Wading Through Mud For The Money

POSTED: 5:18 PM Jun 26 2012
0626 Hand Clamming Image
CARTERET COUNTY -

David "Clammerhead" Cessna starts with a prayer and a plan.

"In this job, time nor tide waits for no man. When you've got to be here, you get here, get in and get out," said Cessna.

I was told to wear clothes you never expect to wear again.

"This ain't no fashion show," said Cessna.

It's out into the water with a small boat attached to your waist by a rope. "Clammerhead" has been hand-clamming since he was six years old.

"It's more than just a job.  It's a lifestyle," said Cessna.

You feel around in the mud for something hard and round.  If you don't find any where you are, you move on to the next spot which may be deeper or more muddy.

"You've got to release your limits on your imagination on where a clam can be.  If the water will flow there, a clam will be there," said Cessna.

A fisherman can get 10-15 cents per clam. For some it's catch and release.

You can't keep every clam that you find.  The law says it has to be one inch in diameter across the jaw.  One way to find out is if it passes through a small grater, you have to put it back.

You learn to love it, and it becomes a part of your life.

"It's an experience, and that's pretty much what life is about, just going out and living the experience," said Cessna.

You can give a man clams and you feed him for a day.  You can teach a man to clam and you feed him for life.

TORI TIDBIT:

You can clam without a commercial shellfish license.   You just can't bring out more than 100 clams.