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Smell the crawfish
LSU Fan
In enemy territory
Member since Nov 2018
520 posts

Crawfish question
I read every year about you don't want to buy crawfish after a certain date because the shells get hard. Does that affect the flavor or are there more reasons for not buying crawfish after a certain date? I don't live in Louisiana anymore, although I wish I did, so I'm not surrounded by coonasses to fill me in!


Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
33459 posts

re: Crawfish question
The shells harden as the water temps rise. I think it’s so they can burrow. They can burrow several feet deep.

As far as taste, they’re still good, just harder to peel.


MorningWood
LSU Fan
On the coast of North Mexico
Member since May 2009
1303 posts

re: Crawfish question
Has more to do with the molting process


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Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
5930 posts

re: Crawfish question
Doesn't bother me. Will boil a sack on Saturday and enjoy them at the lower price.


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saintsfan1977
West Monroe, from Cajun country
Member since Jun 2010
4107 posts

re: Crawfish question
They taste just as good, it's just harder to peel. They harden up to lose their shell so they grow into a bigger one. They molt a few times a year and as they get older they molt less.


Popths
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2016
1756 posts

re: Crawfish question
I find that later in the season, the fat gets dark green and I personally eventually stop eating them because I don’t like the dark fat taste as much. Last ones I ate were starting to get that way.


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
467 posts

re: Crawfish question
quote:

They taste just as good, it's just harder to peel. They harden up to lose their shell so they grow into a bigger one. They molt a few times a year and as they get older they molt less.

Red swamp crawfish actually molt 11 times from hatching until their last molt at which they attain maturity. At maturity they cease growth until the following season, assuming they aren’t caught or die.

It usually takes about 4 months on average for a crawfish to mature, but that is largely controlled by water temperature. Before a crawfish molts, much of the calcium in the shell is removed and stored in the blood, so the shell becomes paper thin immediately prior to molting, after molting, calcium is returned from the blood to shell to harden.

As long as the crawfish have a bright yellow “fat” (which is not really fat, but rather liver and pancreas organ) crawfish will be of high quality to eat, just a little more difficult to peel as mentioned by others.

Before crawfish mature you get on average 22 to 23 pounds of edible tail meat per 100 pounds of live crawfish, after they mature (harden up) you’ll typically get 13 to 15 pounds of edible meat per 100 pounds.
This post was edited on 6/12 at 9:16 am


Stexas
LSU Fan
SWLA
Member since May 2013
2678 posts

re: Crawfish question
quote:

CrawDude


Checks out.


Lots of good info here.


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USA
Member since 2001
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Stingy
LSU Fan
TN
Member since Mar 2014
1071 posts

re: Crawfish question
I now know where to get crawfish info.


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Kadjin
LSU Fan
edge of the basin
Member since Oct 2013
897 posts

re: Crawfish question
quote:

Before crawfish mature you get on average 22 to 23 pounds of edible tail meat per 100 pounds of live crawfish, after they mature (harden up) you’ll typically 13 to 15 pounds of edible meat per 100 pounds.


Which is why I like the medium to large, most bang for your buck, the monster crawfish people brag about don’t take the seasoning as well and you don’t get as much meat per pound, you end up shredding your fingers for less reward


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
467 posts

re: Crawfish question
Yep - even though you pay more $ per pound for live crawfish in March-April, you are getting more meat than you are with cheaper crawfish, purchased in late May/June.


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SwampBandit
LSU Fan
Livonia, La
Member since Jun 2016
1816 posts

re: Crawfish question
Just harder to peel, let soak a little longer and put in a stick of butter or a bottle of hot sauce, the oil in either helps them peel easier...
This post was edited on 6/12 at 11:03 am


Smell the crawfish
LSU Fan
In enemy territory
Member since Nov 2018
520 posts

re: Crawfish question
Thanks for info! I learned a lot and have a better understanding about all the hard shell talk. Being in Alabama, there are no coonasses to ask about stuff like this! Thanks again!


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Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
33459 posts

re: Crawfish question
quote:

As long as the crawfish have a bright yellow “fat” (which is not really fat, but rather liver and pancreas organ)
Glad to see you say that. A pet peeve of mine when I hear people call it fat.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
467 posts

re: Crawfish question
quote:

Glad to see you say that

For those that don’t know the so called fat is technically the hepatopancreas, or another generic term used is the “digestive organ”. The organ produces enzymes that aid in the digestion of the foodstuffs a crawfish eats. That organ also provides much of the sustenance that a crawfish relies on to keep it alive while the crawfish is sequestered in a burrow for several months, and it also provides an important role in providing lipids to developing eggs in the female. A mature female with a bright yellow “fat” that burrows has a high chance of surviving the summer in a burrow and producing a good brood of hatchling crawfish. Crawfish to be purchased for stocking ponds should be checked to make sure they have a bright yellow heptopanreas (small sample of course) before purchase and stocking.

Crawfish biology lesson of the day.
This post was edited on 6/12 at 5:46 pm


Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
33459 posts

re: Crawfish question
We once had 300 acres of crawfish and I had read up a lot (20 yrs ago). One thing I remember is that when a female crawfish has youngens under her tail, it’s the equivalent to a sack of crawfish. Amazing.


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