Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips "Where can we go clamming around here in Ocean City, MD?"
"Where can we go clamming around here in Ocean City, MD?"
"Where can we go clamming around here in Ocean City, MD?" 

When I’m deciding what to write about each week, I think about the questions I get asked while I’m working in my store. I had a lot of people asking about clamming last week, probably because it got so hot and the idea of walking around in the water with a clam rake seemed like a cool thing to do!

There are only so many places where you can clam from the shore in the Ocean City area. Starting from the north, you can clam behind Northside Park at 125th Street. Keep in mind that the park is closed a few days before and after the Fourth of July so they can prepare and take down the fireworks. The clams here are generally large chowder clams and you have to wade way out in the water to find them, generally out past the end of the pier during a low tide.

The next place you can find some clams is at the Isle of Wight Park that is located in the middle of the Route 90 Bridge at 62nd Street. There is an observation pier there that anglers fish and crab from as well. Once you get to the pier, you need to walk the edge of the marsh back towards Ocean City and clam near the rocks near the foot of the Rt. 90 Bridge. You want to clam at extreme low tide there as well.

Behind the Convention Center at 41st Street is another popular clamming area. Walk down the steps into the water and head towards the right. There are clams around the marshes, around the rocks and clams if you walk way out at low tide. It does get picked over in the summer, but clams move around and you can find some if you work and hunt!

I like to wade in the water and try to see the bottom and look for little key holes in the sand or mud. Dig your rake where you see the holes and hopefully you’ll find some clams. Where you find one clam there is usually more!

Assateague Island has several places you can clam. One of the best areas is a place where there is no parking. What you have to do is park on the west side of the Verrazano Bridge and walk your stuff across the bridge (there’s a walk way.) Clam on the South East side of the Bridge. Walk away from the Bridge as there is a drop off close to the Bridge Pilings! There is a huge flat of area that holds a lot of clams. This is a popular area for boats to pull up and clam as well. The water is usually churned up here, so you don’t see much on the bottom, so blind clamming will have to be the choice.

What I do to make it less like work is to drag the rake behind me and wait till I here a “clink.” Then I turn around and dig and it will either be a clam or a shell. Once you find one clam, you can dig in earnest and there are likely more clams in the same spot.

Keep in mind that this is a wetlands environment. Biting flies can be unmerciful during a west wind. I wouldn’t even go there if the wind is from the west. I’ve heard of families getting there, and turning right around and leaving after 10 minutes!

If you like Assateague but don’t like that walk, there are clamming areas on the bayside within the National Park area. You will need to take a right and go into the National Park, pay an entrance fee at the toll booth, and drive to the clamming areas. (Old Ferry Landing Road is one of the roads to turn off for clamming. Look for the signs with a clam on it!) Boaters anchor close to this area as well and jump out and clam. There is lots of area to walk and clam.

The neat thing about Assateague is you can see the wild ponies and deer and have a picnic lunch and really make a day of it in the park. Getting away from the traffic of Ocean City for a day can certainly give you a break. Just buy or rent a couple clam rakes, take a bucket or bag (those nylon mesh beach bags work great) to hold your clams, and wade around and have fun! Just don’t forget the bug spray!

“Do I need a license to clam in Maryland?”

No, you do not. But if you go to Delaware, you do need a license to clam. In Delaware the clamming locations are:

"Holt's Landing" is a very good clamming area. It is part of the Delaware Seashore State Park and is located off Rt. 26. You go north into Delaware to Bethany and make a left on Rt. 26. Follow the signs. You make a right in Clarksville and follow the signs. Visit the Fenwick-Bethany Chamber of Commerce to get a map before finding this area as it does involve a little trip into the country. You can also clam around the Cape Henelopen Pier in Lewes. You have to pay to get into the Cape Henlopen State Park.

Some people clam just south of the Indian River Inlet, but you must park on the side of the road and walk across the marsh. Always clam at low tide.

“I have a boat. Where’s the best place to clam in Ocean City?”

In the Ocean City bay, the clamming is very good on the sand bar just offshore of Bahia Marina at 22nd Street. Many vacationers rent a boat for a couple of hours and clam there.

The large sand bar just North of the Route 50 Bridge holds lots of clams as well. Most of the clams are on the southwest section of that bar. Stay just offshore of the bird sanctuary signs. Some anglers call this “Bird Island.” If you have a larger boat it is best to come around to the island from the East channel. It is 4 or 5 feet right next to the southern most end of the green island. Come around the west side of it and head towards the sand bar. Anchor anywhere in there, hop overboard, and walk towards the sandy bar. There are clams all in there and you want to start raking as soon as your feet hit the bottom! There are clams on the sand bar just offshore of Hooper’s Crab House just North of the Route 50 Bridge. There’s not as many as on the other islands, but it is a quick hop, skip and a jump for the boats docked at Hooper’s.

Have fun, wear tennis shoes, and good clamming….

Sue Foster is an outdoor writer and co-owner of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City, MD and Fenwick Tackle in Fenwick, DE.