Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Rake Quahog Clams

Quahog clams are found in saltwater bays and estuaries in every Mid-Atlantic state. These delicious clams can be caught with clam rakes or by other methods.

Raking quahog clams is a relaxing activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Aside from a rake, a container and a pair of sneakers, not much is required in the way of equipment. Raking clams is usually done from spring through fall as harvesters must get wet in order to effectively catch clams.

Raking clams can be done in a variety of water depths and bottom compositions, although some areas and water conditions are more productive than others.

The best areas for raking clams are usually shallow with a smooth, sandy or slightly muddy bottom. Several types of bottoms may contain clams, but are not suitable for clamming. For example, extremely hard bottoms are difficult to penetrate with a rake. Other areas may be covered with aquatic vegetation, shells or other debris, all of which make raking difficult or impossible.

Some clammers prefer to work during an outgoing tide. A flowing tide often helps clear the water so that the bottom can be seen while wading along. Clamming can be done even if there is poor visibility but seeing the bottom can be helpful. Low tides allow clammers to comfortably work farther from shore, where clams are sometimes more plentiful.

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