ON finding the best shells

Without a doubt – the best part of shelling is the hunt for great shells, itself. It’s both exciting and relaxing at the same time – which isn’t something you can say about most hobbies. Today, we’re going to let you in on a few of our trade secrets so to speak; and share our strategies and tips for not only finding the best shells; but finding them in abundance and also – how you can get the most out of your experience. 

Here’s how you can find the best shells out on the beach. Let’s jump right in!

Go early in the morning

Like they say in life ‘timing is everything’ and when it comes to shelling, the same rule holds true. Low tide is almost always the best time to go in search of shells. And even more specific than that – low tides in the spring during a full or new moon are even better. 

Not only will you find hordes of shells washed up in the sand, but you’ll be beating the crowds by being on the beach earlier. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like the heat, it’s generally cooler in the morning and the sun isn’t as bright – so overall, it’s a more comfortable experience. 

Go where others won’t

Now before we say anything – the #1 rule as always is to stay safe. No shell is worth getting hurt over, ever. That being said, there’s a lot to be said for moving to the spaces where people don’t want to – or don’t often go to. Check out the large boulders by the jetty and peak behind rocks. Turn over that piece of driftwood that washed up overnight and see what’s underneath. Climb into the mangrove clump. Be adventurous and look in less obvious places. You never know what you’ll find!

Try to stay where the sand is wet

Generally speaking, you’ll find the best (and most) shells right in or below the wrack line. The wrack line is where the tide came in the night before. You’ll most definitely find shells in the dry part of the stand, but they’ll be sun bleached and worn out a bit. The best and newer shells will be in the wet stuff. Especially when you’re dealing with things like mangrove clumps, you’ll notice they tend to hold their shells right at about the wrack line, so try to stay in that area. 

Take your time

We’ve been doing this a long time and when we think about the best pieces we’ve ever found – well, we didn’t really find them. They found us. And taking your time and not rushing is key to that. Sure, there’s an element of the hunt that’s fun! We all like the pursuit, after all. But shelling is one of those things where the best shells run into you. And the best results and experiences come from just getting lost in a little piece of real estate on the shoreline and combing through a pile of shells. And then there you have it- that all elusive Junonia. Or a laced murex, wentletrap or a gaudy natica that you just watched 15 people walk past. The joy of shelling is getting lost in it, so take your time and let yourself get lost!

Hopefully these tips will help you become better shellers. Let those waves wash away your cares and enjoy the ocean and all it has to offer!