The coastal waters of the southeast are home to edible clams, harvested commercially and recreationally. The clams found in Georgia, South Carolina, and North are excellent, both raw and cooked. A clam rake is a tool used to scrap clams for the seafloor. The device is inexpensive and makes the task simple. Here is what you need to know about raking clams in the southeast. 

What Is A Clam Rake

A clam rake is a device used to dig clams from sand or mud seafloors of bays, creeks, estuaries, flats, and more. A rake contains a basket, making retrieving clams a more straightforward process. 

Consider a clam rake to be nearly identical to a garden rake. The forks of the tool pull clams up from the sand and stow the bivalves in a basket position above. Baskets prevent the clams from falling off the rake and back into the sand. Lastly, the handle is lengthy, which helps prevent the user from bending but instead remaining upright.  

How Do You Use A Clam Rake

Digging for clams is a straightforward process that requires minimal technique. Deploy the rake with the tines in the downward position pointing towards the sand or mud.

Hold the handle with two hands and push and pull the rake forward and backward, scraping the bottom.  During the process, clams will be pulled up and into the basket. 

Before retrieving the rake from the seafloor, flip the rake to the tines up position. The clams rest in the basket. When the rake is not turned, the clams fall free from the basket, and the process requires repeating. 

Continue digging for clams until you have captured enough for a meal or the state’s legal limit. 

Does Georgia, South Carolina, And North Carolina Have Clam Limits

The three states limit the number of clams permitted to be harvested per vessel per day. In addition to limitations on quantity, a saltwater fishing license is required per each state’s law. 

Check out the size and quantity clam limits for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Never harvest more than the allowable limits. Lastly, clamers are only allowed to harvest from designated zones in some situations. 

What Is The Best Place To Dig For Clams

Clams are widely spread through inland waters, including estuaries, bays, creeks, and flats. To locate clams, focus your attention on areas where the seafloor consists of sand or muck. Avoid deep waters where you will be unable to reach the bottom despite the use of a clam rake. 

Dig the clam rake into the soft bottom below, retrieve, and inspect the basket. Repeat the process up to three times. If no clams are caught, move to another location and repeat the steps again. 

What Months Are Best To Dig Clams

It is critical to harvest during the fall, spring, and winter months when digging clams. Bacteria levels during the summer are elevated. Increased bacteria presents a risk to those who eat the bivalve raw. 

To prevent sickness, harvest clams from October through March when the water temperatures inhibit the growth of bacteria. No sense in falling ill over eating clams during the wrong season. 

How Deep Are Clams In The Sand

The rake makes light work of digging clams buried up to twelve inches beneath the seafloor. Stand upright while scooping deep into the sand, retrieving bivalves—no need to penetrate more than a foot below the top of the sand. 

How Do Clams Bury Themselves

A clam buries itself by use of a foot. The foot extends outside of the clam shell and moves the bivalve along the surface of the sand or digs to push the clam beneath the surface. The foot is instrumental in fleeing from predators. 

Is It Safe To Eat Clams From The Beach

Are Clams Healthy For You

Claims are exceptionally healthy when cooked or eaten raw. The bivalve is loaded with vitamins and minerals to help support the body’s overall health. 

Clams contain exceptionally high levels of vitamin B12, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and protein. The combination makes clams an excellent choice when selecting seafood to eat consistently. Bivalves contain low levels of mercury compared to other marine life and, in particular large fish. 

Are You Ready To Use A Clam Rake In Georgia, South Carolina, And North Carolina

To harvest delicious clams utilize a clam rake to make the job as easy as possible. When preparing your fresh catch, eat them raw, stem the bivalve, make a New England or Manhattan clam chowder, or other clam recipes. Remember to obtain a fishing license, harvest during the recommended seasons, and never exceed the limit. Lastly, have fun catch bucket loads of oysters.