Delnor-Wiggins Pass Shelling: A Pretty OK Shelling Day In Florida

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Back in January of 2020 when I visited south Florida, I really wanted to visit Delnor-Wiggins Pass to go shelling but didn’t make it that trip so when I was planning this trip with my parents, I knew we had to go.

I had pretty high expectations for no real reason and was a little let down. It wasn’t bad by any means and I wasn’t as disappointed by this as I was the shelling on Sanibel but it just followed the shelling trend of this trip.

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I think we went to Lovers Key State Park in the morning then came here after lunch before visiting one of my mom’s friends who was also down here so we got there pretty much in the middle of the day.

It was pretty warm but the parking wasn’t full so we had no problems there. It was a weekday though which probably helped. We drove to the end of the parking area thinking that wouldn’t be as busy but it was pretty much full so we headed back to parking area 3.

There are little pathways connecting the parking and the beach so we hit the sand right away. There are also bathrooms and picnic areas at each parking area.

The beach was a lot smaller than I was expecting, like more narrow but super long. There is plenty of beach it’s just a skinny beach.

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It was fairly busy, especially right by the parking areas, but between them there weren’t as many people. We just headed to the right up the beach and I was mostly walking through the water here.

It was refreshing and I had better luck with what I found in the water versus on the beach. I didn’t see much on the beach though. And like everywhere else, they were all pretty small shells. I didn’t find anything spectacular here, maybe a couple of wormies.

We really didn’t spend too much time here, less than two hours for sure, because it just wasn’t that good of shelling. I know I’ve said it in every shelling post from this trip so far, but it was a disappointing shelling trip.

I would go back here but there are other places nearby I would rather go to first or go back to. It’s certainly not bad but it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

The beach itself was really nice though and the water was so bright! I really enjoyed that park of visiting Delnor-Wiggins.

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Where is Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park?

Delnor-Wiggins Pass is just outside of Naples, about a 25 minute drive from there and about 45 minutes from Fort Myers to the north.

There are a few parking areas here and I thin we parked at area 3 without tons of luck for shelling. The parking areas with services like snack bars (I believe there are two) are going to busier parking wise and on the beach side.

Where to go shelling at Delnor-Wiggins Pass

The best place to find shells at Delnor-Wiggins Pass is going to be in the shallow water. You may have to dig a bit with your toes or a shell scooper but it was better in the water than on the beach when we were there.

I also read somewhere that it was best by parking area 3. I’m not sure the accuracy of that but I would imagine the less busy areas between the parking lots would be best.

I also read quite a bit that the south point of any beach or island is best or any kind of jetty that might stick out. That varies by beach though, for sure.

Be sure to avoid high tide since it’s not a super wide beach and a lot of it can be lost to the water. Low tide is also just better for shelling.

I would recommend going early in the morning as well. It gets busy and does fill up so your best shot at the best shells will be first thing.

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How much is Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park?

The park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle and they accept exact change or credit cards.

What kind of shells are at Delnor-Wiggins Pass?

You’ll be able to find similar things to the rest of this area. Again, like everywhere else on this tip, I think almost everything I found here was really tiny. Nothing blew me away here but it was still enjoyable enough.

  • Kitten paws
  • Olives
  • Whelks
  • Fighting conchs
  • Augers
  • Turkey wings
  • Scallops
  • And lots more!
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What to bring shelling at Delnor-Wiggins Pass

Mesh shell bag – We just used grocery bags we got on the trip, but this would be soooo much more convenient.  This will help loose sand fall out and you could even dip the whole thing in the ocean if necessary for a little rinse.  We rinsed them all off with the hose anyways because they collect so much sand in them.  Buy the mesh shell bag here.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen. If you’ll be swimming, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the wind.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Shell scoop – This is so helpful for picking up shells in the water if you aren’t swimming. I don’t have one but I will definitely get one for future shelling trips. It also saves your back from the Sanibel Stoop. Buy shell scoop here.

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Is Delnor-Wiggins Pass worth it?

I think so but I would probably rather go to other beaches nearby like Tigertail on Marco Island or Lovers Key State Park. It’s a nice beach but others are better and it was fairly busy.

I liked it but if you’re limited on time I think there are better options. Though, to be fair, this whole area is just so busy all the time it’s hard to find anything that isn’t.

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Tips for shelling at Delnor-Wiggins Pass:

  • If you’re visiting on the weekends, I would recommend getting there first thing in the morning because it will probably be super busy. The shelling is better in the morning anyway.
  • I had the best luck walking in the water here to find shells. It still wasn’t anything spectacular but it was better than on the beach.
  • This is a rather narrow beach compared to others around here so you’ll definitely want to go at low tide.
  • If you pick up anything alive, put it back in the water. Live shelling is illegal and not nice for the critters you find.

Have you gone shelling at Delnor-Wiggins Pass? Did you find anything good? Do you want to go? What is your favorite beach in the area for shelling?

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