Our beautiful haul of freshly caught Cornish Razor  Clams

Our beautiful haul of freshly caught Cornish Razor Clams

With the 2013 September Autumnal equinox just days away (22nd September 2013 to be precise), here at The Padstow Mussel Co. we’ve been having a bit of a giggle and reminiscing about this time last year when we took a sneaky few hours off work in search of the illusive razor clam. Whilst this years tides and equinox don’t match up, with some super low tides over the coming days you may want to schedule a bit of razor clamming fun into your diary! After all, the evenings are soon going to be drawing in it’s best to make the most of these long daylight hours whilst they last.

On last years September equinox, armed with salt, a bucket and  lightning speed reactions off we went to catch our dinner!

The Razor clam is an odd creature, not appealing in it looks but absolutely delicious on the dinner plate! Whilst available to buy from many fishmongers and markets, if you know the right place to look you can let that little piece of ‘hunter gatherer’ in you run wild.

Now the secret to razor clamming is a low tide – a really low tide, just like the ones we get at this time of the year. A sandy bank not usually exposed at regular low water is their favourite home. There’s quite an art to the method of tracking down and catching these delicious morsels, so read on…..

1. Look  along the strandline for old razor clam shells (collect shells for later craft projects!) as thats a sure sign there are razor clams in the area.

2. Head out an hour before low tide, and follow the tide as it drops. Using your eagle eye vision, look for small keyhole shape indents in the sand (about the size of a 10p piece). This is where the clam hides out until the tide comes in. They can be tricky to spot! Occasionally you’ll see holes spurting out water, which are most certainly home to a razor clam.

3. Take your salt and dollop a good amount into the hole (this tricks the clam into thinking the salty seawater has come in and it’s time to come out of hiding!)

4. Be patient! It may take a minute or so for any activity.

5. Be poised and ready….the clam will jut out of its hiding hole once your trickery has worked. Hold your hand as if you’re going to give someone a firm handshake, and with the perfect timing grasp your razor clam from the base on one as it emerges up and out of it’s home. Get the timing wrong and he’ll be back in his hole in no time.

5. The razor clam will put up a bit of a fight, but with a good grasp you’ll be able to remove the clam from its sandy lair and add to your haul.

6. The occasional clam will get so excited by the potential incoming tide it’ll beach itself, so always head back and check holes that you’ve salted.

We like to measure our success in how much fun we’ve had. Sometimes you’ll reap the rewards of your patience – other times you’ll be going home hungry, Though always with a smile on your face. Good luck!

Razor Clamming Techniques

Razor Clamming

Razor Clam