Pismo Beach clams?

I was wondering if anyone out there has gone clamming in Pismo Beach. I hear that you can find really large clams there. Any suggestions on the best times of the year/best times of the day to go clamming? is it difficult to find the clams?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Pismo Beach is the self-proclamed "Clam Capital of the World". The city holds the Clam Festival every October, complete with clam chowder competitions and a clam-themed parade. Additionally, at the southern end of Price Street upon first entering Pismo Beach, a gigantic clam statue greets visitors. Pismo Beach was once one of the most famous places in America for clamming, but the famed "Pismo clam" reached near-extinction in the mid-1980s due to overharvesting.

    The Pismo Clam is one of the largest types of clams found along the California Coast. The clams can grow up to seven inches, if not interfered with by hungry clammers and sea otters. Legal size is 4 1/2 inches in diameter; and the proper place to clam is south of Grand Avenue (south of Pismo Beach).

    Before you clam you must obtain a salt-water fishing license, which can be purchased at K-Mart (Arroyo Grande), Longs Drugs (Pismo Beach) and Gotta Go Fish'n (Pismo Beach). Clamming is permitted year-round. You will also need a clam fork and a measuring device called a "caliper"; normally the caliper is attached to the clam fork. If you do not use a clam fork, you can use a modified rake, or any utensil that has prongs a foot or so long.

    The limit for clamming is ten clams per day per person. It is a good idea to bring a bucket and fill it with sea water, not fresh water; the clams once in the bucket, will purge themselves of any impurities and will open slightly. This will allow you to remove them from their shells more easily. If you try to remove them from their shells when they are closed, you will quickly learn where the expression "Clam Up" came from.

    According to state law: Clams must measure 4 1/2" in diameter before they can be taken. Undersized clams must be replaced in the very same hole that they were taken from. A saltwater fishing license is required. The annual fee for a saltwater license is approximately $14.20, and a day pass is about $8.40. The licenses are issued by the Department of Fish and Game. Clams may be taken only between a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset. The limit for clamming is 10 clams per day per person. Those caught not adhering to any of these guidelines, will be subject to HEAVY fines.

    Personally, I have never been clamming, per se. I've dug a few up at Pismo playing in the sand with my daughter, and chatted with a few clammers out there. Getting clams requires a bit of luck and persistence, since they aren't as plentiful as in years past. In fact, due to the resurgence of the CA sea otter and the aforementioned overharvesting, they are VERY rare to find over 4 1/2 inches.

    My advice is to just go to one of the restaurants in town (My favs are Splash Cafe and Pismo Fish & Chips) for a bowl of chowder.

    Have fun,


    Frequent visitor- (Usually RV at Pismo Coast Village)

  • ries
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Pismo Beach Clams

  • 1 decade ago

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