Sooo….my husband keeps giving me these looks when I come home with more shells, and I can’t blame him ; I have basketfuls already, but I just can’t seem to resist the fun of looking and selecting shells. It’s like shopping for free! It is against the law to take a shell that is inhabited , from what I understand. This shell in the picture was occupied, so I threw it back into the water after pictures.
I have personally found, near me in north Sarasota, Lido Beach has the best pick. Many things contribute to what you will find. If there has been a storm come onto land from the gulf recently you are apt to find more shells and a bigger variety. I find pieces of coral, stones that have shells encased in them, but to identify shells you can use other sites online.
To have a better chance to find nice shells, I like to go to the beach just before sunrise, which is my favorite time to be there anyway. I also check tide charts to determine what mornings sunrise and low tide happen about the same time, and then I have first sighting and choice of shells that the tide has left behind before it comes back in. Not many people are willing or able to be on the beach while the sun is coming up. I’ve watched the moon shine onto the ocean before sunrise, which is pretty awesome.
I would caution that there has at times been people sleeping on the beach or the picnic tables or benches , and you need to be aware of that possibility, although no-one has ever bothered me.
Don’t forget to take something to put your shells in ! I like plastic bags that seal so you don’t have a spill in the car or lose a beautiful shell when you bend over to pick up another treasure 🙂