Today we went razor clam digging for the first time, here in Southwest Washington State. We live about a 2 hour drive from Long Beach. One of the things that is noticable about Long Beach, is the beach is quite long.
The state publishes the low tide tables. The clams are best dug at low tide, far out on the beach in what is ocean under water, the rest of the time. I expected lots of people, but they were spread thin. That may be because there is some sort of sports event on TV today, called "The Soup Bowl" or something like that.
The best digging time is two hours before low tide, until low tide itself.. We arrived 3 pm with low tide being 6pm, which was too early. We spent an hour or so never seeing "clam sign". One young woman, probably in her 20s, was the clam whisperer - she just walked out the water's edge, looked at various spots, and dug, making her limit in about 30 minutes. The sad part is the place where she dug was exactly where I was looking, 15 minutes earlier, and saw nothing. After she dug her limit, she came over to me and Ning and started pointing out dimples in the sand. What a nice person. I think she has a lot bettter vision than old Daniel, but eventually I saw some too. In a short while, Ning and I each had our limit of 15 clams.
The state requires that each person keep their own clams, so we each had a bucket. The game wardens were actively checking, although we missed that experience ourselves. I counted 3 times to make sure we were under the limit.
Even though I had an iron infusion a few weeks ago and feel more energetic, this was still a long day and I'm too tired to clean them. We have them in wide buckets of ocean water on the deck, with grating on the top to keep local critters out. I hope. They are still alive, and the night is chilly, so I think they will be OK in the am for part two: cleaning and cooking.
According to the state of Washington, Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Razor clams are the best tasting of all clams. Although, I also read that geoducks are the best tasting of all clams. What do I know?
One thing about many Pacific Northwest fishing activities, is you aren't ever really alone. When I was a boy growing up on the Mississippi river, we would be out on the river and not see another soul. I suppose there are more isolated places - I hope so, the forests and mountains and shores are vast - but in my area, isolation is hard to come by.
What a great adventure! I bet Ning had a good time! I know you did, Daniel, I can tell by the smile on your words. Do you have a recipe? Jeez, I can't remember how we did it; that was 60 years ago this month.
I've learned a thing or two here. And the photos are great! Thanks for the post.
We vacuum sealed a batch and froze. The other batch was soaked in ...fried with cracker crumb batter
Daniel, I love the smile on your face and in your words! You look great! How are you feeling?
Daniel--they look beautiful! I consulted my neighbor on his cooking method (and I can give witness that it's great. He dips them first in flour, then in mixed up egg, then in panko, and then, as he puts it, "show them the frying pan 30 seconds each side."
Thanks for sharing your adventure and meal.