We camped at Screaming Eagle Campground in Ocean City. A nice campground for $33/night. We had hoped to dig with our friends Annette and Clarence, but they had other plans (Disneyland) this trip......c'est la vie. I'll have to battle my wife for the title of Clam King all by myself. That in itself is a blessing in disguise because Clarence would have kicked all our butts with no trouble. He is a one man 'Clam-Holocaust' This is a very popular activity here in Western Washington and when the season is rockin' and the tides very good.......they will come.
Barb loves to dig and she can be relentless when she finds a decent amount of 'shows' (the sign of clams present). However I have experience growing up in this area and digging clams is part of my DNA. I can smell them; in fact they fear me.
In all fairness the "Princess Clam" has come a long way in a short time and I anticipated a battle. She only learned how to do this 3 years ago. I was counting on her 'smoke breaks' to disturb her concentration. In the spirit of fun this will be a multi-level event. There is a different category of competition each day with 1 point per round. We would dig each day for 4 days.....120 clams total. Since we both utilize 'clam guns' rather than shovels we were equal. This year we both used our new
'Clamhawk' guns which although pricey utilize a revolutionary new design which are much easier to use all day. The champion receives bragging rights for the next year while the loser has the duty of cleaning all the clams and equipment, (yeah, like that will happen)
This year the tides were all 'morning digs' which Barb had never done. The alarm clock is NOT on her Christmas card list. Afternoon digs allow you to sleep in and get your stuff together at your leisure. Morning digs? Not so much, but we did make room for afternoon naps. We also had to deal with open beaches at our area (Copalis) and further north (Mocrocks) on alternating days. You want to be on the beach ready to dig about 2 hours before low tide. First day's low tide: 7:35 a.m.
DAY 1 Mocrocks: TIMED HANDICAP (BARB 5 CLAM HEAD START) 1 pt.
DAY 2 Copalis: BIGGEST CLAM 1 pt.
DAY 3 Mocrocks: HEAVIEST LIMIT 1 pt.
DAY 4 Copalis: TIMED UNLIMITED 1 pt.
CLAM CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
DAY 1: Rich 1 hour 30 minutes (dug his and 3 of Barb's)....in all fairness the clams were scarce, deep, and small today.
DAY 2: Barb 7" Great digging today. 30 clams in 15 minutes.
DAY 3: Rich 5 lbs. Found good clams both near the surf and on the hardpacked sand.
DAY 4: Rich 6 minutes, all good sized in surf. Barb was close behind at 14 minutes.
2017 GRAND CHAMPION CLAM KING
2017 SEXIEST CLAM DIGGER
Once cleaned these clams are delicious. They are usually breaded and fried, but there are many alternatives one of which, and a personal favorite of mine, is clam chowder. Here is a link for a few recipes:
We always clean, sort, vacuum seal, and freeze ours according to use (i.e.) Diggers, Chowder Meat, Strip Meat, and Whole Clam Steaks. We finished with 19 packs of clams including 4 packs chowder meat, 3 packs clam strips, 4 packs of diggers, and 7 packs whole clam steaks. If you did the math, we're not short......it's what we had for dinner our last night!
While camping at the beach we dined on Texas ROTEL Blue & Gold Sausage Taters, Gator Ham & White Bean Soup, and Fresh Fried Razor Clams. With our freezer a bit fuller, our arms and backs a little sorer, and our pride still intact we head north to the 49th state......where I hear they have a 60 clam limit! Joie de Vivre!
NOTE: I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS MANY PEOPLE AT THE BEACH FOR A WEEKEND DIG. THE THIRD DAY WE WERE IN TRAFFIC FOR 40 MINUTES TO TRAVEL 8 MILES UP TO MOCROCKS BEACH AS WELL AS A LINE OF TRAFFIC WHEN LEAVING THE BEACH. HOWEVER, MUCH AS WDFW TRIED THEY COULDN'T CONTROL ALL THE LAWBREAKERS, INCLUDING THOSE THAT DROVE ON OR DUG IN RESTRICTED OFF LIMITS CLAM RESEARCH BEDS. I ALSO HAVE TO SAY I WAS A BIT DISSAPOINTED BY THE MESS THAT SOME PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LEAVE BEHIND. BESIDES TRASH, SOME FOLKS CLEAN THEIR CLAMS RIGHT ON THE BEACH AND LEAVE LARGE PILES OF SHELLS. I'M SURE THERE IS SOME ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTED ASPECT TO THIS, BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD. EVERY DAY THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF DAMAGED CLAMS PEOPLE CHOSE NOT TO TAKE AND JUST THROW THEM ON THE BEACH, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE FIRST 15 CLAMS YOU DIG REGARDLESS OF CONDITION. AFTER ALL, YOU'RE THE ONE WHO BROKE THEM.
"You can't escape the taste of the food you had as a child. In times of stress, what do you dream about? Your mother's clam chowder. It's security, comfort. It brings you home"
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