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The Sanibel Arms Vacation Guide

The Hunt is On for Seashells on Sanibel Island

sanibel island fishingThe hunt is on, on Sanibel Island, but the hunters don’t have guns, and the prey isn’t moving. Hundreds of sea shell hunters come out at sunrise and sunset when the tide is low to look for seashells along the beach in a quasi-competition amongst locals.

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are well known for their shell opportunities. In fact, there are few other places like this anywhere in the world. The distinct curve of the beach allows waves to deposit over 250 species of shallow-water shells onto the sand.

Where’s the best place to find shells? According to Pam Rambo, owner of the popular shell website iloveshelling.com, you’ll want to go to Lighthouse Beach during low tide. Rambo has even found an elusive, rare junonia shell on the island. Keep in mind that a 1994 law dictates no live shells -- ones with mollusks inside -- have to be left at the shore, no matter how pretty the shell.

What to Do When You’re Not Shelling
Visitors staying in Sanibel Island vacation rentals likely want to see more than just shells -- even if this is a particular draw for many. Luckily, the island has numerous opportunities for adventures. It’s worth noting, for example, that there are over 1,300 golf courses in Florida. For those who want to stay on the island, Sanibel Island fishing is a popular activity. For people who own boats, we offer free boat dockage.


There are also numerous companies offering charter trips out onto the ocean so that you can have your chance to catch Redfish, Snook, and Tarpon. Popular Sanibel Island fishing spots include the pier on the bayside of the Lighthouse, the Blind Pass Bridge, and the Causeway, though local experts can likely give you a better idea of where the best daily catch is likely to be. Although many visitors will require a license to fish, these can be purchased at various bait stores, as well as all the marinas.

About 88 million people visit Florida every year, often staying in local vacation condos, and it's no surprise why many of them visit Sanibel Island. Whether you're a sheller, a fisher, or a golfer, there is opportunity for relaxing in the sun and on the beach.

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