Clamming for Beginners…..or…..How To Be the Boss of Clamming

Posted by TravelCoosBay on September 25, 2014

Don’t Be Afraid to Try a Clamming Adventure!  We’ve Got Tips, Video Tutorials and Recipes to Help!

Clam digging or “clamming” is one of the most popular outdoor activities on the Oregon Coast because the reward is a tasty treat that is best served in chowder, steamed or fried.

From this (first time clammer)

From this (first time clammer)……

Fried Clams

To this (later that day)…..

Clamming is appealing to so many of us Oregonians and visitors because it is relatively easy.  There are no special skills required, no expensive equipment, and beginners can usually pick it up quickly.  The low tides commonly found from Empire to Charleston make our region one of the top destinations for clam digging.

Ready to give it a shot?  Here are some tips for first time clammers:

1. Get your shellfish license.

Clams can be harvested all year on our coast, but ODFW does require a license which ranges from $7-$20.50. Click here to get your license.

2. Wear waterproof boots (trust us).

Just take a look at the photos and you will see the necessity of waterproof boots. Otherwise, you may loose or ruin your shoes!

3. Dress in layers!

Doesn’t matter what season it is, it can get chilly out there! Dress in layers that can get dirty.

4. Go to a bait and tackle shop before you head out.

Some of the best advice you will receive will probably come from one of the fishing experts at one of our local bait and tackle stores. They can tell you when the best time of day to dig would be based on the tides. They can also help you make sure you have the right equipment- a bucket, a shovel (can be rented or borrowed) and/or a tube a.k.a. a “clam gun”.

5. Keep track of how many clams you dig.

You are allowed 20 bay clams per day in the aggregate, however, only 12 of which may be Gaper or Empire clams; again this is something someone at a local bait and tackle shop can help you with. Click here for ODFW’s Regulations Summary for Marine Shellfish.

Clam Digging for Beginners

6. Watch these tutorials and learn from the pros!

Watch this video to learn the basics of digging:

Rob of Basin Tackle in Charleston, OR demonstrates how to clean once you’ve caught them:


7. Once you are all finished, enjoy these recipes:

Robert Irvine’s Steamed Clams
Fried Razor Clams Recipe
Emeril Lagasse’s Fried Clams with a Classic Tartar Sauce
Pacific Coast Clam Chowder

Our good friends at Fishing Oregon’s Adventure Coast have put together information for locals and visitors who want go on a Clamming Adventure. For details, changes and more information, we encourage you to check directly with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Their web site is:

Now go on, you can do it!