Looking for cheap family fun on the Gulf Coast of Florida? How about try your skills at shark tooth hunting?
- Where is the Best Beach for Shark Tooth Hunting?
- What Tools Do You Need for Shark Tooth Hunting?
- When is the Best Time to Hunt for Shark Teeth?
- What Kind of Shark Teeth Can You Find?
- What Color are Shark Teeth?
- How Do You Find Shark Teeth?
- Do You Need a Permit to Collect Shark Teeth?
Where is the Best Beach for Shark Tooth Hunting?
The best place for shark tooth hunting in Florida are the beaches around Venice. In fact, Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World due to the abundance of shark teeth found in the area. And, you can find shark teeth on all the beaches near Venice Beach.
Our favorite beaches for shark tooth hunting are Venice Beach, Caspersen Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Stump Pass Beach, and Manasota Beach. If you have young kids, Caspersen Beach might not be the best. It has a rocky shoreline which is difficult with young kids.
What Tools Do You Need for Shark Tooth Hunting?
Honestly, you don’t need any special tools for shark tooth hunting. You can simply use your eyes. However, you will find more teeth if you have some tools. Here are some common tools:
While shark tooth hunting, you’ll notice people using sifters. Some are handmade, some are purchased.
Sand Flea Rakes
You’ll see many hunters using sand flea rakes – AKA Florida Snow Shovels. To use this tool, you take a scoop of sand and shells, carry it to the beach or your sifter and sort through it.
Some shark tooth hunters use sand dippers. These are telescoping wands with small baskets on the end. You’ll see hunters using them along the shoreline to quickly grab teeth as they wash up. (If you have back issues – they really will save your back!)
Jar with Twist Top
Lastly, you’ll need somewhere to put your shark teeth when you find them. I recommend a plastic container with a twist top. It is absolutely heart breaking to see a fellow hunter drop their teeth container and have it pop open.
Bring Tools You Already Have
If you don’t have a budget for shark teeth collecting gear, visit your local dollar store for some cheap colanders (or raid your kitchen!). Personally, as a mom with young kids, I like to give each of my kids a cheap serving spoon and colander or small shovel and sifter to use on the beach. Then, I use the sand flea rake to help fill their sifters.
If you are already at the beach when you read this, stop by any gift shop in the area to pick up shark hunting tools. Shark Frenzy is a highly recommended local shop with a knowledgeable staff.
When is the Best Time to Hunt for Shark Teeth?
The best time to look for shark’s teeth is low tide, especially after a hurricane or storm. You can look up tide charts online or through a phone app.
What Kind of Shark Teeth Can You Find?
The teeth you find on Florida’s beaches are fossil shark teeth that are between 5 and 15 million years old! Most of the shark teeth you’ll find will be small, but if you are lucky you might find the holy grail of shark teeth: Megalodon teeth! But, it is likely you’ll find teeth from tiger sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, great white sharks, sand sharks, and more.
What Color are Shark Teeth?
Many fossilized shark teeth are black, however they take on the color of the sediment they are buried in. It’s not uncommon to find white, gray, blue, red, or orange shark teeth.
How Do You Find Shark Teeth?
There are a few methods for finding shark teeth:
- Watch for them to wash up on the sand. The best tooth I’ve ever found literally washed up in front of my big toe at Caspersen Beach. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
- Head into the water until you come across a dark, shell filled line underwater. Dip your scooper or colander in the shells and haul it to the beach or dump it in your sifter to sort through. When searching through sand and shells, remember that the shark teeth often won’t be flat, instead look for triangular or pointed shapes and edges.
- For a different adventure, grab your snorkel gear (or scuba gear if you are certified) and look around underwater. This is your best chance to find large teeth.
Do You Need a Permit to Collect Shark Teeth?
Good news fellow hunters! While Florida requires a fossil hunting permit to collect fossils – shark teeth are exempt. This means you do not need any sort of permit to collect shark teeth in Florida.
Happy hunting! Whether you find five teeth or five hundred – I can guarantee your day will be memorable.