Living Off The Land and Sea: Digging Steamer Clams with a Plunger

Season 18 sponsors

Andy Nabreski of On The Water walks us through a unique way of gather steamers…with a toilet plunger.

Steamers go by many names, including piss clams, softshell clams, and Ipswitch clams, but no matter what you call them, they make an amazing dinner that you can catch yourself on the tidal flats of New England.

The toilet-plunging method keeps from crushing these delicate shellfish, ensuring they’ll be in perfect condition to steam, soak in butter, and chow down with an ice-cold beer.

Clamming for steamers is allowed year-round on Cape Cod, but they seem to taste best when the water is cold.

For more information on this, and other shell fishing, visit Toilet Plungers & Piss Clams

5 on “Living Off The Land and Sea: Digging Steamer Clams with a Plunger

  1. Ron F

    Trade you a toilet plunger for 2 rolls of toilet paper! The corn cobs are a little rough up here in NH.

  2. Joe

    A step left out was you should use your net,feet to fill in the hole that you created after you put your “short” clams in there so that the gulls and the ducks don’t eat them. And NO CORNMEAL-they live in salt water!

  3. Paul Boissonneau

    Wow, your only the third person, besides me, that refers to them as piss clams! I’ve been digging for years and was told close to twenty years ago that plungers are illegal in Massachusetts. Has that changed? The regs I get all say rake, not even a shovel, although they give you a pass if your using a garden spade, but that’s it. No plungers. Is this a local thing?

  4. Peter D Kearns

    May we presume that the plunger is one that has never been used for its original intended purpose?

  5. Paul Huchro Jr

    Even I’m not from the “coast” of anywhere but live in Maine now, I remember my grandfather calling them “pissers” and I STILL call them that even NOW and natives (Mainers ) don’t like that word…. I don’t know why but I don’t get why they day “wicked Pissah….” ?

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