Although, Mark Shirley says the crawfish season depends on when you get hungry for them.
"Harvesting starts in November, December and January," he says. "We usually estimate about one-third of the crop is harvested during the winter months. Once we get into springtime, the farms will produce about two-thirds of their annual crop."
The wild season can start anytime during the winter and quite often extend into the summer.
"Wild season, from Atchafalaya Basin, is totally dependent on water level, rainfall and water from the Mississippi River flowing into the basin," says Shirley.
Summer drought effects in 2010 and 2011 reduced the mudbug population the last two years. But, we had plenty of rain last year, from summer through the winter months, and that's producing a good crop now, during the peak season of March, April and May.
All that rain has helped the survival and growth of the crawfish. But, how much they've grown depends on where they come from and when they hatched.
"It just kind of depends on which trap you pick up and which pond you look at. Size is going to be kind of variable, coming out of the ponds and the Atchafalaya Basin."
And, he says prices will be variable as well. A plentiful supply no longer ensures a lower price.
"Prices will be whatever they're going to be, kind of depending on demand and supply from one day to the next," says Shirley.
And, of course, demand is high now, during Lent.
Also, production costs...fuel, bait and the labor to harvest crawfish, have all gone up considerably.
"It's costing farmers more these days to produce crawfish. If you're still waiting for 30-cent crawfish, that's not going to happen. That was 10 or 20 years ago."
But, he says the time to enjoy is now.
"If you've been waiting to eat crawfish, wait no longer. It's time to start eating."