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  1. Well it turns out there is a lot more to clam digging than just going out and digging! My first attempts yielded some pretty decent harvests but I really had to work at it. Not knowing much I had been told I needed a "clam rake", a non resident salt water fishing license, a bucket or basket to put the clams in, and rubber boots. Well I had brought boots with me and I had a five gallon pail so off I went to Walmart. No problem getting the fishing license, $35.00 for a year, the clam rake was something I hadn't seen before, sort of looks like a lawn rake with a basket attached. That clam rake works but boy did it get heavy fast and I found it hard to use. I noticed other people were using a garden cultivator style rake, it was a lot lighter, didn't have the basket attached and the tines were longer which allowed you to dig deeper with much less effort. I took the clam rake back and bought the cultivator and my harvest went up quite a bit with a lot less effort but I was doing a lot of digging still. That's what most of the other people seemed to be using so I carried on. My last trip out I noticed a man walking along, he'd stop and within a few seconds he'd have a clam. This went on for quite a few minutes so I walked over, explained that this was quite new to me and while I was getting some clams it looked like I was having to work much harder than he was. He laughed, told me he was form West Virginia and if there was an easy way to get free food he probably knew it. It was one of those immediate friendships, we just hit it off. Anyway Jim showed me what to look for in the mud, a little breathing hole that looks like one of those old style key holes (there's lots of different holes in the mud but this one is very distinctive) and it is only made by the little neck clams. My success went up immediately and the effort went down to almost nothing. I also got to meet one of the local COs, Chuck Beacham, a really nice guy, very friendly, very helpful, they were checking licenses, catch limits and sizes. Clams have to be a minimum of 1" thick through the hinge to be legal and the fines start at $165.00 and can go up to $1000.00/ clam so you want to make sure you don't have any undersized. Anyway, Chuck showed me how to make a simple little gauge by cutting a slot in my pail, he also suggested making the slot 1 1/8 inches just so there was a bit of a buffer and I could be sure I would never have a problem, If the clam goes through the slot it goes back in the water! Other things I've learned: The smaller clams are considered "steamer clams", the larger ones are called "chowder clams" the names are pretty well self explanatory. Clams unlike mussels will only open up once they are completely cooked and you want to get them out of the steamer as soon as they have opened or they can get tough so it's better to do them in smaller quantities. Anyway that's clam digging 101 LOL. Anyway I promised pictures of these shrimp so: I've got a fairly big hand! A bowl of them And last, some of the newest batch of clams: Anyway, tight lines and stay safe.
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