Thanks to the FLorida Living Magazine for the following information!
Blind Pass and Turner beach have the best shelling on Sanibel and Captiva. Some will argue Lighthouse Beach at the opposite tip of Sanibel island is better. No doubt a lot of shells roll up there, but it’s heavily picked over. When coming from the mainland, it’s a shorter trip, so more visitors stop there. It’s also closer to the hotels and condos. The result is a crowded beach with lots of newbie shell hunters scouring the sand as well as experienced shellers. There are still plenty of common shells to be found, but beating the old pros to a prize shell is a challenge, as they often start early in the morning.
You’re more likely to find a rare shell at Blind Pass and Turner Beach. Before reaching the pass, shellers have to drive past a string of beautiful, hard to resist Sanibel beaches. By the time they pull into the Blind PassBlind Pass Shells parking areas, their numbers have thinned. The result is a better selection of shells than found at any other Sanibel beach.
There are several different areas to shell. There’s blind pass itself, with far more shells on the Sanibel side than the Captiva, which is mainly large rocks. More shells are found on the Gulf side of the bridge, and under it, than on the inland side. If you walk along the bank on the inland side, watch the tides. On a low tide it’s easy, but if you’re walking back on a high tide, you may have to fight through mangroves. On a low tide, it’s possible to wade out to a sandbar. Take care when doing so as the currents can be treacherous.
Captiva side of Blind Pass
The Rocky Captiva Side of Blind Pass.
Both sides of Turner Beach are excellent places to find shells. You can wander for miles without encountering many people. It’s often difficult to get away from the crowds when walking the sand by Lighthouse Beach. Another spot to check out is on the Captiva side where the sand meets the jetty. Sometimes shells pile up in impressive mounds there.
Make sure you know the ten rules of shelling. Pick a time when the tide is low. Gas up the car, and make the trek to the best shelling on Sanibel or Captiva