Been spending more time near the ocean, and it blows my mind how many opportunities there are to shellfish.
Anyways, thought I'd start up a thread about it.
I prefer to rent a couple traps and crab off the dock while drinking beer all day in a lawn chair. Renting the boat is a cool experience, but a bit pricey. To cook them, I make a spicy boil and go to town on them whole. For less adventurous eaters, full clean and chill with cocktail sauce and lemon.
Ya just kinda go out there and pick em with a screwdriver. On a warm day, I don't mind getting soaked in ocean water to my waist. To prepare, soak in cold water for 20 minutes or however long it takes to scrape each one over with a knife to clean it. I like either grilling them very lightly till they just barely open, or steaming into vongole.
Purple Varnish Clams:
The invasive species are easy digging, albeit a bit sharp. Gotta keep em alive soaking in ice water for like at least 48 hours cuz they're really sandy. Steamed in salty water and served with a bit of the broth to dip in to wash any sand off before biting.
Kinda similar to digging razor clams where you look for the pinky sized show and race it. Soak for at least 3 hours. The west coast ones contain arsenic, so you gotta shuck em and trim the skin off the valve.
Can never seem to get to them when the tide is low enough.
Back in Colorado, we'd find a lake that's infested with them and throw traps out. At our spot, we'd grill em on the fire ring at the campsite.