Clamming around OKI - SaltwaterCentral.Com
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webberwood
Posts: 42
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:38 pm
Weather this week has left the boat stranded on its trailer. So until someone turns the fan off we were thinking of trying to take kids out to dig some clams. I noticed someone down at Lockwood Folly walking back with a sackful but wasn’t able to catch up to them. What type of bottom should we look for?  
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Capt.Barbosa
Posts: 793
Location: Oak Island, Chapel Hill, NC
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:56 pm
Make sure u are not in a closed area, alot of the ICW behind OKI is closed. Saw guys get tickets two different times that came in from St. James to harvest them in the ICW. I am assuming there should be a map somewhere that shows all the closed waters in the area. I thought they had shut down Lockwood area last year because of lack of flow, but might be back open now that the inlet has been dredged.  
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webberwood
Posts: 42
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:38 pm
I checked with the NCDENR and it looks like most of the area around Lockwood Folly inlet is open. The majority of the ICW is closed.  
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jms-ilm
Posts: 154
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:23 pm
Maps can be found here:

http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/shellfish-closure-maps

Keep in mind that after rainfall events, some open areas can be temporarily closed.
  
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Clark
Posts: 204
Location: Jamestown, NC
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:57 pm
So back to OP's question - what kind of bottom do we look for??
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Clark
Posts: 204
Location: Jamestown, NC
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:02 am
Com'on guys, how am I going to learn how to clam if you dont
teach me?
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BILLFISHIN
Posts: 926
Location: Wilmington NC
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Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:16 pm
Same question. I have tried and had 0 luck  
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Capt.Barbosa
Posts: 793
Location: Oak Island, Chapel Hill, NC
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Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:01 pm
There are tons of them in the ICW behind OKI east of middleton(but of course it is closed). It is mostly a dark sand/mud or dirt mix. Guess that is what you need to look for....im no pro, my grandpa use to take me in the ICW when i was a small kid. We could fill up a bucket in less than an hour, they were usually less than a foot under the sand. I think i remember us having some type of clam rake to find them under the ground.

If the area around bluewater point is open to clamming i would try that area, watch out for sharp oysters.
  
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jasonafox
Posts: 605
Location: The LA
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:07 am
I would suggest finding the most out of the way spot you can get to, that's open per the NCDMF website (DON'T rely on signage, ask me how I know!), bring you a cold 6 pack, a rake (optional), a bucket, and get to learning how to find clams. If you see oysters around, there is bound to be some clams too. I like to find the least muddy sandbar that has oysters on it.

If you're waiting on one of these boys to give you a lead on a spot, you'll be waiting a while. I saw an actual fist fight last year over clamming "rights" . True story.
  
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Clark
Posts: 204
Location: Jamestown, NC
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:04 am
Thanks for the guidance. I've tried a few times with no luck, but I was doing it way wrong - on a sandy beach above water level...
May have time
this weekend to try again..
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Squid Row
Posts: 4299
Location: 212 Miles too far to the West
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:40 am
Find some shells that are covered by sand. Under those shells you will find clams

Loose shells not the big oyster rocks. If you try around the oyster rocks, try around the edges

if you get a rake get a "scratch rake" you do not dig with this rake, you pull it gently over the bottom and when you feel a clam you dig it up

If you can not find loose shell beds try eel grass beds if there are any around

Mud will hold clams and sand will too but they are usually the first to get picked over

I have some great spots around OI through BHI but a lot are closed and the one nears BHI are too darn sharky to mess with. Had the crapola scared out of me a few times but big sharks in little water
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jasonafox
Posts: 605
Location: The LA
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:46 am
Clark wrote:
Thanks for the guidance. I've tried a few times with no luck, but I was doing it way wrong - on a sandy beach above water level...
May have time
this weekend to try again..


I'm no "Clam whisperer", at least not of the unbearded variety....ill be here all week....but I always find them when I'm picking up oysters. I would suspect they may be on other banks, but I know that if I find oysters, there will be clams there too. And my two cents is dont even bother with huge ones (over 2-3" big), they will be tough as leather. Look for the ones just barely over 1".
  
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Bharbaugh
Posts: 694
Location: Raleigh / Harkers Island
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:32 pm
I clam a good bit around Harkers Island. I like muddy but not to the point where you cant walk in it areas that are near areas that have a really good flow of water on tide changes. You wont get clams where water is moving, but a calm flat area anywhere from 6" of water to just wet near where there is moving water might be a good staring point.

I don't use a rake. I put socks on and walk like an old school typewriter back and forth trying to feel the clams. It's like riding a bike. Once you get the feel , you got it. Until then it can be frustrating. If you clam like the oldschool islanders, when you find some clams you drop to all 4's and use all your digits. Cant afford to miss any.

Welks/conch eat clams. If you see welks, odds are there are clams around. Or it could be clams eat welks but I doubt it. I just know where I clam if I find a welk it usually has a clam in the old barn door.
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Clark
Posts: 204
Location: Jamestown, NC
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:15 am
Played with this last weekend. Tried spots on Core Banks, around Cape Lookout, and the Newport River. Mostly knee deep or less.
Clearly don't have the touch - no clams for me.
Wore waders so it was all done with the rake. Dug lots of shells, just nothing in them!
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Squid Row
Posts: 4299
Location: 212 Miles too far to the West
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Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:11 am
Clark wrote:
Played with this last weekend. Tried spots on Core Banks, around Cape Lookout, and the Newport River. Mostly knee deep or less.
Clearly don't have the touch - no clams for me.
Wore waders so it was all done with the rake. Dug lots of shells, just nothing in them!


Keep looking. I am not familiar with those waters but find that the further back into bays and away from inlets you go, the better. I have never really had all that much luck right near ocean waters.

Find loose scattered shell rather than heavy shell. If you find heavy shell beds, work the edges....

Also, in that area you can find eel grass beds. Try there too
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divnnc
Posts: 539
Location: Hampstead NC
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Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:40 pm
My 2 cents.

Look for mud that is about calf deep near the shore grass. This should be underwater at high tide. If you are in a really "public" area more than likely they have already been picked over so move along. I usually try to start 50 yards away from where I can get the boat at low tide, if that helps.

They rarely are over 4-5" deep so don't waste time digging. As others have said if you take an iron tooth rake and just rake along you will feel the clam. It's hard to describe but after a clam or two you can figure out the difference between shells and clams.

If I'm not picking up 10 clams a minute I head somewhere else.

Good luck

Matt
  
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Fishermans Post

Clamming around OKI - SaltwaterCentral.Com