🌊 North Carolina Clamming: Season, Limits & Licensing

Many people have been fishing for ages as a recreational activity. But recently, there is a rise to a new leisure activity for people, and that is clamming!

Recommended Equipment

Clamming Shovel

Seymour Trenching Shovel
  • Length: 48″
  • Spade Width: 5″
  • Fiberglass handle.
  • Cushioned grip for improved comfort and stability.

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Clamming Gun

Murff’s Claminator Steel Clam Gun
  • Comes in 5 separate sizes.
  • Perfect for anyone 5′-6′ and up!
  • Stainless steel.
  • Barrel diameter: 5″

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Clamming Gloves

Glacier ‘Pro Angler’ Clamming Gloves
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • 100% waterproof.
  • Made of 2mm neoprene.
  • Fleece lining.
  • Sharkskin textured.

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Clamming Waders

TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Waders
  • Sizes: 10 different sizes.
  • Chest-high waterproofing.
  • Very lightweight nylon construction.
  • H-back suspenders with quick release buckles.
  • Perfect for multi-purpose use.

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Clamming Basket

DII Stackable Metal Clam Bin
  • Size: 12″ x 12″ x 10″
  • Colors: White, Black & Bronze
  • Made of wired mesh.
  • Rust resistant.
  • FDA food safe.

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Clam Shucker

Vollrath Clam Shucker Machine
  • The Vollrath Oyster King Shucker Machine opens clams, oysters easily in a single stroke.
  • The blade is durable and efficient.
  • The machine comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • The handle has a rubber grip that makes the handling convenient.

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People find clamming a more enjoyable family summer vacation activity. You can find a lot of people going clamming in the summers with their families to the coast. It is not as hard as fishing, and that makes it a family-friendly activity. Even kids can do it with ease.

One of the places that are the most popular for clamming is the coast of North Carolina. People from all around this state go toward the coast to enjoy their leisure time.

North Carolina has different locations where people can go clamming. However, there are some factors that you should keep in mind before you consider clamming in North Carolina. In this article, we will discuss some of the common questions that people have while going for clamming. We’ll also see why clamming is a fun activity.

What Are the Areas Where You Can Go Clamming?

There are particular coasts in North Carolina that are harvested, especially for clamming. As clamming is becoming increasingly popular, more clams need to be harvested in those areas so that the shellfish does not get scarce. However, not all coastal areas of North Carolina allow clamming. The regions of North Carolina where people can go clamming are Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, and Tyrell.

The other areas might have clams, but the state law of North Carolina does not allow people to go for clamming there – the reason being the safety of the aquatic creatures as well as the people. So, you can enjoy clamming in the areas where it’s allowed and have a good time.

What Are the Seasons for Clamming in North Carolina?

There isn’t any particular time or date for the clamming season in North Carolina. However, warm waters make it easier for you to catch a bigger shellfish. So, the ideal time for clamming would be in the summers. You can go clamming starting from June till late August. Some event organizers also prearrange clam digging events in the same period. This is because many families plan on clamming as a fun summer vacation activity.

Do You Need a License for Clamming in North Carolina?

The laws of the states of North Carolina do not require you to have a license for recreational clamming. You can just go to the coast and start engaging in your fun activity. However, there are some laws regarding the size and the quantity of the clams you can dig. You can only dig one-inch-thick clams, and the quantity should not exceed the bag limit per person of 200 clams/vessel/day.

How Can You Catch a Clam?

If you are new to clamming, you might want to know how you can get your hands on the clams. Well, clams are not very difficult to catch. You can dig them up from the sand quite easily as they only go as far as two to six inches deep under the ground. People usually use their feet or bare hands to find them. However, some people also use a rake to dig them up. If you are going to use your feet, you only need to drag your feet in the sand until you can feel a hard shell of the clam on your foot’s sole. As soon as you find one, you can simply use your hands to pick them up and store them in a bucket.

However, if you are using a rake for clamming, you only need to put the head of the rake into the sand and shuffle till you feel you have caught a clam. Once you find it, you just need to pick it using the rake’s teeth and secure it. You can use a lot of different types of rakes for clamming. The locals can guide you on how to find the perfect rake. However, even a good old garden rake or a three-tined cultivator can work just fine.

How Can You Get Started With Your Clamming Trip?

It is quite easy to book a trip for clamming these days. You can contact any local fishermen, and they can arrange for a good trip for you and your family. The local fishermen have the know-how of the coastal areas, and they can help you and guide you according to the place that you choose to go clamming.

However, there are also quite a few event organizers that arrange for inshore trips. They organize trips with small groups of people to watch the sunset on cruises, enjoying the marine landscape, bird watching, fishing, and many other fun-filled activities.

Some Added Perks of Clamming

Clamming also has some added benefits to it. Not only do you get to enjoy the activity and eat some of the clams later on, but you also get to see many of the other aquatic species. So you can turn your leisure activity into a productive learning experience for yourself and your kids. While clamming, you might see crabs, rays, skates, oysters, shrimps, and many other species.

Final Words

There are a lot of factors that make clamming a fun activity for a perfect family vacation. You get to see beautiful scenery and aquatic creatures. If you are accompanying kids, it can be a great experience for them as well. The experiential learning that clamming provides is irreplaceable. Besides, it is a fun activity for kids as well. Plus, if you go in the summers, you can enjoy playing in the warm water with your children.

Moreover, as there is no license requirement, it wouldn’t cost you much to plan a few hours of clamming during your summer holiday. You just need to get a few things, pack your snacks for the trip, and you are good to go for clamming.