Down in Lake Charles, nearly to the Texas border, but very firmly Louisiana country, lies a little paradise of fishing, crabbing, and seafood in general. The Louisiana Cahoots Krewe met up with dear friends from North Louisiana for a whirlwind weekend of quintessentially Louisiana adventure that included all of the above, and had the time of our lives!
We arrived in Lake Charles right at dinner time, and serendipitously decided to eat at Mellow Mushroom (Friday night pizza, right?). After our 3+ hour drive, their quirky patio with outdoor games was perfect for the littles to roam as we ate, and – score! – there was live music to boot. (The thoroughly enjoyable Neli Dixon)
We departed for our motel to gear up for the day before us. Thankfully our friends had an awesome routine in place to ensure maximum seafood success. We were up before the sun (my son asked me if it was in the middle of the night) in order to be in our Hackberry crabbing spot at sunrise, the official crabbing start time. Nabbing a prime crabbing spot is a competitive sport, but nab we did, well before the glorious sunrise.
The crabs were biting (as well as the mosquitoes; this is the marsh.), and the kids were in their element checking every line and net constantly.
Once we had caught enough crabs for dinner, we loaded up to drive down to Cameron to get some shrimp. This involved a car ferry, which is the most proper way to do a day out, especially if a dolphin sighting is involved.
Once off the ferry, we stopped at a couple of shrimp boats until we found one that had some shrimp to sell us. We loaded up our coolers with enough to both eat for dinner that night and to stock our freezers. I think we bought over 80 pounds between all of us! Can’t get seafood any fresher than straight off the boat.
With enough food for our dinner that night safely in hand we headed back across the ferry to a beach to fish, although most of us were ready to just sit and enjoy the glorious weather to the sound of the waves. Our sitting didn’t last long. As if perfect weather, lots of crabs, and shrimp fresh off the boat wasn’t enough, the bull redfish were running, and our group caught six (!!) huge ones!
Thoroughly worn out in the most exhilarated way, we headed back to our motel to cook dinner. Our most excellent chefs grilled some redfish and boiled up those crabs and shrimp Louisiana style. Somehow most of my children were still running on all cylinders right up until 9:00 that night; I think it was the combination of an extraordinary amount of fun and the best people to have that fun with.
Our fun didn’t end there! On our way our of town the next morning we hit up a delicious jazz brunch at Luna’s in downtown Lake Charles. The children danced away on the patio and we laughed and talked and ate. The food was as Cajun as our adventure was; my omelette was stuffed with boudin and topped with crab. Our meal could not have been more marvelous; we are so glad to have good friends and adventures with them.
With full bellies and even fuller hearts we headed for home…until next year’s crabbing adventure!
Many thanks to my friends for the many pictures they took — my record of the trip would have been incomplete without theirs!