MANDEVILLE, La. - You can have them boiled or still clawing at you, and this year, you can buy crawfish when you buy your Christmas tree.
Seafood markets say they got the call from Louisiana mudbug farmers as early as the first week of November. They couldn't turn them down because they know customers won't.
“When they see the sign they're very surprised,” said Ryan Gravolet, owner of Columbia Street Seafood in Covington, “Excited at the same time."
Chris Jones at French Market Crawfish and Seafood in Mandeville said, "For the last two years they've been coming in earlier and earlier, which for your hardcore crawfish fans they love it."
But so do businesses, which say there are several factors leading to these recent extended crawfish seasons.
“Just a lot of water this year, it's been plentiful," Gravolet said.
"The unfortunate part is they are so sensitive environmentally to weather conditions and all of that, we can't really say we'll have them every December," Jones said. “But I definitely think there is a large majority of people that are into crawfish for what typically is your winter time holidays."
Even though crawfish is on the menu, the price is what you would expect, around $5 a pound, but the sizing is pretty good.
Crawfish fans say it's a pleasant surprise.
"I think it's great as long as it has the same taste as during crawfish season," Jean Marek said.
Businesses and farmers say that makes for a Merry Christmas and crawfish season, all in one.
Sellers expect prices to be a bargain during the normal crawfish season because of this early start.