How to Dig for Clams

If you love clams, and you love the salt water, then you should take an afternoon and dig for some. They are most plentiful in the waters off New England, but can be found along other U.S. Coastal waters as well. Here are a few ways to dig for clams and harvest your own shellfish.

Use clam tongs to harvest your own clams and shellfish. These are meant to be used from a boat in about 10 ft. of water (or the length of the tongs.) They work as scissors and scrape the sand on the bottom of the ocean floor digging just a couple of feet down to unearth the clams. The clams are then trapped in the metal toothed-grid.

Try using a scratch rake. A scratch rake is meant to be used in water that is waist high. You simply rake the ocean floor and uncover clams. Be sure to bring a floating bucket for your clams.

Go treading for clams. This very old school method requires no equipment. The fisherman simply feels the ocean floor with his feet and searches for clams. As he digs with his feet a few inches below the ocean floor and feels clams or shellfish, he simply bends down and picks them up.

Scour the ocean floor with a shinicock rake. This rake is short and meant to be used at low tide when the ocean floor has receded. Simply walk out on the wet sand and rake away. Once you uncover some shellfish, toss them in the bucket.


  • Be sure that the clams you dig are of appropriate size to keep. The local game warden can provide you with a ring which the clams must not slip through in order for your clams to be legal. Do your part to stop the waters from being over fished and toss back clams that are too small.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.