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Thread: Clamming on Memorial Day Weekend

  1. #1
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    Default Clamming on Memorial Day Weekend

    I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this or not... hopefully so. My wife and I would like to try clamming this Mem. Day weekend. We've never clammed before, so we've been doing some reading on the topic. We have access to all necessary equipment to rent through the Air Force base, but no knowledge/skills on the subject. Looking at the tide tables, it looks like Clam Gulch, et al, will have very good tides for mid-morning clamming on Sunday and Monday. (-4.0 and -4.6 at 10:30am and 11:15am). Of course, this also means that everybody and their brother will probably be out there clamming also, which seems kinda scary to us newbies with 4 kids in tow.

    If we go, we'll be going down in our pickup/camper (cab-over bed camper) with a teenager, two younger children (5/7) and a toddler. Clam Gulch and area beaches seem to be the most "family friendly", from our research. We don't have ATVs. We'd be leaving Anchorage after work on Friday evening. We've never been to the area, other than driving past on our way to Homer.

    My questions to the community are: where would be a good place to park/camp? We'd need to pop up a tent for the kids next to the truck. Is the potentially extremely-busy weekend going to be overwhelming for us? (I'm imagining "combat fishing" ala Ship Creek - maybe it's not that bad?). Any other advice in general?

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  2. #2
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    Default Ninilchik

    We always camped along the beach in Ninilchik. Spots for campers and area behind the spots for tents. You can go claming straight down the beach. One problem is you and everyone else will be trying to get a spot Friday. We always had 1 of us go down on Wed. or Thur. to get a spot and everyone else joined Fri. after work. If the camp spots are all full there is a place just down the highway. J&J Smart charters has a good sized camping area(not sure of the charge this year). They also have cabin rentals, restrooms, and showers. As far as "combat" claming, yeh there will be alot of people there but the beach is very large and it won't be like combat fishing. Just remember to bring extra (dry) clothes, water shoes(or hip boots work if you don't want wet feet), and I would recomend gloves(those rubberized garden ones) to keep the clam's shells from slicing your hands up. Other than that, just remember to keep an eye on the toddler as you would on a normal outdoor outing, and if you encounter any mud be carefull. If you start sinking get moving and keep moving until you're out of it. Besides the clams like the sand better than the mud anyway. Good luck and happy diggin!

  3. #3
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    Default

    I would have to second Ninilchik. Bigger clams than at Clam Gultch and pretty easy access with a large area to cover, so you will not feel crowded at all.

    There is a state campground just up the road from there as well.

    Only way to do well at Clam Gulch anymore is to go a mile or two south on the beach.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  4. #4
    Member AK_Mark's Avatar
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    Smile

    I will be at Clam Gultch that weekend. Its early in the season and we always get enough clams close by. You may not find a camping spot there on Friday night but its a nice place to camp. If you go there look me up and I will show where to go. I have a white Ford F250 with a white S&S cabover camper.

    Mark

  5. #5

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    I just camp on the beach at Ninilchik. At the campground there is a beach access, just drive onto the beach only if you have a 4x4 and your camper is not too heavy. The sand is soft and I've seen more than a few get stuck. Turn left away from the river once on the beach, find a good spot and have a great time. You can walk from your campsite to the clams. If you don't have hip boots, get some. It will be very windy, be prepared.

  6. #6
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    Default pay up

    I went clamming last year at ninilchik with my son. It was crowded but we easily found our own space. We dug our clams and had a great time.
    Then I made a bad decision-pay the old man to clean them or do it ourselves-I went the cheap route. Big, huge, gigantic mistake. Next time I will pay up and enjoy my afternoon.

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default charge

    what is the going rate for clam cleaning?

    Is there a difference between hole clammage and broken clammage?

    Do they pack them for you also?

  8. #8

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    Cook Inlet Charters / Reel 'Em Inn. 567-7335. Talk to Charlene or Bruce. They have camp sites with hookups, showers, etc. Nice people. It's not a great big place. They'll give you clamming pointers and spots if you ask. They are about a mile south on Oilwell Road right in the middle of Ninilchik. www.cookinletcharters.com will get you some answers. No, I don't have anything to do with them, just people I 've known for decades.

  9. #9
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default Noobie too

    My wife and kiddos (7 & 8) want to go clamming this weekend. Why? I haven't the foggiest. I have scoured the web and watched a few "how-to" videos and think we should get along fine. If not I'll bug the neighbors with questions
    We'll be traveling via RV with no atv's and I have looked at Beachcombers and Scenic View RV parks in Ninilchik and Kyllonens RV park in Anchor Point.
    Are these good sites?Are there clams in Anchor Point?
    Ideally, we'd like to be able to have a short walk (I know, it's all relative) to clams and maybe some shore fishing which is why I'm asking about Anchor Point.
    Any additional info in addition to the previous posts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default go up the cook

    to get into the Razors - I "heard" that they start at whiskey gulch - but know for sure that there are some tasties at Ninilchik.

