Eat from the Sea

Professional forager Langdon Cook shows us how to snag tuna, clams, squid and more from the ocean.
Langdon Cook  |   August 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Fresh from the sea: seared tuna at Anthony's Pier 66

Dig It! We’ve got so many clams, you could say it’s an embarrassment of bivalves. Manila clams, in particular, are easy to dig and nearly foolproof in the pot. They live right below the surface on gravelly or muddy beaches around Puget Sound; use a three-pronged garden cultivator to scratch them out of their lairs. Each clam must be a minimum of 1 and a half inches across the shell to be legally harvested, and there’s a 40-clam limit per day. Check wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish to find out where to harvest.

Jig It! You might hear a dozen different tongues on a crisp fall night on Seattle’s public fishing pier, Pier 86 on Elliott Bay, but the universal language of laughter rings loudest when the squid bite is on. The setup is simple: a lightweight standard fishing pole with spinning rod paired with a glow-in-the-dark lure called a squid jig. Is the squid trying to eat your jig or romance it into a clasp of tentacle-entwined schtupping? Either way, it’s now hugging a mouthful of hooks and bound for your bucket. Finish the evening with a midnight snack of the freshest calamari you’ll ever taste.

Reel It! Move over, salmon. Because of warming trends in the North Pacific, Washington anglers are discovering the hard-fighting charms of migratory albacore tuna—and in a flashback to yesteryear, there are no limits. Gather some friends and charter a tuna boat in Westport. If you find fish—and in August or September the chances are good—your catch will more than pay for the trip.

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