Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Before a big “cruise and dive,” we always plan some diving to make sure we are mentally ready, our gear is in working order, and that we have all we need for the big trip. It’s our practice run before the really big event. So, we headed to Venice, Florida to try our hand at diving for shark teeth – from the shore.

With all local boats fully booked in advance, we didn’t have any other choice but to try our luck at shore diving for shark teeth off the beach, and we were rewarded for our efforts.

Not only did we learn a lot about shore diving on the West Coast, we also scouted out some good dive sites, added to our diving experience, and enjoyed the local flavor – food, flavors, architecture and new friends.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida
We consulted several maps to locate our spots.

Shore Dive Locations

Here are the short dives we completed. Alhambra Road is right between #7 and #8. It’s just the end of a road, and not an actual park. Just a dead end.

Number #13 is Service Club Park, and numbers 14-18 are close to the Venice Fishing Pier.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

First Site: Alhambra Road

For our first site, we chose to park at the end of Alhambra Road, on a very drizzly and dreary day. As always, we walked to the site first to get a look at the terrain. We like to determine the type of water entry, survey the steepness of the grade, check for boat traffic, and look for places to rinse gear.

With overcast skies, it was difficult to see the reef from the shore. We noted crab buoys, and shallow spots where the water rolled over a sandbar.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Next we assembled our bcd’s and regs on the ground, and used the back of the car for donning our gear.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

There was one other car that pulled in behind us; someone headed for a walk in the neighborhood and not even to the beach!

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Landmark house on the path to the beach. Once offshore, we used trees and buildings lined up for our direction to swim out to the reefy area.

First Dive at Alhambra

Our first dive at Alhambra was a blowout. We got all the way out, got ready to head down, and lost the pole out of our dive flag. In the past, we had some trouble with the security of the pole. I think I forgot to triple check the knots holding the rig together, because it definitely slid out and immediately sank.

Back to shore we went, take off all our gear, and head to the dive shop for a replacement flag setup. We kept the flag and float just in case we find another stick with weight.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Lucky for us, Venice Dive Center was having a 20% off sale, so we snared a replacement dive flag rig, and went straight back to park and get back in the water.

Funny bit of local knowledge we gained – right next to where we parked, there was a big metal lid to something probably unimaginable. We didn’t want to know. However! Wow! Spreading out a cold damp wetsuit you are about to put back on sure is nicer when the sun comes out and warms up your suit. I’ll remember this trick, for sure! Warm your wetsuit for a second dive; that makes it bearable.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Second Dive at Alhambra

Full of confidence in our new dive flag setup, and with our metal-warmed wetsuits on, we swam back out what we thought was about a quarter mile and dropped.

We were on a sandy bottom, so we scuffled along, headed further West, and started finding the edges of the reef. It was the strangest dive I’ve ever had!

While we were prepared for low visibility, the sensation of being nearly completely in the dark, it was strange feeling water bouncing back at you off something of which you are not sure the identity – crab pot? Shark? Rock? That was bizarre!

The rocky protrusions were not sharp, and they had patches of what turned a bright red color in our torch light. So, we swam with rakes extended so we didn’t bump our head into the rocks. Later we saw someone who dives wearing a helmet!

What we thought was just one outcropping turned out to be a maze of rocks. Sometimes we could get to the bottom and swim between them, but we could not see where to go next. Often we came to a dead end, other times we gave up and went over and down into the next gully.

I did find two teeth, both very triangular. Also, I picked up a few shells and pieces of bones.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Local Knowledge

Back at the condo… after a great celebratory meal on the waterfront, we spreaded out all our gear to rinse and dry attracted the attention of one of the residents of the villas where we were staying.

George has lived there 22 years, and shore dove locally for most of them – over 500 dives in the area. What better person to ask advice! He told us about Service Park, the Venice Fishing Pier, Sharky’s, South Venice Beach. These were all areas we had researched, but here was a bona fide local with local knowledge that he eagerly shared!

