Oregon Coast Razor Clamming

Razor clamming on the Oregon Coast opened back up on October 1st after being closed since spring 2016. Clamming was an unofficial outdoor adventure season opener in 2015 and 2016 but due to closure, not in 2017. As a result, I’ve been craving the buttery goodness and family fun digging for way too long. Last weekend brought the first minus tides of the season and under no circumstances, was I going to miss out.

The challenge clamming in the fall / winter is the minus tides are generally in the evening, when it’s dark. No problem for me, and the bazillion candle power in illumination that I own.  However, if you mix kids, darkness, and ocean surf, the risk of things getting complicated goes up exponentially. Earlier in the day, a friend had suggested Dollar Store glow sticks for the kids which gave me confidence in the night dig.  Brilliant!!!

Gavin had a birthday party commitment during Saturday night’s -1 tide and mom was just fine staying home next to the wood stove with Netflix and Hulu.  That left the two littles. With the promise of McDonald’s for dinner in Seaside, Garrett and Grace were in for the night dig. Low tide was around 8:40pm, so the 3 of us hit the beach around 6:45pm to get things going in the fading daylight.

Within 30 minutes of hitting the beach, we had 6 nice sized Razors. By that time the sun was down, greatly limiting our ability to see the “shows”.  We managed to grind out 5 more before heavy rains hit, forcing a sprint back to the truck. As soon as the kids were cleaned up and their pajamas on, the rains had stopped. The tide was still working its way out so I let the kids play in the truck while I tried to dig a few more. Good decision! I quickly bagged 12 more, larger in size, bringing the total take to 23.

Anyone who has dug for Razors knows that the real work is not the digging but rather the cleaning. After the two hour drive home and arriving at 11pm, clean-up was out of the question.  Sunday morning I setup my cleaning station of boiling water, bowl of ice water, and bowl of ice. Much to my surprise, Gavin wanted to learn how clean clams. For the next hour and half, we tag-teamed the cleaning and ended with 3lbs of meat. The family feasted on a few breaded and boiled clams, saving the majority for a Christmas clam chowder in a few months.