Posts Tagged With: crawfish

Iota, Louisiana (GA408)

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 23rd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails RV Resort in Bow, Washington. I’ll depart here July 23rd..

Since my RVing life is changing (see above), I’m starting to re-visit previously visited places. So rather than constantly re-blogging past entries, I’ve decided to do something different.

This entry was posted February 24, 2013…




Yesterday we drove the motorhome the about 25 miles from Lake Arthur to Iota, Louisiana. The motorhome is parked on a side street near American Legion Post #371 (white building) which was closed on a Saturday. We’ll move along this morning.



You can read about Iota, Louisiana by clicking this Wikipedia link…,_Louisiana






As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…












Here’s the dinette window view…







And a partially hidden colorful sunset shot…







Prior to leaving Lake Arthur, the night before, Mary wanted some boiled Crawfish…so we went to Cody’s Cajun Seafood and Crawfish Shop…

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Mary expected to buy them and take them back to the motorhome and cook them there (she did buy an additional pound and did that also), but Cody asked her if she wanted to eat the cooked ones now. She did eat three pounds while Cody explained the ways of the Crawfish World…

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He asked who we were and we told him…and ended up with an invitation to join him at his Crawfish ponds yesterday morning. The following photos show the harvesting of Crawfish. These ponds are 55 acres with 1,200 Crawfish traps. The water is about 18 inches deep…







It takes a specially designed motor for the shallow water…







Here’s a partial view of the fields…







Here’s a view of a Crawfish Trap. The traps are baited with scrap fish pieces or processed bait. The Crawfish enter through one of the small three corner holes. They are harvested through the large hole at the top. A stake holds the trap to the pond bottom…







One person drives the boat while another pulls the traps…one about every five seconds. In that time the trap is emptied, re-baited and put back into the pond…







The trap is emptied onto a grader. If they are too small and fall through the opening…they get to live another day…







If they do not get through, they are swept into a net bag which holds about 32-35 pounds…







Here’s a different kind of boat where one person can both drive and harvest. It’s called a digger because of the front-mounted wheel..







Here’s a photo of a rear digger boat…also a one person operation…




Cody Newman’s shop is located at 302 Calcasieu Avenue in Lake Arthur, Louisiana. His phone number is 337-774-5770. Thanks Cody, for taking the time to show us your operations.



Enjoying Crawfish in Louisiana is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!



The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…









Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!



“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein










If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…











Forecast for today is partly sunny and 70 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Washington. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…










Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!



“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein










My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…










On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.



If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…



There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…



If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…



For more information about my books, click this link:



All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2018

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On what was supposed to be our last day at the American Legion, I mentioned that I wanted to buy some crawfish to take with me before we left crawfish territory. Mark and Marlene told us, no, you don’t want to do that, it’ll stink up your camper. You go see Cody and Leslie Newman. She called them on the phone and we went and ate crawfish and got a tour of his business and learned how it is done. Then, we got a date for the following morning to ride his boat and see how crawfish are trapped and harvested. I’m blogging the process in reverse.

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We followed Cody to his ponds. His boat is a two-man operation. Cody checks the bait tub to make sure there is plenty for your jaunt.

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This Honda motor is air-cooled, quiet and propels the lightweight boat through the shallow water without harming anything. Once the process starts, the boat doesn’t stop.

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His worker picks up the trap on the move.

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He dumps the crawfish onto the grader…

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…pushes them into the bags that hang at the end of the table, which allows the  small-sized fish fall through the bars and slide back into the pond.

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Then he re-baits the trap, and stabs it back into the pond behind the next trap he picks up. It is continuous. Dump the trap, throw out any old chewed up dead fish bait and put in new bait. Right now, Cody is using a poagie bait, a cooked product that has an attractant.  Fish are better but it takes three times the weight for the worker to bait the trap. Weight is an issue when you may have to lift three thousand pounds of fish in a days work with one arm.

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The bags hold from 30 to 35 pounds of crawfish. On a good day, he might harvest 1100 to 1200 pounds a day. In the peak of the season, they harvest every day. Every other day as the season wanes. The ponds have to be drained, dried and clean water put in between seasons. He plants rice as food tor the crawfish. He doesn’t harvest rice as some do since he works in the petroleum industry.

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He showed us his other boat. It grinds a grove into the mud and pulls the boat along. That is why they call them mudbugs.DSC03342 (Copy)

The advantage to this boat is that it can be operated by one man. The big wheel gets set in its groove and just moves along at the right pace while the driver pulls the traps, baits and sorts in the same way. The disadvantage is the damage to the pond has to be graded and repaired after using this method. Cody also mentioned that ducks ruin a crawfish pond. They kill the rice plants, decay removes oxygen the fish need,  their poop is acidic and harms the fish.  They have to fire guns to scare them away when they arrive by the thousands.

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The previous day, when we walked into his shop, Cody was taking a delivery of shad, the bait fish.

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And Cody’s mom had just delivered crawfish from her farm to the store. He buys from several other farms as well.