  11. #11
    Member rugersbro's Avatar
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    Default Anchor Point clamming

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
    My wife and kiddos (7 & 8) want to go clamming this weekend. Why? I haven't the foggiest. I have scoured the web and watched a few "how-to" videos and think we should get along fine. If not I'll bug the neighbors with questions
    We'll be traveling via RV with no atv's and I have looked at Beachcombers and Scenic View RV parks in Ninilchik and Kyllonens RV park in Anchor Point.
    Are these good sites?Are there clams in Anchor Point?
    Ideally, we'd like to be able to have a short walk (I know, it's all relative) to clams and maybe some shore fishing which is why I'm asking about Anchor Point.
    Any additional info in addition to the previous posts would be appreciated. Thanks.
    If you try to go to Whiskey beach at Anchor point, be prepared to leave the RV at the top as the road down to the beach is extremely steep. I slid around trying to get up it with a 4 wheel drive pickup. The walk down is bad enough and the walk back up is down right tough on old people.
    Ninilchik would be a much better choice.
    Bob at http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/clamming.htm has how to clean clams and the best clam tables on his site. Good fisherman too.

  12. #12
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    sounds like a party brewing down the beach on low tide.... who is packing the beer?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  13. #13
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    Default Thinking...

    we'll try Beachcombers RV park, or somewhere in Ninilchik if it's not full. Site says there's clamming right out your front door.

    Vince, there's always beer in the RV unless some freak circumstance prevents it.

    If anyone is down there, wherever we end up, if you see a guy with a leg brace on and/or by a Winnie Chalet stop by and say hi. I'll have a beer for ya. Hopefully it's cold, if not don't complain, it's free!!
    Offer good while supplies last. And as long as I have no fear of running out myself.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
    we'll try Beachcombers RV park, or somewhere in Ninilchik if it's not full. Site says there's clamming right out your front door.

    Vince, there's always beer in the RV unless some freak circumstance prevents it.

    If anyone is down there, wherever we end up, if you see a guy with a leg brace on and/or by a Winnie Chalet stop by and say hi. I'll have a beer for ya. Hopefully it's cold, if not don't complain, it's free!!
    Offer good while supplies last. And as long as I have no fear of running out myself.

    Chuck,
    I answered a bunch of questions on clamming in this thread;

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ghlight=qkayak

    The kids will love it. Remember the duct tape.

  15. #15
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default Thanks qkayak

    That's some more great info.
    Can I ask how important it is to have the clamming shovel? My neighbor says he just uses a regular shovel.
    My kiddos have their gardening shovels and would love to be able to use them.
    Or I'm going to the base Fri am to rent some for the weekend.
    Thanks again.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
    That's some more great info.
    Can I ask how important it is to have the clamming shovel? My neighbor says he just uses a regular shovel.
    My kiddos have their gardening shovels and would love to be able to use them.
    Or I'm going to the base Fri am to rent some for the weekend.
    Thanks again.
    Use a clam shovel, they come in two lengths, get the longer one. Don't use a clam gun, too slow and bad for the back. Kiddies can play with their shovels but wont get many, the little suckers can be quick

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
    That's some more great info.
    Can I ask how important it is to have the clamming shovel? My neighbor says he just uses a regular shovel.
    My kiddos have their gardening shovels and would love to be able to use them.
    Or I'm going to the base Fri am to rent some for the weekend.
    Thanks again.

    A clam shovel works best for me. This is kind of a personal thing. My father-n-law is old fashion and doesn't believe in clam shovels so he uses a regular shovel. The clam shovels are specifically design for clamming. Much better ergonomics too in my opinion. Some guys just get after with their hands.

  18. #18

    Default

    If going to Ninilchik, take your rods. The river opens for King fishing this weekend. It is open for bait as well. Take some roe and a few good rods and you'll probably catch a king. Saw a bunch caught last year on roe and Vibrax. Check the regs, you can keep two kings, one hatchery, one wild.

  19. #19
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default Thanks...

    Going to Alaskan Angler resort just to clam and I've got the rods set up as well.
    Just need to figure out where the bank fishing is good?
    Just waiting for the wife to get off work Friday and out we go. C'mon weekend!!!

  20. #20
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    we popped 160 out of the sand in aobut an hour this morning in Ninilchick.. -1.1 tide and tons of clams. it was not blowing at all and not crowded. they are working on the bridge there in ninilchick though so wide boats are having issues getting across..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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