Steamer Clams...some say this is the best seafood one can eat...when you think about it, who cares? The fun is in the way you spend the day...digging in the mud, hunting for buried treasures, the thrill of the catch and the memories you make. The clams you steam over the campfire in the afternoon and eat with lots of melted butter are just the cherry on the top of the sundae...so to speak.
Plunge, rake or dig a hole with your hands about a foot deep. Be careful not to break the clam and very careful not to cut your finger when reaching down to extract the clam from its hole. The top edges of the clam are sharp, so grab carefully (think paper cut from a cardboard box, rubbed liberally with salt).
After finding and digging your first few clams you'll start to see the air holes everywhere. Not to create too much pressure, but your goal is to harvest enough for dinner before the tide floods the flats.
The prize at the bottom of the hole. Limit for the day is one peck (almost two gallons or 15 lbs.)
Once you have them safely in your clam hod or bucket, you'll want to let them soak in a liberal amount of seawater with a handful of cornmeal. The cornmeal is eaten by the clams and causes them to disgorge the sand inside the shell. It seems to me you should do this at least twice before cooking them.
During the summer, sign up in the office to take a trip to Sears Island on Sunday at low tide for a personal demonstration and orientation of clamming on the island. Steve will talk about the importance of sustainable harvesting practices and point out several trails that wind through the 950 uninhabited acres of the island. If you'd like to dig yourself, come by the office on a weekday and we'll help you to arrange a license...it's easy and inexpensive.Read more about clamming on the coast of Maine