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Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

Marion, Virginia
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22 posts
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Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

Hi I was wondering if the shell hunting is as good in Sanibel as everybody says it is. We are currently on the west side up by Saint Pete Beach and were thinking about driving down Friday.The shell hunting so far on this side is not good so would rather not make the trip down for nothing.Thanks in advance.

York, Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

I was there for two weeks and just returned. I don't shell, no interest there. But I did talk to a lot of people who do. And they said, things like, 'very slow', 'nothing earth shattering' and ' I've been out every day and can't find anything but the old standards'. Stuff like that.

Austin, Texas
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42 posts
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2. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

We were there July 5-12 and we didn't think it was very fruitful this year. Yes, we came home with some bags of shells but nothing but small stuff. The last two days we didn't collect anything.That being said we still love Sanibel :)

Sanibel Island...
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3. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

Yes, the shell collecting on Sanibel Island is excellent, but it varies depending upon a number of factors, including time of year, tides, currents, recent storms, etc. As a general statement, the shells on the beaches seem to be more plentiful in the winter months compared to the summer months, but that is most likely due to the number of storms and waves. The shell collecting in the summer can be excellent. Although there is always beginner's luck, the more experienced shell collectors are more likely to find more/better shells than the less experienced shell collectors, since they have more experience knowing where, when and how to look for the shells. Last week we collected only one late afternoon low tide, but found some very nice shells, including four beautiful, perfect, two inch Florida cones, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… We also found some nice, fresh dead Lettered Olives, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… , some nice Lightning Whelks, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=81 , Pear Whelks, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=82 and Crown Conchs, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=83 . I was pleased. Now, the shells are not going to jump up into your collecting basket. If you are new to shell collecting, going out with an experienced sheller or shelling guide may be helpful. There is a blog written by a Sanibel resident that can be helpful. You might want to look at http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/ .

As for driving down to Sanibel Island for a day or partial day, that is (at least) at 2.5 hour drive each way. If you are considering the drive this Friday, as in tomorrow, the 1 PM low tide is now very low. If you are coming only to collect shells for a few hours, you may well be disappointed. If you are also coming to see Sanibel and consider a future trip to Sanibel, then the time may be well spent, but that depends upon you. Hope this information is helpful.

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202 posts
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4. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

Not sure how long you are in that area, but yes, the shelling is great! To get the most out of it, make sure you hit low tide. Also, the tide goes out further on full moons, if you have time. It shows more.

St. Louis, Missouri
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5. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

We did pretty well at low tide. Found several nice shells - most small but it was fun to do. I wouldn't bother going if it isn't low tide.

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6. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

We just got back from our first trip to sanibel and we had pretty decent luck shelling. Some days were better than others but we found quite a few really nice intact shells. We visited a couple beaches while we were there and we had the most luck near the lighthouse and on the beach closest to our condo. Blind pass was a bit of a letdown as far as shelling. Overall its hard to determine how good shelling will be since so many factors come into play such as tide, weather and season. We had good luck finding things.Sanibel is definitely worth the visit, we absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back!

7. Re: Sea shell hunting in Sanibel?

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