiful.

    I used to see them everywhere around here. They’re not in vogue these days and many consider them trash trees, along with chinaberry trees. When I spot a mimosa in bloom, it’s pretty much a ‘slam on brakes’ moment.

    I guess I’m just an old fashioned gal.

    • For you and Carolyn, I’m going to post a pic in a comment. They are non-native and some consider them invasive. This one is literally growing out of the side of the bayou bank over the water. It’s barely hanging on by a thread, with most of its roots exposed to the bayou water, but it keeps hanging on. Now, about those China berry trees. Down here they call them Money Trees for some unknown reason. They are otherwise known as Chinese Tallow. They are not only non-native but INVASIVE. We have way too many of them down here, and they choke out the native trees. They should go, in my opinion. But the Mimosa may stay. I LOVE old fashioned gals, and I think I want to be the president of that club one day.

      • That mimosa is just beautiful! People should grow more of them, IMHO.

        As to the chinaberries, I agree that they are incredibly invasive (not to mention horribly messy) but there are a few reasons why they were so widely planted. Way back when, pre chemical insecticides and A/C, folks planted them around their homesteads as a natural insect repellent. They also grew fairly fast and provided much needed summer shade.

        Despite the cons, I do enjoy seeing them in bloom at the backs of fields and the edges of woods, as I’m driving up to Dad’s on those country roads.

        • I’ve been trying to figure out how to save this one. It needs to be moved from the bayou bank and into the yard, but the roots trail along forever. It would probably die in the process. Maybe in the winter when it’s dormant I could try. I will call the Extension Agent and ask him for advice.

          • At least we don’t have Kudza here yet. Do we?

            Chinaball trees, a sling shot, always meant some one was getting a whippin before the sun went down….LOL You’d usually have to start making a new “sling shot” the next day too!

            I also noted that the girls down the bayou are still all cuties, no one ever gets the two monstrous brothers, cousins, nephews, etc etc lurking in the background in the picture though…..ROFL!

      • The neighbors had a mimosa out back but, it died in the past couple of years. Today when we stepped out to head for the picnic, 1/2 of it (it was about 25′ tall and big) was laying on our fence. Their daughter was with me when I saw it and notified her mom. It was gone and our yard cleaned up when we got home. I think they are so beautiful and regal but, I am so allergic to them.

  10. We enjoyed being able to speak with you about the opening season. I’ll get in touch with you to show you the process in which we freeze those big shrimp to put out on the market. Make sure to check out and like our facebook page….you could win some LOUISIANA GOLD 🙂 from time to time.
    Take care!

  11. Do try to move that mimosa, BW. You may have a good chance of success, if it’s not too large.

    After doing a little online searching, I found that there are two trees that people call Chinaberry trees. Both are non-native and considered invasive.

    One is the one I think you’re talking about, the popcorn tree or Chinese tallow, is triadica sebifera or sapium sebiferum. The Chinaberry tree I was thinking about is melia azedarach. It is sometimes called Cape or Persian Lilac.

    We have both here in SC.

  12. I meant to comment about the Mimosa yesterday. It reminded me of fireworks at first glance. I thought you were celebrating the start of shrimp season. LOL

  13. I miss working in the wholesale shrimp business. Mainly miss the bountiful fresh shrimp, fish and soft-shell crabs I had at my fingertips. Those shrimp are beauties! As is that mimosa tree. Grandma and Grandpa had an enormous one in their side yard. Another tree I’d like to have in my yard. They grow wild in the woods around here.

    • Yep, they are wild, Cuz! They bring back such great childhood memories, though. After the flowers comes the brown seed pods. As little girls, we would make believe cooking outdoors, empty the seed pods into a tin can, and stir them with a stick like we were cooking peas or some such. Good thing we never ate any. They’re probably poisonous!

  14. I forgot to ask you, what coating do you fry your shrimp with? Just cornmeal? Thanks in advance for sharing. 🙂

    • I use whatever I have on hand. Lately it’s been Louisiana Fish Fry products because they gave me a bunch of samples. If I’m out of pre-mix, I mix flour and corn meal and NEVER use straight corn meal on shrimp, because we prefer them “light”. And with these, since they were so fresh, I only wanted to taste the ocean, so a light dusting of fish fry and salt and pepper only!!! No Cajun or Creole seasoning on these. We’ve gone so hog wild on “cajun spices” that I think we’ve forgotten what pure food tastes like. I’m going back to a more basic state just to see! (And do you know that fried seafood or a “seafood platter” is something you will NEVER EVER see me order at a restaurant?)

      • BW is so right on the straight cornmeal, its like packing your seafood in mud. Sams always sells the giantic gallon containers of Zatarains, but if you get one remember to keep it in the freeze cause the corn flour will go rancid.

        If you don’t have a pre-mix seafood fry Katy, I find that a mixture of 4 to 1, flour to cornmeal makes me happy happy. Then you can add whatever spices you like. If you like ’em a little crunchy (like the resturants do ’em), dunk ’em in buttermilk with a beaten egg first. Thats where I add my tabasco if I am going to use any.

        I don’t care too too much for thyme and its a cajun frying norm. I add instead a little bit of mustard, no it doesn’t taste like mustard but it put the snap in your shorts.

      • LOL…. Shrimp, red potatoes, kelbasa sausage, lemons and some corn.

        Its the same thing as a shrimp boil, LOL I did add beer, well I drank it and mixed it with the stew in my stomach.

  15. All kinds of questions and comments today. For one thing, I never knew that was a mimosa tree. They’re around, and beautiful, but every time I asked someone “What is that?”, they never knew. Now I do.

