Normally, I go after hard clams. I really like the little ones raw. I also love chowders and baked clam creations. quahogs, however, are not the only game in town. Oysters and Steamer clams can also be found easily in Long Island Sound. Oysters are very easy to collect. You will need gloves because, oyster shells are like razors and your hands need to be protected I like the wool military liner gloves because they are cheap. You will also need a oyster knife or flat head screwdriver. Oysters tend to clump up on each other and you will need a prying tool to cull the shorts and dead shells off. Finding the oysters is easy if they are in the area. Look for a pile of oyster shells or a clump of them in the mud or sand. They may be beneath the surface or above it. You are going to have to look around. Once you find a bed cull through the shells to find one which is a live. You will need to clean him off with the screwdriver and measure it. Oysters for the beds I was on is 3 inches in length. Then place him in your clamming basket. I do want to mention In summer you must store your Oysters in a cooler with ice. Vibrio bacteria is no joke and you don't want to be on the toilet for a couple of days. Store the Oysters in the fridge once you get them home.
Back to my trip. I got to the beds and found the water to be extra clear. It seems the lack of rain has stunted the growth of algae in long island sound. The good aspect of no rain is the Shellfish I am getting are like the ones I get in winter, because the bellies are empty and they are just clean clams. I jumped out of the boat and noticed the oysters right away. I got a few and started culling through them until I got about a dozen. In the process I also scored a bunch quahogs which were in with the oysters. I was not on a big mission to get shellfish. I was out more or less to get out of town for a few hours. I figured I had enough to make a clam chowder and eat a few raw little necks and oysters, but I did not want to head in. I noticed the tide was still very low thanks to the moon cycle we were coming off of. Being the tide was still low I ran the boat over to a sand bar located with in the recreational beds. I know the bar had steamer clams so I pulled out the fork and started digging. I got about a dozen after digging a few holes, and I was on my way home with about a half limit of shellfish.
Once home I brushed the Oysters off, and threw them in the freezer. I do this to get them very cold before eating. Vibrio bacteria is killed by the cold. While I was waiting for my oyster to cool off I went on line looking for a Oyster Knife. I normally just use a screwdriver. Well the first knife was from Wusthof and it was 55 bucks.