Clamming around Chincoteague

Clamming is a good activity the family while visiting Chincoteague Island. Clams are easy to find, cook and handle. Local clammers can catch clams by raking, wading, and signing. 

Some areas around Chincoteague and Assateague areas are accessible by foot. Boaters can explore even more possibilities. You can also charter a local captain to guide you on an enjoyable clamming trip.

Raking Clams

Raking clams is simple to learn although raking is strenuous work. Special rakes which have a basket attached are used to scour the bottom for clams. When the rake hits a clam, a telltale ring is heard or felt in the rake handle, alerting the user that a tasty clam is below. A little experimentation or  a few tips from a local will have you clamming like a pro in no time.

Wading for Clams

This is the most fun and the least work of all types of clamming. Enthusiasts wade along the soft bottom, feeling the clams underfoot. When a clam is located, the wader reaches down and grabs the clam. The most serious waders sometimes go barefoot and extract the doomed clam with their toes. This is not usually recommended as sharp shells can give a nasty cut.

Signing Clams

clam keyhole

This is a more difficult method to learn. Clammers walk along the shore or mud flats, looking for a distinctive, "keyhole" shaped air hole in the mud. A little hand rake is used to dig out the clam which will lie just under the surface. This method can yield the smaller, delicious clams. Clams "sign" only under certain conditions.

 

Chincoteague Island Clam Fritters

Ingredients

12 large shucked clams and clam juice
2 cans diced tomatoes or about 8 medium fresh diced tomatoes
3 or 4 diced white potatoes
1 diced carrot
1/2 small diced onion (optional)

Directions:

Use kitchen shears and snip the clams into small pieces. Remove the stomach sections and discard.

Dice the vegetables.

Combine the ingredients, clams and juice in a sauce pan.

Season with pepper. Add water as needed to cover the ingredients and simmer for 2 hours on medium heat.

 

Chincoteague Clam Chowder

Ingredients

12 large shucked clams and clam juice
2 cans diced tomatoes or about 8 medium fresh diced tomatoes
3 or 4 diced white potatoes
1 diced carrot
1/2 small diced onion (optional)

Directions:

Use kitchen shears and snip the clams into small pieces. Remove the

stomach sections and discard.

Dice the vegetables.

Combine the ingredients, clams and juice in a sauce pan.

Season with pepper. Add water as needed to cover the ingredients and

simmer for 2 hours on medium heat.

 

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Submitted by: cin