Des Allemands Outlaw Katfish Co.


275 Highway 631
Des Allemands, LA 70030
(985) 758-7454

Raymond Joseph “Joey” Fonseca, Jr. learned fishing—predominantly catfishing—in and around Bayou Des Allemands, a fisherman’s and bird-watcher’s paradise on the boundary of Lafourche and St. Charles parishes. Joey’s parents were Cajun, his mother of Canadian descent and his father of Portuguese heritage (the name Fonseca, he points out, appears on the back of Lancers Portuguese wine bottles). They lived on the bank of the bayou, where Joey eventually raised his own four children. There, he grew up in the legacy of the Outlaws of Des Allemands, fishermen of previous generations who devised a revolutionary system of catching catfish using paint cans and/or 55-gallon drums—as opposed to troutlines, or their own hands. These days Joey and his three sons, commercial fishermen all, lure their prey by sinking hoop nets into the bayou, a modern improvement on can fishing. Joey’s wife, Jeannie, hand-sews the boys super-strong bait bags for their birthdays to use in the hoop nets. The Fonseca men are also shrimpers, crabbers, crawfishermen, and alligator hunters, depending on the weather and the season. New Orleanians enjoy wild catfish from Outlaw Katfish Company in some of the city’s finest restaurants, and also if they are lucky enough to make it to the Crescent City Farmers Market before Jeannie sells it all.

Date of interview:

November 16, 2011

Interviewer:

Sara Roahen

Photographer:

Sara Roahen


You learned what you needed to know that was for your area. Like if you lived in Golden Meadow or something, you learned to shrimp a lot more than anything else. Where we were from, we learned to catfish more than anything else.

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