This is prime clamming season. Water is cold and I can hit the spots that get closed by the Barnstable Department of Natural Resources on May 1 when the bird poop will make the clams a bit of an intestinal crap shoot. Call it the Townie’s Perogative, but he who gets on the water early, gets the clams. I try to pick the inshore flats clean before the tourists raze them in the warmer weather.
Last spring I took stock of my tired, rusty clamming equipment and decided to borrow my step-father’s stainless rake. What a revelation! Nice rake, cut through the mud nicely. So I went in search of a similar one, ran a Google search on Cape Cod Clam Rakes and found R.A. Ribb in Harwich. I called Ribb and they had an 11-tooth, stainless rec rake with a 6` ash handle. Off I went, down Route 6 to exit 11, banged a left and took the second right. At the end of the cul de sac was a quaint old Cape house with a weathered sign that read “Ribb.”
In the shed behind the house was a machine shop filled with huge metal working machinery. Inside the door was my rake. A quick credit card transaction for $87 later, and I was going home with a sweet implement of clam death.
This is a fine tool. I blast the tines with some WD-40 to keep them from rusting off. It made my old clam basket look positively ghetto, so off I went to Sandwich Ship Supply for a new one, a couple nice shucking knives and the annual copy of Eldridge’s Tide Tables.