If you are visiting Florida and staying near the Gulph coast in the Sarasota or Bradenten area, visiting Venice Beach to hunt for Shark teeth is a must do family activity. Check out our tips on How to Find Shark Teeth at Venice Beach below to see what worked for us. We had SO much fun and literally found DOZENS of shark teeth on our visit to Venice Beach. Venice Beach is the “Shark Tooth” Capital of the world and it did NOT disappoint when it came to our enjoyment of the gorgeous aqua waters and our success at finding dozens of shark teeth. However, we had such great success since we followed a few key pointers and didn’t just show up hoping to get lucky and find a shark tooth. We did some research and then definitely put in a bit of effort into the treasure hunt to get such great results. The kids were ecstatic about our finds and so were we!
How to Find Shark Teeth at Venice Beach
Did you know the average shark produces 20-25,000 teeth in their lifetime? And given the millions of years of history and geography of the Venice Florida region, that’s like gazillions of fossilized teeth ready to be found!
Take a peek at our tips and advice and read more about Venice, Florida here. There’s a number of beaches in the area but using Venice Pier as a starting point is our number 1 tip. Many beaches have been refilled with sand making it harder to find shark teeth unless there has been a tremendous storm or you get lucky!
1. Park at the Venice Pier and use this as a starting point
2. Arrive and dig at LOW TIDE. Check the local listings so you can time your visit correctly.
3. Rent a “Venice Snow Shovel”
As you see in our photos we are using the “Venice Snow Shovel” as a tool to help us sift through the sand and shells to find shark teeth. Visit Papa’s Bait shop which is literally located on the 740 foot Venice Pier to rent (or buy) the Venice Snow Shovle which is a screened basket fitted onto a handle like a shovel that helps you dig for shark teeth.We rented 4 total so that way all of us could have our own and the kids weren’t squabbling over them. They were $7.50 each for the day.
4. This is what a shark tooth looks like…. Kids will be thinking EVERYTHING is a shark tooth initially!
Once you find your 1st shark tooth it will be very clear what IS and what IS NOT a shark tooth. See all the little points defining it as a tooth and root and of course the dark color is what to look for when you are sifting out the sand/shells.
5. When facing the ocean from the Pier, head left (south) about 1/4 to 1/2 mile to search for teeth. There are even other parking lots if you want to drive to them. This area is less crowded then the area immediately around Venice Pier and has not been filled in with sand as recently. Thus – you’ll have better luck! The employee working at Papa’s Bait shop gave us this advice and it worked!
6. Dig into and just off the sand shelf and drop off.
Step into the water with your Venice Snow Shovel. You want to dig with your shovel just past the drop off and even use your rake INTO the shelly and sandy shelf. Sift out the smaller particles and sand into the water, then you can comb through your basket to look for a tooth. Or we even set up little assembly lines with the kids, where we would dump our pile into the sand, and then the kids could sift through looking for treasure!
Enjoy! We had the best day and Venice is GORGEOUS! Absolutely stunning water and all kinds of wildlife too. We spotted dolphins swimming and when we walked on the pier, we even saw 2 separate fisherman each reel in and catch tiny baby sharks!