What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

We learned a lot while shore diving from Venice, Florida in the search for shark teeth. Here’s our experience and what we discovered through our Florida shark teeth shore diving experiences!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Talk to the Locals

Our first stop upon arrival was both the local dive shops. We not only spoke to staffers there, but also to other divers coming and going. While they waited on tank fills, we asked questions.

Also, we talked to people in the parking lot! We had some fun checking out their finds, hearing their tales of finding huge mastodon teeth. Additionally, we got to take a peek into their buckets. This fueled our enthusiasm – “they’re out there!” and gave us an idea of for what we would be looking; what colors and shapes.

Understandably, the staff at the dive shops probably get really tired of the same shark teeth diving questions. Our method was to directly acknowledge that. “You probably get so sick of answering this same old question, but, I’m going to ask it! Where are divers finding teeth these days?” Usually a bit of self-deprecation goes a long way.

The might laugh and tell you where they’ve heard people finding teeth and fossils that week. Keep in mind, due to conditions, the majority of people might be shore diving or boat diving, which could skew results.

Read further to hear our serendipitous meeting with a local diver at our Airbnb. We would never have met him at a hotel!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Go FAR Out to the Vein

Using the shore dive from Service Club Park north of Sharky’s, we encountered a local shark tooth diver who gave us a couple pointers and suggestions. He suggested we walk a bit north before swimming out, about a quarter mile when hunting shark teeth from a shore dive.

We were so fortunate to get to talk to him, and even more lucky to get to watch how far out he swam before dropping and searching.

There were three lines of crab pot markers, from north to south. They helped give a visual aid to us as he swam out. We could check how far from shore he traveled before submerging. Then, when we were swimming out, we used those same markers to guide us to the area we wished to explore.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Watch Sites First

When we got to each proposed dive spot, we watched for at least ten minutes. Tide, currents, rips – we looked for signs of any of these. In addition, we took note of local boat traffic so we could anticipate future traffic.

As we dove, we definitely heard plenty of boat props above us at times. At 20 feet, we weren’t worried about coming into contact with the boats. The sounds did remind us to allow plenty of air for the trip back to shore.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Be Flexible

Some of the dive spots we tried out, like the one at Alhambra, have very little parking available. Be ready to ditch one location and head to another.

As it turned out, the road immediately at our Airbnb would be a perfect spot to launch! Next time, we will roll our cart to the end of the driveway, and take the plunge. Once on site, we realized how close our Airbnb was to the offshore vein of teeth and fossils.

Situated almost exactly between two of the popular spots; it’s going to be a perfect location to look next time. While the known dive spots north and south of it have been well-searched, it’s not likely that half mile or so has been over-visited!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Plan in Advance

When we arrived, we were so thankful that we had conducted a lot of research online in advance. Not only had we searched scuba diving boards for information on sites; we mapped them and saved addresses in our navigation app for Florida shark teeth shore diving best sites.

We took the time to look closely at locations, distances, and parking. That way, we had no unexpected surprises.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

The Nitty Gritty

We learned that there is a particular “look” to the areas where you are more likely to find shark teeth. They look granular, like someone has tossed a lot of salt and pepper tiny pebbles and coarse sand.

In the offshore vein that is close to shore, you will find long-running ridges situated north to south. Follow the trough between them to find shark teeth.

Also, areas around the base of coral or manmade structures, wave action may either expose items there, or move them there where they are protected and visible.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Watch a Couple Videos

No laughing, but if you watch a few videos in advance, you will save yourself about an hour of eye adjustment. It’s possible you will benefit from acclimating your perception. Knowing ahead of time what “profitable” bottom will look like is a huge bonus. I wish we had done this in advance.

The shark tooth diver we met in the parking lot at the Service Park location, Ryan, told us about his iHUNTdeadThings videos. After the trip, I watched a few, and sure wish I had seen them in advance. You will learn so much! I think you’ll REALLY like watching “Ryan’s Nightmare” where he passes leaves behind a killer tooth.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Know What You Want to Spot

After watching the videos, you will have a better idea of for what your eyes need to seek when hunting shark teeth. Straight lines that don’t appear naturally in the sand are a good giveaway. I’ve always found that when searching for shark teeth on shore or underwater, once you find one, you find the rest closer and faster. That’s because you’ve acclimated your eyes to what they should seek.

You’re looking for those straight lines to find the megaladon shark teeth, and they are likely to be the same color as the sand.