Based on his suggestions, we decided to try the pier area the next day. We had experienced such low visibility, but apparently that can change from area to area. From previous boat dives here, we knew we were looking for “the vein.” That’s an area full of black gritty dirt, larger shell fragments, coarse sand and rows of troughs where teeth and teeth fragments could collect.

Venice Fishing Pier // Sharky’s Park

A walk out to the beach to the North of the Venice Fishing Pier was part of our reconnaissance trip to see where we would dive for our second day.

There’s tons of parking, large bathrooms, and several points of access to the beach as well as several outdoor shower stations. The pavilion has handicap access as well as picnic areas.

The park has a great pavilion, making walking to the beach fairly easy as you go above the soft sand. We had read the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Red Tire Report, so we weren’t surprised to see a posted notice.

Although the area looked great, we decided to go back a tiny bit North to the Service Club Park and try from there, slightly further up the beach.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Service Club Park

Not nearly as busy, Service Club Park has a much smaller bathroom area, but also has a recycling center and outdoor showers. The walk out is long, but super easy due to the boardwalk.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Along the walkway are individual picnic areas. They are separated by dunes and foliage, high enough to catch sea breezes but remain under cover.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

After scouting out the beach situation, we headed back to the parking lot to get our gear ready.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Real-Life Shark Tooth Hunter

With local knowledge in spades, Ryan from iHUNTdeadThings graciously gave us a few pointers and tips. He told us to stick to the troughs, look for the gravely chunky areas, go further North, and go further West past the third set of crab pots. He even used a Velcro-top mesh bag with inches marked since he finds so many Megalodon shark teeth! These are readily available in area dive shops, yet difficult to find online. Simple mesh bags work too.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Best of all was what we learned from his set up; two lights on a helmet means both hands free! GoPro on helmet means no hands needed! We also saw that he had the same reel I use for my safety sausage. But, he was using the exact same one, except for his dive flag. What a great idea. I immediately switched mine over as well and installed a new finger reel for my safety sausage.

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

We noticed he used no garden implements, and we’d pretty much given up on using them as well. Although… they had been very helpful keeping us from banging into rocks. They were even great for keeping us from drifting about when the swells moved us around.

Shark Teeth!

While I certainly did not find as many teeth as the professional shark tooth hunter – his “take” from one dive is on the left – my two dives yielded several dozen very pleasing teeth in a wide variety.

With one hand for the GoPro, one hand for my torch, and one hand for my compass, it was a bit difficult. Next time, we’ll just plan to circle the reef!

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida


What to Read Next

Head over the the blog, and search “Venice” to find all the rest – where we stayed, where we dove, what we learned – it’s all there!

Also, after I wrote this article, I found an awesome resource – The Fossil Guy! On that website, there are photos identifying finds, maps, history of Florida; so much useful information. Due to this site, I learned that some small thingies I had been picking up are actually “something” – they are ray mouth plates. Who knew?!

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Accommodations and Other Information:

• On Airbnb.com, search for “Venice” then look for the Venice Villas # listings – it’s a great place to stay. Here’s up to $415 off your first booking. Using my code does not increase your cost – I might receive a small compensation for providing you with information. Or, here’s up to $55 off your first trip at Airbnb.

• Here’s an easy way to do your part in saving our oceans. Do your research! Then order reef-safe mask defog, sunscreen, and hair products at Stream2Sea.com, use my code “KimW” for 10% off. AD: affiliate links used. Stream2Sea Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 20 or Stream2Sea Tinted Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 20!

• For bleeding control training, I’m taking the Tactical Casualty Care from Crisis Medicine: with code “DeepWH” you save 20% on the TC2 course, which I highly recommend. You need more than basic First Aid when you are far from help, as we are when we head offshore to dive, or even in the springs. 

• MyMedic also features Individual Bleeding Control Kits at this link, and my code “KimW” will save you 10% on your purchase. You should bring one to your dives! We do… It’s better to be prepared than to be unprepared. Add a CAT Tourniquet from North American Rescue to any kit, and you are ready.

• Use of my Amazon Affiliate links does not increase your cost, but may return to me a small percentage of your purchase, which helps me bring content to you, and purchase more supplies for my classroom. Thank you for your support!

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

, Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida
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