Clamming Tips for Summer Seafood Foraging

Published On - June 18, 2024

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Ah, clams. The versatile little mollusk that makes delicious and “good bottle” worthy meals. Clams are surprisingly abundant in the United States and digging for them is fairly easy, in addition to being a fun summer activity – and a bit of a work out!


We are currently in the midst of clamming season and some would say the best part of the season. Clams can be found in bodies of water from the ocean to bays, estuaries and yes, even lakes. Here are a few tips for going clamming for the first time:

  • Decide where to go: Ok, it’s a bit obvious, but depending where you live you likely have clamming options. If you are on the West Coast, Oregon and Washington have an abundance of razor clams and varnish clams (the purple ones) on ocean beaches and bays. On the East Coast, there are 8 common species of clams farmed all over. Some of the best East Coast states for clamming include Massachusetts (think New England clam chowder – yum), Maryland and Maine. 
  • Check area regulations on clamming: Clamming beaches all have different regulations on what seasons are ok for clamming. Make sure you know the rules in your area and whether you need any special licenses. Also, stay aware of any health warnings.
  • Check the tides: Clamming should be done during the lowest tide possible, as clams are generally in the cooler sandy areas under the water as opposed to on the warm beach
  • Bring the right gear: Do a little research on the best tools for clamming. Boots and / or waders are often an important accessory. Also, you’ll need a bucket for keeping the clams and a tool for extracting them. If you are a beginner, we recommend using a clam gun, it’s a tool specifically made for pulling clams out of the sand and it takes much of the guesswork out. Alternately, you could use a clam shovel or fork. 
  • Bring a friend: This is one of those activities that is best shared with company…and maybe with a little friendly competition. 

There are many ways to cook and eat your clams once you’ve dug enough up. Our recommendation? Add to a skillet with some butter, herbs and white wine and sauté over an open fire. Enjoy outside around the fire and serve with plenty of hot, crunchy bread.

Great clam pairings include our Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.

cooking clams
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