coolhandfluke

clamming help ?

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I have never tried, but always think about doing it ?     I understand you have to get a license . not asking for your best spot, but does all beaches down the shore hold clams ?  do I look for a empty marsh at low tide ?

 

just looking for some pointers.

last summer my daughter calls me on the phone and asks if I want some clams . are they fresh and if so ,yes.  an hour later she shows up with 60 tasty clams that her and a girlfriend dug up in tuckerton for something to do. she didn't know or have a license. they used plastic toy shovels and a cooler to put them in.:eek:

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You need to get a recreational clamming license and a map. Certain areas are closed at certain times of the year and I believe where you purchase your license they will also have maps of approved clamming sites. A friend of mine used to go out to a small island in an inlet with his wife to lay on it's beach. His wife would walk around and find baby surf clams in the shallows at low tide. He said they were delicious but one day while his wife was out collecting a warden showed up and she got a ticket for clamming without a license and you aren't allowed to take the small surfs. 

You really need to look at the map because some areas are closed due to pollution. Some heavy metals and still a lot of the good old DDT in the muddy bottoms and storms and boat wakes churn the bottom bringing those pollutants back into the water column where the clams ingest them by filter feeding. Clams have a two valve snout that sticks out of the mud when they are burried. One valve siphons in water that passes through the digestive tract then is expelled out the other valve. They suck in water constantly like we breathe and heavy metals and DDT goes in with the plankton they feed on.

Way back when Three-Mile-Island had the leak they constantly checked the water for radiation leaks. One method was to place baskets of freshwater mussels around the island. Every day they pulled the baskets and took a few samples. They would check the flesh because radiation would show up immediately because like clams they are filter feeders and feed constantly. 

Know a few guys who took clams from closed polluted waters and got so sick they never wanted to touch another clam. doesn't happen all the time but it only takes one bad clam to ruin the day.    

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6 hours ago, Sudsy said:

You still have the house down in LBI ?

Should be some good clamming down that way

Parent's place is on the north island. Never had much luck out back until you get below the inlet

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How a clam hides under mud or sand. All clams are built the same way. They have two body parts that can extend outside of the shell. The foot that some also call the tongue probably because of it's shape and it's siphon which is the two valve tube that siphons water and food into the clams stomach. A clam needs to bury under the bottom for two reasons. First for protection. Lots of things out there that feed on clams including starfish. A clam has two muscles that look a lot like the scallops we eat. They are strong and keep the shell closed tight. If a starfish finds and exposed clam it wraps it's legs around it and with hundreds of tiny suckers uses two of those legs to start pulling on the shell. No problem because the clam muscles are stronger than the starfish. But when the starfish legs become tired it just switches to another two legs and this process eventually wears down the clams two muscles. All the starfish needs to do is open the shell a little so it can extend a little of it's stomach into the shell. Acids released quickly kill the clam so the shell opens and the starfish eats. The second reason is strong currents and storms will wash away exposed clams and they need to stay in certain areas that are prime feeding zones. Rolling around on the bottom just isn't what the clam is designed for. 

 

If a clam does become exposed it will quickly bury back into the bottom by using it's foot. This is just one huge elastic muscle and the clam uses this to extend it into the bottom. An adult clam can push it's foot inches into the bottom where it will either curve the tip or widen it to act as an anchor. The the clam simply tightens the muscle and since it cant pull out of the bottom it will instead pull the clam up so it's edge will be straight down to the bottom. Extend the foot even deeper and tighten again and this along with a slight rocking motion of the shell begins to pull it under the bottom. This process is repeated until the entire clam is buried and safe and it only takes a few minutes. The clam will always be positioned so it's two valve siphon is pointing up. Then it just needs to extend up through the bottom to expose it to the current where it begins siphoning in food and water. Sensing any threat the siphon can be quickly retracted leaving no evidence that the clam was ever there.    

 

 

 

Related image

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Found out the hard way that mussels are a little different. Had my saltwater aquarium and decided to set up a mussel bed. Took some stones and made a nice little bed in the front corner of the tank. Pulled a clump of baby mussels from a bridge piling and took them home. cleaned them up and separated them because they were all tangled up with the threads they anchor themselves with. Mussels don't bury so they produce these thin threads called Byssal threads. These threads allow the mussel to attach itself to anything. They feed the same way a clam does.

mussels with byssal threads 

 

 

After cleaning the mussels I placed them in the corner of the tank and left them alone for the night. When I came down the next morning I had mussels all over the aquarium. All four sides from top to bottom and they were all attached. What a mess. Seems like mussels, at least the small ones can move around just like a snail. Learn something new every day.  

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Great info, when l moved to NJ got a senior lifetime clamming license in 2006  even made a clam rake, never went have to give it a try.

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10 hours ago, MitchellNJ said:

This is probably the worst year to start. Clam grounds got hit hard with some sort of huge die off over the Summer.

Summer clamming was better this year than the past 4 or 5 that I've been doing it.  Something is going on in that spot up there.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

We've seen surf guides but really need a clam guide to help us rookies!   Have us meet somewhere and show us the ropes.

Edited by NJTramcar

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not all that hard. a pair of waders, rake, wait for the lower tide, go to the exposed sand/mud etc banks. Rake. Go home and eat. Steamer clams are missing this year. Something killed them. 

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My memories of clamming in Little Egg go back to the late 60's. My brother has a house in Brant beach but we haven't spoken for way too long. I haven't spoken to a lot of people for way to long.

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Hey cool, 4 tine cultivating rake, bushel basket in an innertube from a tractor trailer tire tied to your belt loop,we wouldn't clam the months that have an r in them.work the shelves off the channel in the back bays , play the tide,high tide ,pull up to the islands digging and moving your boat out with the receding water,low tide do the opposite. I dedicated an old pair of sneakers for the season and wore socks and shorts.loved it, our areas were behind Sea isle, Stone Harbor, in the Ludlum Bay area.Good luck.

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A friend of mine who is getting up there in years loves to clam and he uses his brain more than his back. Instead of blind raking he uses spiked garden cultivating spikes and just walks around. Clams are usually just below the surface and he feels them with the spikes when they come into contact.

Wealers Green Spiked Lawn Aerator Foot Shoe Set

 

They don't do any damage to the clams and since he can target them exactly he just uses one of these to pull the clam out. 

Hand Cultivator, Chrome Plated Head

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