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Curious about the Megs off Venice beach..


Racheld1

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I know there are megs off of Venice beach and I get so jealous of the finds people post after diving!! They are gorgeous teeth!!! Curious- can these megs be scooped up without scuba equipment? I would love to get certified but right now it's not in my budget... 

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Bone Daddy

This is not first-hand experience, so take this with a grain of salt. I am going by the hundreds of posts I have read on the subject, a book or two, and a few conversations with people who have dived off Venice.

 

It is my understanding that the majority of the megs you see recovered off the coast of Venice are in waters too deep for snorkeling or free-diving.  So, basically, your two options for meg teeth in Venice/Casperson are scuba and getting lucky after a storm when one washes up on the shore.

 

Again, I am generalizing here and I am just throwing out a reply to try and help until a more experienced diver chimes in with something more authoritative.  :)

 

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9 minutes ago, Bone Daddy said:

This is not first-hand experience, so take this with a grain of salt. I am going by the hundreds of posts I have read on the subject, a book or two, and a few conversations with people who have dived off Venice.

 

It is my understanding that the majority of the megs you see recovered off the coast of Venice are in waters too deep for snorkeling or free-diving.  So, basically, your two options for meg teeth in Venice/Casperson are scuba and getting lucky after a storm when one washes up on the shore.

 

Again, I am generalizing here and I am just throwing out a reply to try and help until a more experienced diver chimes in with something more authoritative.  :)

 

Thank you for the reply!! I figured they would be too deep to free dive for but I wanted to double check. 

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Shellseeker

You can find outstanding Megs in shallow water just off the coast...

I bought this 3 incher years ago from a Scuba diving friend...GulfMeg1.jpg.f38bbebcd3c4e5bbe4f81a621dab7501.jpgGulfMeg2.jpg.c928f7bc9e22b792c96bca5ec2f204b3.jpg

 

Same friend sent me a photo of this 5 incher yesterday,

IMG_0164Gulf_Meg.thumb.JPG.d79a7e3b0062d0d97403c55a58d12daa.JPG

Storms and waves, churn up the bottom into "corn rows" exposing these...

I have never heard of someone finding anything like this off the beach...

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7 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

You can find outstanding Megs in shallow water just off the coast...

I bought this 3 incher years ago from a Scuba diving friend...GulfMeg1.jpg.f38bbebcd3c4e5bbe4f81a621dab7501.jpgGulfMeg2.jpg.c928f7bc9e22b792c96bca5ec2f204b3.jpg

 

Same friend sent me a photo of this 5 incher yesterday,

IMG_0164Gulf_Meg.thumb.JPG.d79a7e3b0062d0d97403c55a58d12daa.JPG

Storms and waves, churn up the bottom into "corn rows" exposing these...

I have never heard of someone finding anything like this off the beach...

That 5 incher is unreal!!! What a dream. So do you think it's possible to kayak off of the beach and free dive for megs?

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Shellseeker
1 minute ago, Racheld1 said:

That 5 incher is unreal!!! What a dream. So do you think it's possible to kayak off of the beach and free dive for megs?

I am sorry for the mis_impression. When I said shallow, I meant 15-20 feet deep. When I asked where, friend said a mile offshore -- 15-20 feet deep.

10 years ago, I met a woman in my local fossil club, who kayaked (17 foot) off the coast with a scuba rig and tanks, diving for Megs.. She said she sometime free dived and offered to take me along if I wanted to go... I never did and we went separate ways.

but she brought back nice Megs...

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5 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

I am sorry for the mis_impression. When I said shallow, I meant 15-20 feet deep. When I asked where, friend said a mile offshore -- 15-20 feet deep.

10 years ago, I met a woman in my local fossil club, who kayaked (17 foot) off the coast with a scuba rig and tanks, diving for Megs.. She said she sometime free dived and offered to take me along if I wanted to go... I never did and we went separate ways.

but she brought back nice Megs...

Oh wow!! So no go on free diving it sounds like. Thanks for the info!!