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The crawfish are cooked in plain water for six minutes in these big boilers. Then they are placed in hot seasoned water for 12 minutes. Cody explains that he and others in the area are the only ones who boil that way. The 12 minutes gets the seasoning into the meat. Other places around the country add seasoning on the outside of the crawfish which gets on your fingers from the shell to flavor the meat as you eat. His crawfish is mildly seasoned. If you want it hotter, he will  put it on the outside.

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This is what they look like when they come out ready to serve. At this point he will add seasoning for a customer.

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He bags and weighs the fish and put it on a platter for me.

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He taught me how to eat them. You push the tail in toward the body, and make a quarter turn.

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Then you squeeze the tail and the meat pops up and you can bite it out in one piece easily. We’ve watched people in restaurants tediously peel away the shell from the tail. Cody showed us  the proper way.  It works so well and I was so grateful to be able to eat those delicious little buggers so easily. Now, I know.

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He also gave me a taste of his specialty Cajun marinated mushrooms which were delicious as well.

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We were joined by another couple from Alaska and they told us about sucking heads, which Cody also referred to. You suck the head for the tasty juices that come out. And it is yummy. You can dig the meat out of the claws if it is a big crawfish. It took me no time to polish off three pounds of crawfish. I wish I’d bought about six pounds to go. But, it is best eaten the way it is served all over Louisiana. Freshly boiled. Thanks a million Cody!

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We had two things in mind for yesterday’s adventures.  We first headed for the small town of Gueydan’s local museum. Gueydan is known as the Duck Capital of America and we were hoping to see ducks in and around the area as we went.  I guess it is fitting that we saw duck decoys in the little Gueydan  Museum run by Jane Hair.

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Ms. Jane Hair also hosted a Spirit of the Swamp art contest for local artists. This was my favorite.

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The item I had never seen before, which Il always look for, was this musical instrument. Simple in its construction. Almost makes me think I could make one myself. We’ve mentioned before what  a friendly place this area is, and we met a couple at the museum we had met previously in Lake Charles during Mardi Gras. They all assured us that it was possible to see millions of ducks in the area.

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The brochure on Gueydan also mentioned Ellis Stansel’s Gourmet Rice, that the locals call popcorn rice. Sounded intriguing and Jane called to see if we could tour their facility. She gave us directions and off we went.

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This is a photo of a picture of Ellis Stansel stapling closed a bag of rice.At one time everything was done by hand. Now, the process is all automated.

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The person who gives tours was not available, but Macy, a young woman employee, let us look around and sent us home with a bag of gourmet rice. It is the odor when cooking that gives it its nickname of popcorn rice because it smells so much like popcorn. The picture shows the many products  they sell. About a 1,000 pounds a day.

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Stansel grows crawfish in the rice fields as well. The little red caps of crawfish baskets show above the water.

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As we drove around the back roads, it was pretty obvious why this is the duck capital of the world. The many rice farms, and swampy bottom land around the area attracts those millions of birds, with good food.

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The birds fly when disturbed and circle then return to eating. What a site to see. At one farm, the tractor was moving through the water and the birds were moving ahead of the tractor to eat something from the disturbed mud.

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Some would have more white than black birds.

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A closer looks and the birds are not ducks at all. They are ibis’. Ducks come at a different time of year, apparently.

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We saw huge numbers of birds flying in formation over the vast rice fields. The curved beaks are Ibis’.

Mark and Marlene

We returned to the American Legion for a nightcap and met this very adventurous retired educator, Marlene and her husband Mark. We talked to a whole new crowd from the day before and some of those we met earlier. Chad, Julia, Norman, Bob, Moose…I don’t remember everyone’s name. We were told you have to go to the  Red Rose Bar. They cook a dinner for everybody on Wednesdays. We drove behind Chad and Julia.

Delta-Owner of Da Red Rose

She introduced us to Delta, the owner of the Red Rose. Her husband liked roses.DSC03200 (Copy)

Miss Janet Theriot and her husband. Janet is known as MaBee.

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She gave me an autographed copy of her cookbook.




Tina. I met such strong, interesting, independent women.

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And their men. Before the evening was over, we lite-weights had to leave. Jim fades about seven p.m.

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These friendly folks sent us home with dinner to go. Roasted tongue with just a hint of Cajun seasonings. Excellent.

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We Visit Dirty Miller in Grand Chenier, Louisiana!


Yesterday we drove the motorhome the about 40 miles from Holly Beach to Grand Chenier, Louisiana. The yellow line on the below Google Earth image shows our route…


The day started with a beautiful sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


The gulf was nearby on our right as we drove east along the shore route…


We were also on the Creole Nature Trail…



We took the ferry from Holly Beach across the Calcasieu Waterway 1/4 mile to Cameron on the far shore…



About 25 miles later we came to the Mermentau River Bridge where we stopped to take a few photos…





We started along this narrow road following the river shore…


About two miles later the road narrowed to a single lane and a sign saying PAVEMENT ENDS. I said to Mary…I don’t think I want to do this. Looking to the left we saw our only escape…a circular driveway…


As we made the circle we could hear someone shouting at us. I asked Mary we he said and she replied she did not know. So, I decided to stop…and that’s when we met him…DIRTY MILLER…a crazy, Cajun Coonass…


As we approached his shed…he shouted…it’s not done cooking yet! I asked him what was cooking and he replied…Cowboy Stew! With him was his girlfriend Rachael whom he calls Ray-Ray and several other friends. He introduced himself as Dirty Miller. His real name is Pravato Miller. He works for Cameron Parish and has lived there all of his life.

