About Tides

“Time and tide wait for no man.”
razorclamming.com motto
Thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOA), information about

tides

are readily available to the public. Even better is — NOA has installed solar powered tide monitoring stations in numerous locations that electronically monitor data about tides.”
About Tide monitoring systems.
NOA Monitoring Station
Today tide information is available from many locations. Since this information is available to the public and for commercial use as well, you can now get tide books in many locations, especially at the coast; like gas stations, convenience stores, bait and tackle stores, and the like. Of course any Sporting Goods store in your non-coastal town worth their salt will have them too!
Now a little bit on that Tide Book (Tide Tables are available on razorclamming.com too). Reading them can be confusing, but you’ll be a better clammer if you know how to use it, so have no fear because we here at razorclamming.com have figured out a simple explanation on how to go about finding a good clam tide.
A low-tide or a “negative tide” is important for any kind of clamming. The lower the tide the better, so follow these few simple steps and you will be on your way to clamming!
  1. Find the book

    – they are here on the site, at Sporting Goods stores in your town, and a lot of the gas stations on the coast will have them as well.
  2. Get the right Tide Book

    – if you pick up a Tide book in Coos Bay, Oregon, that Tide book is most likely going to have the tide table’s specifically for the Southern Oregon area and is going to be different than a tide book found in Seaside, Oregon, which is 215 miles north of Coos Bay. The tides listed on this site are from the North Jetty on the mouth of the Columbia River (tides are approximately 15 minutes later in Seaside, and 15 minutes sooner in Long Beach), and that’s as good as it gets from any tide monitoring station.
  3. Find the right dates

    — let’s say you want to go on Sunday, June 13th (highlighted in red here) you would be
    tides table
    in luck because it shows us that on Sunday, June 13th, low-tide is at 9:02am and it’s a “-2.0.” That’s called a “negative tide” — when you see that minus symbol. The more “negative” the tide is, the easier the clamming will be because more of the clams habitat is exposed.

Example


Let’s say you want to go on Thursday, June 5th, well, we don’t see a “negative tide”
tides table two
there, and both low-tides for that day are only a “2.5 and 0.9”. The clamming would be more difficult compared to that of a (negative) -2.0 tide we had on Sunday, June 13th. So, depending on your experience, you might only be successful on a day with a negative tide – it makes that much of a difference.



RAZOR CLAMMING TIDE TIPS

My best advice about tides

— is when in doubt, just go! Yes the perfect -2.1 tide shows great promise; and I’m sure if you were in Las Vegas you would always take those odds for a great day. Nevertheless, the truth is sometimes even with a -2.1 tide the clams just are not showing. I once took my family for an “all-boys weekend clamming trip.” We were about twenty-minutes outside of Seaside when someone asked what the tide was, and I told them it was a 0.0 tide, not a minus tide; boy did I catch some hell! Everyone could not believe I would schedule this trip on a non-minus tide day. But I knew there were many other factors in our favor. The next morning we all limited out in twenty minutes, I was not surprised because all the other more subjective factors were in place. Here is a list of a few other considerations regarding tides when razor clamming.
  • A full moon can increase the number of clams feeding (as seen in tide books).
  • A calm surf can effect how many clam shows there are.
  • Good weather can also effect feeding, and shows.
  • 40,000 people on the beach the night before has a negative impact on shows.
  • Early season (March thru May) are better for razor clamming then late season.
  • Tides in early morning are better then late afternoon.
  • The quality of the ocean water can effect how many are feeding.
  • Even El Nino~… etc., etc.
There are many factors about tides to consider. So you have to think like you’re a clam! Would you be more likely to feed on a crappy day, with a rough surf, after being trampled on by 40k people the night before? Or a day with perfect conditions when the tide isn’t as low? There is nothing better than a low-tide, but remember there are other factors; the most important being — be two hours early, take your time and be patient. Sometimes in the last twenty minutes after the tide changes, I’ll limit out.