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Crabbing and Clamming on the Oregon Coast

Crabbing and Clamming on the Oregon Coast

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

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Are you craving an Oregon Coast adventure? Whether you’ve been to our area before or you’re planning your first trip, we have an activity or two to add to your bucket list. Let’s talk Oregon Coast crabbing and clamming. No trip to Oregon’s Adventure Coast is complete without a fresh Dungeness crab or clam feast from the waters of lower Coos Bay.

The best-tasting crabs and clams are the ones you catch yourself. It takes a little planning and patience, but the payoff will be a fresh meal you’ll always remember. If you’re ready to be adventurous and catch your own, you will need to follow these tips for crabbing and clamming success!

Five Tips for Oregon Coast Crabbing & Clamming Success

  1. Get your license. A shellfish license is required to go crabbing or clamming here on the Oregon Coast. Three-day licenses can be obtained in advance at local ODFW offices and at many sporting goods or hardware stores.
  2. Dress appropriately. It doesn’t matter what season it is, it can get chilly out there! Dress in layers that can get dirty and wear waterproof boots, especially if you are clamming.
  3. Get the proper gear. Most of the necessary equipment for your crabbing or clamming adventure can be rented at many local RV parks and other lodging facilities, and tackle and marine supply stores. For crabbing, you will need to rent crab pots and crab rings along with bait, a gauge to measure the crabs, a cooler and gloves. For good old fashioned Oregon Coast clamming outing, you will need a bucket, a clam-digging shovel and/or a tube a.k.a. a “clam gun” (these can also be rented).
  4. Ask the experts. In addition to equipment, many of our local bait and tackle stores will provide instruction and helpful tips for first-timers and beginners. Our bait and tackle stores are also great resources to get valuable information on the latest conditions. They can tell you when the best time of day to go crabbing or where to dig for clams based on the tides and the season.

5. Familiarize yourself with current rules and regulations. Be sure you have a firm understanding on what you can keep and what you’ll need to throw back into the water. These regulations exist for environmental reasons and to sustain the crab and marine life population. For Oregon Coast crabbing, only male crabs larger than 5 ¾ inches can be kept. You’ll be able to recognize the females by their short abdominal flaps. If you are clamming on the Oregon Coast, you are allowed 20 bay clams per day in the aggregate, however, only 12 may be Gaper or Empire clams. Check with your local bait and marine store or click here for ODFW’s Regulations Summary for Marine Shellfish.

The Best Time to Visit

If an Oregon coast crabbing adventure is at the top of your list, plan to visit during months ending in the letter “r”. October, November, and December are the months when you’ll likely have the best luck with crabbing. For Oregon coast clamming, you’ll want to visit when there’s a low tide. The best time of year for that during the summer months of May, June, or July/

Buy It Fresh and Local

As wonderful as Oregon Coast crabbing and clamming is, we understand that catching or digging up dinner for yourself isn’t for everyone. In this seafood loving region, there are several places fresh seafood retailers like Chuck’s Seafood, Fishermen’s Wharf and Fishermen’s Seafood Market where you can pick up fresh crab and clams that have been cleaned and are ready to take home! Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

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(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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