For the smaller shark teeth, you are looking for those regular shapes with straight lines, and the black color of the teeth.

My mask strap is the whale shark mask strap design from Girls That Scuba – isn’t it gorgeous? They come in several solid colors like blue and teal, or whale shark design.

And that Dive Rite Line Cutter – a new favorite of ours. We can fly with it, cruise with it, and never get stopped in customs or by the FAA!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Magnification and Reduction

One thing that works in your favor is that items appear 30% larger underwater. Or whatever that statistic is! So, it’s like having your own magnifying glass built into your mask.

Unfortunately, you might get a bit of a giggle when you unload your bag later. As I sorted through my finds, I remembered exactly how each tooth appeared to me underwater. These teeth were exactly the same – but smaller! Actually, no. Now I was seeing them “life-size.” They looked smaller once I was not wearing my mask. They still were beautiful!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Equipment Changes We Made

Dive Flag on Finger Spool

Something we learned from Ryan with iHUNTdeadThings was to move our dive flag and float from a polypropylene line and cumbersome wrapped holder to a finger spool. I’ve been using the Scuba Max 150 foot Dive Reel, and it was a perfect swap to be the new dive flag reel!

It happened that I had brought a new finger spool with me that could go on my safety sausage in exchange. It’s the Innovative Scuba Finger Spool With Hand Winder And Brass Clip. How on earth did we not think of this before. We would be diving at a consistent 20 foot depth, so the ability to clip it off and keep both hands free was so smart!

Also shown is my Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe LED. It’s attached to my smb, which is staged in a mesh tube that zips into my Zeagle Zena BCD.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Really Big Dive Flag

We treated ourselves to a jumbo dive flag! The one on the left is what we had brought with us. We upgraded to the big beauty on the right!

By the way – the dive flag line holder above is what I was trying to describe in the previous section. Spool? Hangar? Reel? Arm Reel? Not sure what they actually are called. They work great when you don’t need both hands for collecting shark teeth! You put your arm through the middle, so it’s easy to adjust.

An additional bonus to our new dive flag is that it’s so different with the shark tooth; our friends can find us easily when we dive Blue Heron Bridge!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Stay at an Airbnb; Meet Locals!

To keep a quickie – or even a long-planned trip under budget – stay in an Airbnb. You accomplish several objectives. First, it’s usually less expensive than a hotel. Second, have a much greater chance to meet locals who also dive, as we did. To read about our stay; here’s Villas of Venice.

We got some great advice when we spread our gear out to dry by the pool. A resident who had been diving the area over 20 years gave us so much great information. Unlike a dive shop clerk who’s had to give the same information dozens of times a day, a local probably does not, and will be more willing to talk in-depth about conditions, locations, and so much more

Third, preparing your own meals is not only more economical, it’s also much healthier than eating out for every meal.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Secret Airbnb Benefit

Let’s just say… Internet speeds far faster than any hotel can provide. ‘Nuf said. Check out these speeds! Oh yeah! No sitting around waiting to upload!

For your own booking, here’s a link: Airbnb this one says, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.” Friends who sign up for Airbnb with my link will get $40 off their home booking. And they get $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.

Also today, this one, Airbnb says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure. I’m ready to book from this one right now! I’m thinking it’s a computer glitch – so jump on it fast!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Take Your Own Tanks

Yes, it’s not that fun to lug them around, but… but!!!! it gives you so much more flexibility. No shop hours to conform to, no worrying if they will run out; the benefits are endless.

Tanks seems like an expense initially. Once you have them – you will use them more than you realize. Our “cost per use” is decreasing monthly! We did some fancy math awhile back when we were deciding if the purchase expense was justified. It was.

Luckily, a friend gave the two stomach-settling potion pink tanks. Not my first color choice, however, everyone can find me underwater. And, they never get mixed up at the dive shops.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

You Will Need That Hood

Brought ours on a whim – diving in 80° water, we wouldn’t need them, right?… Wrong. SO wrong!

With bottom times of an hour and a half at 20 feet, you will need a good dive hood. This one is a 3mm, and it was just enough.

For wetsuits, we also used 3mm suits. A skin, even at “only” 20 feet, would not have been sufficient.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Bags Top, Tanks Bottom, Rubber Mat

Most likely you know to put the tanks in the bottom of the trunk, bags on top. Taking bags means it’s so easy to pull them out so you can access the tanks for refills. It just makes everything so much easier.

