Friday, May 27, 2011

Catch the geoduck if you can ...


I just listened to an interesting segment on a radio show on how to catch geoducks. If you do not know, a geoduck is a species of clam with a large, sometimes wrinkly, rather phallic, “neck.” The radio show host described them as a clamshell with a fire hose sticking out. That’s probably the cleanest way to describe them. Like clams, geoducks are quite tasty and sought after. And some can reach 6 feet long, packing far more meat than the standard clam.
Geoducks live 3 to 4 feet below the surface of the sand. They do not move fast, and they cannot retract their neck into their shell, but digging down that far is a challenge for some. The guest on the show, Langdon Cook, author of the Fat of the Land foraging blog, described an excellent way to catch these guys: like a “bank robber moving in next door to a bank,” Cook said that you have to set up shop adjacent to the geoduck (you can tell it’s down there from an oblong “tell” hole at the surface of the sand). Put a hollowed out bucket next to the tell, and dig down, using the bucket to keep your hole from collapsing.
When you get down three feet – and this is the part that troubles me – you have to dig across toward the geoduck’s lair and feel around in the wet sand for him, or her. I am sure this is an excellent way to catch geoducks. But I have always had trouble with scenarios that involve putting limbs into the homes of wild animals – especially underwater ones. I am 100 percent positive that the geoduck does not have teeth or poison barbs, but … it just sounds nauseating. I once got sick watching a show about these guys who went noodling – that type of fishing where you stick your arm into a catfish hole, wait for it to bite you, then pull it out. No thanks.
Anyone have any good geoduck stories? Whether it’s a good recipe, a funny geoduck catching story, or a good method on how to catch them, let us know!
(geoduck photo by Jesper Rautell Balle)
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