DK (dontknow) wrote,


so, I was out at the beach the last week. Met a bunch of nice people at the RV park. They were all out there for the clamming.

So, apparently, about once a month WA opens up clam digging on some beaches.

Equipment needed for clamming:
1. Boots, hip waders, or even chest waders. The more you are water-proof the better. The ocean is cold in WA and you don't want water in your shoes.
2. Lights, preferably head lamps or else something you can set on the ground--you need your hands to be free. The sun sets before 5pm. Low tide is at 7 or 8 PM. You need light. You gotta see clam sign and waves. The moon comes up later than that, and in WA its rare to see the moon anyways.
3. Shovel or clam gun. A clam gun is a hollow tub with handles. There's a small hole at the top of the tube that you leave open as you go into the sand and you cover with a finger when you lift up. That way the gun goes in easy and comes up with the sand in it (if you can't picture it, play with a straw in a beverage.)
4. Something to keep clams in. a bucket, or bag attached to your hip works well.
5. Clam license (usually an add-on to a regular fishing license.)
6. Optional: Friends and/or family. Everything's better with friends.

Go out just before low tide. The clams live at lowest tides or even in the surf below the low tide. Start looking for dimples in the sand. Pressing your foot or equipment above or next to the dimples will make the dimples much more obvious if there's a clam below. Press gun down centered over the dimple, angled slightly towards the ocean. Pull it up and hope you caught him. Those guys dig fast. Repeat until you have 15 clams (the limit.) Once you find one clam he usually has friends near him who panic and start digging creating more signs in the sand for you or your friends to catch. Keep your eyes out for waves. Waves can be dangerous, so be ready to run.

You know how fishermen are super protective of their spots on the shore and won't talk to you and give you secrets of fishing? Clammers are the opposite and will talk to strangers all night, share beach area, give you tips, show you what you're looking for and how to dig, etc.

There were dozens and dozens of people on the beach and that was just the quarter of a mile where I was. The beach looked more like a highway with all the cars going up and down. One night a cop went up the beach with his lights. I'm guessing somebody probably got hurt. The rest of the emergency personnel went up the road and not the beach, but the rumors were that there were at least 6 emergency vehicles involved.

RV people are usually friendly, at least so far the times I've been in the parks.
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