Yeah, don’t even think of not investing in a decent rubber mat for the floor of your car. Water will seek lower areas, and will continue to drain from gear – even gear that you think has thoroughly drained!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Garden Tools

Well, for something great to have but you might not get to use – the garden tools. Although we dragged them along for two dives, we realized we used them mainly to hold ourselves in position this time.

We didn’t use them for digging. Maybe some other time. But this time, there was too much sediment billowing up when we attempted to use them. In fact, last time we dove for shark teeth, we really needed them!

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida
Drawstring bags.
Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida
Sticky tape top bag.

You Do Need a Bag

Yup, you do need a mesh bag. It does not have to be anything too fancy, but the easier it is to open and close, the better. Also, it needs to close and not allow small items to escape. XS Scuba makes one that is the perfect size.

A drawstring bag is a bit too cumbersome to open and close every other foot you travel. However, if that’s what you’ve got, then use it. I found about a handful of teeth each dive. Ryan from iHUNTdeadThings found about the volume of a 12 ounce soda can’s worth of teeth each dive. So; small bag.

Bags with double loop sticky strips like the one from XS Scuba work fairly well, except that often you need two hands to open them. The teeth I found were so small that I kept worrying that I would drop them while putting them in the bag. That means the hook on this bag is a must have to keep it attached to your body!

Perhaps I can design a pouch to go on the back of each hand’s glove! Something you could keep pushing teeth into, like those hazardous waste boxes for needles.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Dependable Mask Defog

We tested out the best mask defog I’ve ever used; Stream2Sea’s Mask Defog. With dive times of an hour and a half, you need an ironclad defog, and this is the one!

It has the perfect balance between sticky and smeary. A dot about the size of the free-floating clear nosepiece on a pair of glasses is about right – just enough to put a film over the lens.

I’m still amazed at how well this performed when we needed it the most. For 10% off, use my code DeepWH at Stream2Sea. They produce all reef-safe products, biodegradable, and safe for you as well.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Sunscreen for Long Walks Both Ways

It’s pretty much a guarantee that you will have a long walk up the beach to the entry point. Which means also a long walk back… You absolutely need a reef-safe sunscreen that can be applied before the dive and last underwater until you return.

Stream2Sea’s performed wonderfully for me when we went shark tooth diving. We had a very long walk to and from the entry point, then the time to change out tanks, and I did not burn. It’s a mineral sunscreen, so it takes only a thin sheen to protect you.

I use both the regular and the tinted versions. There’s also reef-safe shampoo, leave-in conditioner, sting relief gel, and lip balm available from Stream2Sea. For 10% off anything, including UPF rash guard shirts, use my code “DeepWH”.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Get Your Permit – Stay Legal

If you think you might want to collect a few fossils, make sure you apply for and receive your permit in advance. It’s not necessary for shark teeth. While others might tell you there’s no enforcement, or that no one bothers; it’s still a good idea. My dive partner Bill has no interest in collecting bones, so he doesn’t maintain a permit. I do, so I do.

First of all, it’s the law. That’s enough for me. Secondly, our resources are not infinite, and what’s out there doesn’t really belong to me; it belongs to all of us. So, it’s best to be responsible and “do it right.”

Permits are $5 a year, you can find it here: Florida Fossil Permit Application and Permit, and they do ask that you send an annual report of your finds.

You are prohibited from destroying, defacing, buying or selling of vertebrate fossils found on or under land owned or leased by the state and on land in state-designated vertebrate paleontological sites.

Your Responsibilities When Collecting

The permittee must abide by all the provisions contained in Florida Statutes § 1004.575-576 and the University of Florida Regulation implementing this law. This means allowing accredited institutions the option for temporary or permanent loan of the fossils you find so they can study, display, or curate them.

Participating in any of the prohibited actions without first obtaining a permit is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no more than $500 or six month and under imprisonment in the county jail, and the fossil will be confiscated.

The Florida Museum would like to see digital images of your find, and, in return, they will identify them! Hooray! You can even post photos on your website, and email them the address! Mailing specimens is also allowed, and they will be returned.

Best of all, there’s a large section on their website about preserving fossils! Removing deposits, preparation, conservation – it’s all covered here, and from the experts. It’s a whole book’s worth of information. Just having access to this information is worth the $5 a year the permit will cost you.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

What to Read Next

What We Found Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice, Florida // Collecting Fossils Legally

Venice Villas Studio #57 // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Updated June 9, 2020.

Florida shark teeth shore diving, What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

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