    I’m really confused about the shrimp seasons. Do they vary from state to state, like the regulations on alligator hunting? I just heard something on the radio, maybe last week, about brown shrimp season either starting or ending. I wasn’t aware that it was legal to catch brown and white at the same time. Or is it an inland/offshore thing?

    And what’s the difference between the brown and the white shrimp. The color, obviously, but it must be more than that. Is it young vs old? Size? Variety. For all my life I’ve just eaten the things without asking such questions! But I see Steffi was asking about the seasons, too, so I don’t feel so bad.

    And how in the world did you get a photo to show up in the comments? I didn’t think we could do that!

    • Okay, company gone. Miah graduated last night. Playing catch up today. of course the brown and white are two different species that come in an spawn at slightly different times. The browns are very small right now and hopefully will catch bigger ones as season goes along. I don’t readily have all your answers though. Some say the white shrimp have a sweeter taste. Some say the brown have more iodine in them.

      RE: photo in comment. I’m so glad I can finally help you with something about blogging, since you’ve been such a help to me. Upload your photo to a site like Photobucket that generates an “IMG” HTML code for the photo, copy that code and plug it into the comment, and voila! There you have it!

  16. Shrimp stew, shrimp gumbo, shrimp creole, shrimp spaghetti, fried shrimp, shrimp poboy, broiled shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp toast, shrimp and butter beans, shrimp and okra, shrimp sashimi, shrimp sushi, shrimp ceviche, shrimp and grits, bacon wrapped shrimp, stuffed shrimp, shrimp jambalaya, red rice shrimp, tempura shrimp, shrimp fajita, shrimp taco, shrimp fettucini, shrimp and corn soup. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    What am I leaving out?

  17. I’m finally getting to read this post. Thanks for the education on shrimp! You taught me lots I did not know. We called the Chinese tallow trees ‘popcorn’ trees when I lived on the Northshore.

  18. Great article, how I love me some shrimp. Wish I could afford them I would eat them everyday. Use to go with my dad but we don’t go anymore. Good ole days wish I was young again. Best days of my life is being out there on the water whether it was shrimping or crawfishing. just enjoy the cajun life. Gonna have to go down there a get me a load to put in my freezer.. .

    • Hi Linda and welcome to this bayou! Sounds like you have a few childhood stories you could tell, too! There’s nothing like being on the water down here, is there? How far away are you now?

  19. It’s time for the random drawing for the T-shirt. Here we go . . . . .
    Well, well, well, guess who won the shirt? SHOREACRES. Hey, lady, have you ever won anything on this blog before? I hope you can wear a large, even though it might be a little baggy! Email me your mailing address and I’ll get this off to you next time I go to town!!!

    • No, I’ve not ever won anything on your blog – in fact, I rarely win anything! I’m excited as can be, especially since the shirt is here and it’s bee-you-ti-ful! You can bet it will be in my bag when I head over your way. I’ve got it hanging on a hanger in the bedroom right now, as a motivator to get my sweet rear end in gear and get a few things done so I can take some time off work and travel.

      Thanks so much! Honestly, it’s one of the best things ever!

  20. Really beautiful photos and word portraits of the bayous of Southeast Louisiana. Have a wonderful memorial day weekend!

  21. We had our annual crawfish boil yesterday and it was a big success! Just hot and humid as it gets. It had rained in the early hours of the morning and there were some really heavy storms about 3 miles west of us but, we stayed fairly dry in our area until the gathering was over, everyone had left and we finished putting/picking up everything. Hubby was sitting in the back yard swing while I did the dishes and it started raining.

    We skipped the shrimp this year because it has gotten so expensive here. But, we put everything else imaginable in those two boiling pots!! Potatoes, corn on the cob, mushrooms, halved lemons & oranges, smoked sausage, boiling onions (w/skins on) and I decided to try something different in one of the last pots, jalepenos!! The were a hit! Hope all has a great weekend too.

  22. I wanted to stop in and tell everyone that today when you are boiling, BBQing, fishing, boating, playing with the family or just sitting back with a cold beer to take a minute, just a minute and remember all of those service people who made the supreme sacrifice so we can enjoy a day off.

    For those on eternal patrol /salute
    Those still serving, thank you for your service

    I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day!

  23. I’ll echo Foamheart and say that, amidst all the Memorial Day festivities, stop a moment and remember the reason for the day.

    Congrats to Shore on her win!

    BW, on the way up to Dad’s and back this weekend, I spotted a few young mimosas coming up wild along the roadside. It crossed my mind to stop and yank one up to bring home but I never saw one quite small enough.

    • Please go read Shoreacres post, and you won’t be disappointed. Wait, you probably already did since she’s the reason you’re here, and vice versa or however it was that we all connected in this crazy spider web called the Internet! Have a great day, my friend.

  24. Our local veterans have a service every Memorial Day at our park to honor those who fought for our freedom. This year, a memorial for our slain ADA and DA and his wife was added. My husband got up and went to it while I stayed home ill. I did get to see the planes that did the flyover though.

  25. There’s not much around here that fascinates me more than the Memorial Day service at nearby town’s cemetery. It is a mostly Apostolic community so you’d think military involvement would be light and few would serve. But every year the place fills with cars and people park up to a mile away. It gives one a chance to pause.

    In other news, got to like a guy that gets to point.

    And as my college buddy used to say after these holidays,
    “We are still Vets today” .

    More rain today.

    • You know what’s interesting? Three of the towns down here still have their flags up – they usually get the crews out on Tuesday to pull them down, but they’re fluttering along. My hope is that they’ll leave them up through July 4. After all, as your buddy said, “We’re still vets today”.

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