Hearing the sucking sound of the mud pulling your shoes as you trudge through the bay at low tide, avoiding nips from crabs as you grab fistfuls of mud- everything about clamming appeals to my little boys. We spent an hour clamming in the beautiful Shinnecock Bay in Southampton, NY this weekend. My aunt and uncle live there, and the last 2 times we’ve visited, they took us clamming, to the delight of my sons.
As my uncle says, the secret to claiming is “walk out, dig, get clams.” Our supplies were only a bucket, a clamming rake, and mud shoes (for a few of us, anyway). We waited for low tide, and then we waded out into the bay to gather dinner.
This was the first time I used the clamming rake. You jab the tines into the mud, dig down, and then scoop up the mud, rinsing the basket in the water to see what you’ve unearthed. The other method, my husband’s preferred method, is to feel around with your feet, and and when you hit something hard, dig down with your hands. I borrowed a pair of my aunt’s mud shoes, so I wasn’t walking around barefoot feeling for clams. I did dig into the mud with my hands, however. And both of my boys loved grabbing through the mud also.
The pictures below show how the clamming rake works:
The boys (4 1/2 and 1) traipsed through a mussel island, grabbed mud by the fistful, and splashed around in the water. Both of them actually found clams and mussels that we brought home to eat. I think my 4 year old found more than I did!