BIG SANDY, TX (KLTV) - For seafood restaurants that sell crawfish, Super Bowl weekend is typically one of the busiest times of the year, but one East Texas restaurant says this whole year has been busy.
Crawfish season, which usually starts in March, began in November this time around, giving East Texans a very early start to chow down on the mud bugs.
For those like Tony Herbert an employee at Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy, it's been an extremely busy year.
"Everyone gets like crawfish fever, and it's good to see there's a real high demand, and it's got busier and busier with each year," says Herbert.
In East Texas, crawfish fever came a lot earlier, all the way back in November, giving folks plenty of time to dig in.
"I just love them, I have for years had crawfish boils every year; come over here just for the crawfish," says Keith Fowler, a customer of the restaurant.
It's easy to understand Fowler's enthusiasm since during this time of year the crawfish are usually smaller.
"But this year, they didn't; they started out nice, because they were able to grow...they were able to grow in wet weather and warmer days," says Joe Mitchell, another employee of Circle M Crawfish.
Warmer days also led to a drop in prices.
"We started out when we boiled them 6.99 a pound, this year 5.99 a pound, and then it comes down to 5.79 a pound," says Mitchell.
It also led to a few firsts, according to Rodney Murphy, the owner of Circle M Crawfish.
"The quality of the crawfish seem to have been better for this early in the year than I think I can ever remember," says Murphy.
The great taste, better quality, and lower prices, are all going to keep those at the restaurant a lot busier during the big Super Bowl weekend.
"It's exciting; we got the Super Bowl going on, we got Mardi Gras going on, and we're all excited about it. We're all gearing up for it, and the next weekend's Valentine's Day, so the sky's the limit right now," says Herbert.
Murphy says recent colder weather has raised prices a little bit, but they expect prices to go back down once the weather warms up. While Murphy says it's not the earliest he's seen crawfish start, he says this year they've been able to get more in February than they ever have.