Where are the best Shark Tooth hunting spots?
I have compiled a list of the very best sites to go hunt for shark teeth, as well as numerous other fossils, while vacationing or visiting the Venice / Sarasota Florida area. While this list is specifically published for Scuba Divers, snorkelers and beach walkers are more than welcome to use it as well.
VENICE FL FOSSIL HUNTING INFO.
This interactive google map has the featured locations pinned. You can click on each one and get directions from whatever location you are coming from.
Type of diving Shark tooth and fossil hunting in the Gulf of Mexico. This area is a prehistoric river bed and does yield more fossils than the sharks teeth.
Type of diving: Shore dive
What to expect at the dive site: Typical sharks teeth found are from the following: Dusky and Black tip family, Sand Shark (current and prehistoric), Bull Shark, and Lemon Shark. More rare but also found are Mako, Great White, Snaggle Tooth and Megalodon. Other fossils that can be found include dolphin, manatee, and whale bones, stingray stingers and crusher platelets and tail vertebrae, porcupine fish platelets, mammoth and mastodon teeth/tusk/vertebrae, sloth claws, alligator scales, and saber-tooth teeth. Best times for hunting are a few days after a storm when the water has settled down. Depths are 16-18 feet, unless you swim a long way out then you may hit 20.
Where to park: parking is on the street: do not park blocking driveways and park the same direction and traffic flow. Many parking tickets have been issued here to non-believers .
Amenities: Florida West dive shop is about 1 mile north of the site on 41 literally just over the bridge back onto the main land. Sharky’s restaurant is at the base of the pier. Venice Beach’s downtown district is 1/2 mile off with food and shops as well.
Pros and Cons: When the water is clear lots of teeth can be found. When the water is a milky emerald green, there will be no visibility on the bottom and toothing is useless.
2. SERVICE CLUB BEACH
Service club beach can be viewed in the above map for directions
Amenities: Paved parking, showers, restrooms, picnic tables and a boardwalk to the beach, grills
Site directions: Take a heading of 250 degrees from the boardwalk steps and swim out until you’re even with the pier (about 200 yards) drop down into 15′ of water. Teeth are found in this general area. Swim west about 50 yards and you’ll come to a nice coquina reef full of fish. Past the reef is an area of black sand that always holds fossil teeth, including some nice megs. About 200 yards farther out on the same 250 heading is the culvert artificial reef (about 1 acre of 4 ft culverts laying around and stacked). Lot of fish here but this is also a popular fishing spot so there is always a risk of accidental hooking and entanglement.
Cons: small parking area and lack of good beach access for launching kayaks (the boardwalk ends with several steep steps which would be difficult to haul a kayak up and down with or w/o carts).
SHARKY’S ON THE PIER
Amenities: large paved parking area, showers, restrooms, good beach access for kayakers.
Site description: there is a large shallow sandbar about 30 yards from the beach, a heading of about 300 degrees for 150 yards will put you in 15-18′ of water in an area of broken shell and black sand. this is where several nice megs have been found. If you continue this heading you’ll come to culvert reef (see service club post for description).
This site is right next to Sharky’s restaurant which is a great post dive/surface interval site for food and refreshment (try the Grouper Wrap).
Special Note: You must stay more than 100 yards from the pier when scuba diving or you’ll get a visit from the Sheriff’s Dept.
Please keep your eye out for part 3. I will post it in a few days!
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