He explained the concrete slab in front of his shed covers the remains of his house which was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005…


Next thing we knew he was giving us the grand tour of his utility shed which includes among other things…a refrigerator, cooking stove, washer and dryer, a great sound system and numerous photos…



He had had a little to drink by then and kept repeating…I love life and having fun and I’m one crazy Cajun Coonass! He also told us that he was a guide who has had a number of famous people as clients…including Hank Williams, Jr.

He and the crowd were super friendly and a barrel of laughs. We were fast becoming friends…so much so that Mary shared a tobacco chew with him…


All the while the French Cajun Music was blaring away and dancing happened…


As time passed it was time for delicious Cowboy Stew and coleslaw…


As he was stirring the stew, I asked the ingredients and you can enjoy his Cajun accent by clicking this link…

He’s a gun collector and showed Mary the largest handgun made…a Smith & Wesson 50 caliber…


He wanted to show us how loud it was and we were absolutely amazed when he actually hit the beer can…


This dog wasn’t impressed…


Nor this dog…


He offered to show us the scenery along the gravel road that included cattle…


And lots of birds and ducks of which Mary took many photos…


By now we were fast friends…


He invited us to spend the night in his driveway…which we did. Here’s the dinette photo…


He and Ray-Ray insisted on cooking us a breakfast…


So at 6:00 AM they served us a tasty shrimp, crab and crawfish omelet complete with home-made hot sauce…


Here’s the view from Dirty Miller’s shed just before we left this morning…


Needless to say we had a ball visiting Dirty Miller and his friends. He really did not want us to leave and he actually had tears in his eyes as we made ready to depart.

A whole bunch of that great Louisiana Cajun hospitality. Thanks y’all for a great visit!

Enjoying meeting fun and interesting people is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Crowley, Louisiana…where the living is rice and easy…

Jim Says: Well, that’s the slogan the city has adopted for itself.

The hub of the city is the old Crowley Motor Company building. It has undergone a major restoration and now houses an active city hall and a Rice interpretative center on the first floor. On the mezzanine is a museum about the history of Crowley and on the third floor is a Ford Automobile Dealership Museum and a recording studio museum.

Charlotte Jeffers, the Tourist Coordinator, told us everything a person could ever want to know about the city. The Mayor, Greg Jones, even stopped by and chatted with us for a few minutes.

Here’s a photo of the Crowley Motor Company building…


Here’s the official city website link…

Here’s a Preserve America link about Crowley…

Yesterday I explained about how Rice and Crawfish are harvested from the same field. Here’s a close-up photo of a Crawfish trap…


Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Crawfish…

When the building was a Ford Dealership, the vehicles had the fenders and wheels removed and stood on end in a railroad car. That way they could put several cars instead of only two to a railroad car. When they arrived in town, the dealer would re-install the fenders and wheels prior to putting them on the showroom floor.
Here’s a 1923 Ford Model T…


Here’s an informational link about the 1923 Ford Model T…

Finally, this building also served as a recording studio for J.D. Miller, who wrote more than 400 songs. His first big hit was recorded in this studio. Kitty Wells recorded his “It wasn’t God who made honky-tonk angels” which sold over 1,000,000 copies, the first ever by a female recording artist. Many other famous music artists of the time also recorded here.


To see the other 28 photos I took, click this link…

They sure know how to make folks feel welcome here in Crowley!

Later in the day we moved on a few miles east to Duson, Louisiana where we are safely parked at a VFW which we will use as our base camp while we explore Lafayette, Louisiana over the next couple of days.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Some Like It Hot!

Jim says:

and it’s all because of something called Tabasco.! That’s where Mary and I went yesterday…to the Tabasco Factory on the 2,200 acre Avery Island located about 10 miles from New Iberia, Louisiana.

To get onto the “island,” we paid $1 which was collected by a man in a tollbooth who used a stick with a clothes pin attached to reach for the money.


Here’s the link by Tabasco about is history…

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Tabasco…

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Avery Island…,_Louisiana

Next stop was at Jungle Gardens also on Avery Island.


Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Jungle Gardens…

Next we went to the Town of Delcambre, home of one of Louisiana’s Shrimp Fishing Fleet. Shrimp season is closed right now, so no shrimping activities are currently in operation. We’re told this time of year, most shrimp boat owners are busy doing repairs and maintenance to their boats.


Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Delcambre…,_Louisiana

To see the other 75 photos I took, Click this link…

After a full day of touristing…we went to The Boiling Pot for a nice seafood meal. I had the grilled shrimp plate and Mary had the boiled Crawfish.

As I’ve said a few times in the past…It’s a lousy job, but somebody’s got to do it!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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