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If you're good at breath holding it'd be possible in good viz but scuba would certainly be a whole lot easier. Most of the spots I've dove for teeth were 18-30 feet. My mail man has found some nice up to 4 inch teeth snorkeling in less than 6 feet when the viz is good. Teeth can be found from Casey key down to Stump Pass with good regularity. If I was to snorkel for them I would get to the most remote spots I could walk to.That will up your odds of finding better stuff. I personally found 80% of a 4 1/2 incher on the beach by my house about 20 years ago.It was right by a well worn path folks were walking along the shell line after a storm.Totally exposed I couldn't believe everyone had walked right by it.Guess no one could recognize it being much bigger than most teeth found there lol. Good luck:thumbsu: My wife was at the beach yesterday and said the viz was great but it will change quick with the wrong wind

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The larger megs and whale bones are generally found in offshore beds a mile or more from the beach. If you are not certified, that pretty much leaves out hunting in these deeper areas. Unless you were really great at breath-hold diving, you'd not be getting much time to search along the bottom. The visibility off the gulf coast is notoriously poor and so spotting finds from the surface 20 feet or more above the bottom is not really an option.

 

Many many years back I did some beach diving in shallower water south of Caspersen Beach. There are several parks with ample parking and easy beach access. If you have snorkel gear, try for a calm day (heavy seas stir up the bottom and reduce visibility) and see what you can find snorkeling from shore. I did a "dive-snorkel" in shallow water on a scuba tank (about 3 hours on a tank in shallow water). :) The idea was to swim around and keep an eye out for black--indicating phosphatized pebbles and/or fossils. I surface hunted quite a number of smaller teeth and did come away with a very nice Great White tooth (one of only two I've found in Florida). No megs or even fraglodons as I remember but a fun way to spend a hot day--bring lots of sunscreen!

 

Without being scuba certified, sifting rivers like the Peace is probably your best bet for finding megs (and other treats).

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Went to Caspersen Beach yesterday!! Snorkeled and sifted. Those huge megs people post about just catch my eye! I will have to save up and look into getting certified. 

 

I do love sifting in the creeks near the Peace. That’s where I got my newest meg frag :)

 

Thanks for all the info!! 

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Fly over the area north and south of Caspersen with Google Maps (easier than getting a pilot's license). :P You'll see several nice parks in the area with close parking. I tried several of those spots many years back and found small amounts of black peeking up through the sand in the shallows. They yielded some nice teeth. I tried fanning the surface to see if any additional teeth were just under the surface wherever I spotted outcrops of sparse black gravel but it never seemed to pan out. I did better just cruising the bottom randomly with a zip-top bag to stash my finds. With clear water it should be possible to do much the same on snorkel.

 

If you live in Florida and are comfortable in the water, a scuba certification will open up a whole world of wonder. I've been certified for 3 decades and have greatly enjoyed my time underwater. Combining diving and fossil hunting into the activity of underwater fossil hunting (with a bit of underwater photography) pretty much so presses all my buttons. :) I'd suggest you spend some time after a scuba certification before you task load with other activities like uw photography or fossil hunting. Until you have your buoyancy down and are very fish-like in terms of your comfort underwater, adding distracting activities like hunting for treasures (fossils) can lead to dangerous situations like not keeping track of your dive time and air supply. If you have the interest, become a scuba diver and enjoy our coral reefs (while they last) and then turn your attention to activities like fossil hunting on scuba. That caution noted, gaining experience underwater through less expensive (than dive boat) shore dives is, in fact, a great way of building up some hours of underwater experience. I would never recommend a newbie diver with only a handful of dives try diving the deeper "bone yard" dives off Venice and shudder to consider the outcome of inexperienced divers attempting the deep Nitrox dives at the Meg Ledges offshore from North Carolina (that would be bad). :wacko:

 

