by Dr Hook
When clamming seasons opens, you'll be certain to find
crowds of enthusiastic clam diggers on the beach. Folks from
around the state flock to the beach wielding their clam guns
or shovels in pursuit of the tasty razor clam. The season
is usually open for only a few days at a time and the daily
limit on razor clams is 15. There is no size limit and the
first 15 clams dug must be kept. Each digger must keep their
clams in a separate container. There are strict time and location
regulations on digging so you will need to be aware of the
digging regulations before you head out.
At times razor clam digging can really put your ability to
brave the elements to the test. If you like spending time
outdoors on ocean beaches and homemade clam chowder or fresh
fried clams then you will find razor clam digger very rewarding.
Razor clam digging is fun for all ages and when the digging
is done grab the kite, dog and kids for some other beach fun.
You'll find razor clams just below the surface of the sand
on the ocean beaches. Finding them can be challenging and
catching them can be even more challenging. Razor clams live
below the ocean surf so digging on a low tide is a necessity.
Look up the tide information before you head out. Lower tides
will give you access to more clams and bigger clams. The biggest
clams are often referred to as "Mossbacks". If you
dig too far above the surf you might find yourself digging
up nothing but sand shrimp.
Be prepared to get wet, so dress appropriately for the
weather conditions. Being unprepared on those cold days
can ruin your digging experience. A good pair of neoprene
waders is a good idea. They will keep you dry and warm on
the coldest days. Wear a warm coat and take rain gear.
Your digging device is a matter of personal preference.
Some people prefer using a clam digging shovel while others
prefer using a clam gun. A clam gun is basically just a
tube about 3 feet long made of either metal or plastic.
It is open at one end and closed at the other end with a
small hole and a handle. You push the clam gun into the
sand and place your thumb over the small hole, then pull
the gun out of the sand. If done properly you should have
a tube full of sand and a razor clam. I have found that
using a clam gun is generally easier for beginners, but
an experienced digger with a shovel can be very effective
and fast. Since razor clams have the ability to dig down
in the sand and yes they are fast diggers, then your ability
to dig fast will play a role in how successful you are.
You will also need something to carry your clams in. I would
recommend some type of net device attached to a belt around
your waist. You don't want to be carrying around a bucket
in the surf, you'll need both hands free and you wouldn't
want the surf to carry your bucket of clams away. Most sporting
goods stores will carry clams shovels, clam guns and clam
To find the clams you will need to look for small holes
in the sand. The razor clam will use its neck to reach the
surface of the sand. If the clam senses and any disturbance
on the surface it will quickly retract its neck leaving
a small hole in the sand. If you're not quick with your
shovel or clam gun the razor clam will be gone and the surf
will quickly wash over the clam hole. Sand Shrimp will also
leave small holes in the sand and can easily be mistaken
for a clam hole. However sand shrimp generally live in the
sand higher in the surf than razor clams and a sand shrimp
hole has a very small volcano look to it. Get lower in the
surf to avoid the sand shrimp.
Be careful of the surf and debris in the surf and have fun!
Check out this
link for more razor clam information.
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