The “R” Months — clamming recommences

Foggy Saturday afternoon in November with temps in the 60s and a low tide means it was time to go clamming after seeing the clam police had opened up my favorite clam spot for fall harvesting. This is a spot you need a boat to get to, so it tends to be hardly hit by the recreational crew. As a somber aside, in my daily sculling this fall I have seen a massive increase in the number of clammers out looking for clams. It makes me wonder if some of this activity — both commercial and recreational — is driven by the economic cycle and the simple fact that people are looking for some income and some protein.

Anyway, I needed some quahogs for chowder and stuffed quahogs. All waders were leaking, including a hardly used pair of new neoprenes some f%$king rodent like a mouse or chipmunk decided to chew up for nesting material. All the other pairs were cracked, a sign of either ozone rot (never store waders near anything with an electric motor, like a refrigerator) or old age. So … I know what I want for Christmas.

When we went to the landing to get the boat I discovered some Cape Cod version of a horse thief had taken a set of bolt cutters to my dinghy’s lock-up chain. Fortunately the dinghy didn’t get pinched, but now I am in a high state of paranoia that either some yacht club moron officer is deciding a new policy that no dinghy’s shall be chained to the yacht club fence, or the town is going to get serious about cleaning up the abandoned mess of abandoned dinghies, canoes, catamarans, scows, punts, and skiffs littering the shore around the landing. In any event, I need to go down there with some sort of waterproof plea to leave my dinghy alone as I intend to continue using it until mid-December. Any way, if you who wields bolt cutters is reading this, do me a favor next time? Post a notice or call me?

Like I said, it was foggy. But this time of year there isn’t much boat traffic to worry about, and the course to the clams is basically head due south from the mooring for two minutes and stop.

Son and I focused right on chowder sized clams, the ones with shells as big a closed man’s fist. Instead we found some decent ones — right between cherrystones/littlenecks and true chowders. Here Fisher lives up to his name and demonstrates some jerk rake technique (a Ribb jerk rake no less).

I came up with this in my rake, a perfect baby horseshoe crab. Horseshoe crabs are right out of the days of dinosaurs, living tribolites, so I wanted to make sure this one survives to make more. They are hard hit by commercial fishermen who cut them up for trap bait.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

2 thoughts on “The “R” Months — clamming recommences”

  1. Jum[in’ White whale, Ahab!
    Fish is damn near as safe a boat driver as you are! Way to go onpassing on great piloting skills.
    Keep clam and when the world is falling apart around you sing:

    “Salmon enchanted evening!”

  2. I’ll take a bushel of steamer clams please. I’ll clarify the butter …

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