You have your mind set on those gorgeous big meg honkers that look so good photographed covering most of someone's hand. They are one of the coolest and most iconic fossils to be found in Florida (and other areas) and a worthy goal to obtain. The funny thing is that once you have a few nice megs the desire for these (in most folks) seems to moderate a bit. There will always be those folks who live for their next meg find but many Florida hunters who have long ago joined the "Meg Club" now get their kicks finding other rare and unusual fossils. With enough access and effort you will soon be posting some drool-worthy megs in your trip reports--just don't let finding a meg be the only reason why you choose to get certified. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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38 minutes ago, digit said:

Fly over the area north and south of Caspersen with Google Maps (easier than getting a pilot's license). :P You'll see several nice parks in the area with close parking. I tried several of those spots many years back and found small amounts of black peeking up through the sand in the shallows. They yielded some nice teeth. I tried fanning the surface to see if any additional teeth were just under the surface wherever I spotted outcrops of sparse black gravel but it never seemed to pan out. I did better just cruising the bottom randomly with a zip-top bag to stash my finds. With clear water it should be possible to do much the same on snorkel.

 

If you live in Florida and are comfortable in the water, a scuba certification will open up a whole world of wonder. I've been certified for 3 decades and have greatly enjoyed my time underwater. Combining diving and fossil hunting into the activity of underwater fossil hunting (with a bit of underwater photography) pretty much so presses all my buttons. :) I'd suggest you spend some time after a scuba certification before you task load with other activities like uw photography or fossil hunting. Until you have your buoyancy down and are very fish-like in terms of your comfort underwater, adding distracting activities like hunting for treasures (fossils) can lead to dangerous situations like not keeping track of your dive time and air supply. If you have the interest, become a scuba diver and enjoy our coral reefs (while they last) and then turn your attention to activities like fossil hunting on scuba. That caution noted, gaining experience underwater through less expensive (than dive boat) shore dives is, in fact, a great way of building up some hours of underwater experience. I would never recommend a newbie diver with only a handful of dives try diving the deeper "bone yard" dives off Venice and shudder to consider the outcome of inexperienced divers attempting the deep Nitrox dives at the Meg Ledges offshore from North Carolina (that would be bad). :wacko:

 

You have your mind set on those gorgeous big meg honkers that look so good photographed covering most of someone's hand. They are one of the coolest and most iconic fossils to be found in Florida (and other areas) and a worthy goal to obtain. The funny thing is that once you have a few nice megs the desire for these (in most folks) seems to moderate a bit. There will always be those folks who live for their next meg find but many Florida hunters who have long ago joined the "Meg Club" now get their kicks finding other rare and unusual fossils. With enough access and effort you will soon be posting some drool-worthy megs in your trip reports--just don't let finding a meg be the only reason why you choose to get certified. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Meg ledges?!?! I will have to google that. 

 

I’m very interested in a plethora of fossils. A beautiful meg is def on my radar but my list is long ;)  

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6 minutes ago, Racheld1 said:

Meg ledges?!?! I will have to google that. 

You'll find plenty of info out there. Was invited out by another forum member @megaholic last year to go deep diving for big megs. You can read about our exploits as part of this (lengthy) trip report here:

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/87495-epic-carolinas-roadtrip/

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

 

 

 

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Fossil Beach

I think that it is safe to say that any kind of diving in Venice Beach water that deep can be unsafe. The currents are unpredictable and strong and the water can be pretty murky. After certification, plan on having some qualified support in case something goes wrong. 

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43 minutes ago, digit said:

You'll find plenty of info out there. Was invited out by another forum member @megaholic last year to go deep diving for big megs. You can read about our exploits as part of this (lengthy) trip report here:

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/87495-epic-carolinas-roadtrip/

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, what a book! That rhino tooth was INSANE. And those teeth from the ledges were interesting, especially the brown ones!! You had quite the adventure :)

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Traveling is something I'm lucky to be able to do. Talking incessantly enough to suck the oxygen out of a room (on a topic I'm interested in) and writing trip reports that end up as photo-packed Homeric-length odysseys is something I was born to do. B)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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