Looking for job in GOM (new questions this time I swear)

Hi, I am a 27 yearl old man from Arizona, I have been land locked my whole life and may have been on a small boat a few times in my life. I have heard from a friend of a friend who works at Crosby Tugs that this is an amazing field to get into. I got my twic, mmc, passport, and life support certified. I have spent a few months e-mailing companies with no reply and now, thank god, I found this forum with some very good advice. So now I know that I will have to actually go to LA and knock on doors. I am currently making minumum wage at my labor job, it crushes my soul and provides me with only enough money to make it to work every week. At this rate of saving money it won’t be till december for me to come on over and start looking. First question, in a previous thread one person reccomended December to come apply, can anyone else confirm/deny this or would it be better for me to wait until next summer? Also previously someone posted that companies require a certain amount of boat hours for entry level deck hands, is this true and I don’t even stand a chance or are those hours more of a preference? Also I have seen a few threads on what companies to apply for and I have compiled a list but is there any companies that I should avoid at all cost? And last but not least, this will be my first time to Louisiana and I plan on at least having a bit of fun the two nights I stay in New Orleans, before I head to the B & B, does anyone have any reccommendations on what to do or any good restaurants/bars I should check out? I appreciate it guys, you have been much help and hopefully I will be seeing you in December.