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Friday, November 17, 2017

Never ignore areas and assume anything

This year I have recovered several "Bobby dazzler" finds in some pretty unassuming areas, mainly because I prefer to search out of the beach and water hunting comfort zones. 
The comfort zones every beach or shallow water hunter knows, the lower beach and waist to chest deep water at low tide.
I am not a low tide beach or water hunter, meaning it does not have to be low tide for me to go out metal detecting.
Even if it is low tide, it does not mean I will search the low tide zone, I prefer to search the area I consider to have the most potential after arriving at the beach.
Land, beach and water reading skills put finds in your pouch, these skills can only be taken advantage of when you are open to searching a wide variety of areas any time of the day.
Hands up how many beach or water hunters will ignore the wet sand or water at low tide?
I recovered some pretty impressive finds this year by going against the accepted norms of beach or water hunting by deciding to search higher up on a beach at low tide. 
If you get too set in your ways, you end up being the person who everyone sees searching between point A and point B at the local beach.
Jeez I can drive to Fort Lauderdale or Deerfield Beach and tell you who will be searching, what they are wearing, even what day and what time of day you can see them.
Most importantly I can tell you where at the beach they will be searching, as beach and water hunters eventually become so predictable. 
My biggest competition is always myself and beginners, people new to metal detecting don't usually have a preset plan of attack, they are unpredictable and always have a chance of recovering something that may have had my name on it.
They never assume everything must be detected and recovered in the same areas every time they go metal detecting.
Lower beaches change daily thanks to the tides, what does not change is the possibility of recovering anything, any time and any place at the beach.
Learn to read the beach when you get there, not before leaving to metal detect at the beach. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Good things are worth waiting for on the beach

Two things you can count on if you live on the Eastern seaboard is sand piling on the beach during the summer due to easterly winds and sand coming off the beaches due to north winds in the winter. 
Because of the easterly winds pushing sand ashore during the summer months, I tend to spend more time in the water than on the beach.
The winter months I prefer beach hunting with a little water hunting at certain sites I have stashed in the top secret Drayton gold files.  
As the title of this blog says, good things are worth waiting for when the winds start blowing from a different direction. 
You could say I wait for mother nature to help put older coins, jewelry and artifacts within reach of my metal detector search coil.
Here are a few bobby dazzlers rescued off beaches thanks to mother natures fury, mama has been very kind to me over the years, perhaps all those under the radar jewelry, camera and wallet returns buy me a little karma.  

I run across good beach or water hunting conditions out of season, but as a rule when searching for older stuff you need the help of ma nature to detect really good stuff in areas known for older finds.
Of course if you only search in the water or only beach hunt you are well and truly buggered as they say in England. 
Water hunters don't often make good beach hunters, and beach hunters don't always make good water hunters, so its best to make sure your good at both.
Learn how to use your metal detector and read a beach on the beach, then learn water hunting so you can do both. 
Taking advantage of seasonal changes at beaches often involves knowing how to take advantage of changing beach or water conditions. 
The reason I use different metal detecting equipment in the winter months, than I use during the summer months.
What, where and why you found something can often be explained by the changing of the seasons, even in Florida.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

You cant do or use that, can you ?

Although Im a salty dog, Im just at home in swamps, marshes, a river or muddy field. 
One important thing I have learned over the years is you have to have the target recovery tools for the job, especially when you get "Squadded" up as they say in Lincolnshire England. 
Two things I always carry and use to help me locate and recover targets is a waterproof pin-pointer and a decent size flat head screwdriver.  
I believe I have probably used a spade more than a long handled beach scoop this year. 
Pin-pointer, flat head screwdriver and garden spade are not your normal beach or water hunting accessories, but I promise all will be revealed about my unusual choice of target recovery tools by the end of the year.
I look at target recovery tools like metal detectors and search coils, you use what is best for recovering what you are searching for in the areas you hunt.
I also have a target recovery tool bag in my vehicle just in case, consisting of needle nose pliers, a 250 pound strength pull magnet and a hammer and chisel, don't ask lol !
My choice of recovery tools should tell you a little about my style of hunting, I search places many other beach and water hunters do not.
I use natural coin and jewelry traps to my advantage, any area that is difficult to recover targets at is a great opportunity for an enterprising beach or water hunter, assuming you have the recovery tools for the job.
Rocky areas, coral ledges, thick mud, shell layers and hard packed sand are all jewelry and coin traps provided by mother nature to help a beach or water hunter.
The tougher it is to retrieve a target, the more chance that object has been there a long time.
For example, some people see a large boulder on the beach as an obstacle to walk around, I see that boulder as a coin, jewelry or artifact trap to search above and below.
I would also scan the boulder, just in case it is hiding something in a crack or crevice.
Sometimes good things are stuck between a rock and a hard place, if you are prepared to put your scoop down.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Target separation rules!

In my opinion, target separation is always more important than target depth when searching for jewelry at tourist beaches, the opposite applies to searching for older stuff at less trashy beach sites. 
It still surprises me just how much value is put into target depth at tourist beaches by people searching for jewelry. 
From experience I can tell you the hardest jewelry to detect is often the shallowest jewelry, I know because I make a living snagging shallow gold at heavily hunted beaches. 
Gold left behind by speedy grid coverers and golf swingers, gold just waiting to be detected by a person not bogged down digging deep pennies. 
I use search coils designed for target separation and my ears as my main discrimination tool.
I also never worry about what Im missing by hunting all the time in all metal or swinging a pizza box size search coil, I concentrate on detecting shallow or partially masked gold.
A gold slump always has more to do with site selection, equipment choice and search techniques than beach or water hunting conditions. 
For example, I often use an eight (7 1/4) inch search coil on my Minelab Excalibur to spice things up.
It is a discontinued size search coil, I assume because first time Excalibur buyers always preferred the larger 10-inch search coil model for ground coverage and target depth.
Swing an 8-inch search coil at a trashy beach entrance and you will hear gold the 10-inch search coil will not be able to detect.
A perfect example of recovery speed between targets being more important than target depth. 
You can detect a piece of shallow gold, or keep walking looking for a deeper piece of gold.
If you search heavily hunted beaches, why on earth would you be concerned about deep targets.
Fresh dropped shallow gold being hidden because its laying next to a bottle cap or penny should be the thing you are searching for.
Just my opinion, but I believe there is always something to find if you find a way to find it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Early bird gets the worm

I have seen plenty of spectacular sunrises and sunsets since my last blog post, not sure where these photos were taken I just happened to pull over and click away from both directions as the sun rose and kissed the water. 

A good topic for a beach and water hunting blog as the early bird often gets the worm, especially at heavily hunted tourist beaches. 
I prefer early morning hunts at tourist beaches for two reasons, I do not like being seen and I like finding gold.
There are other good reasons to hit the beach early, including not having to deal with questions from inquisitive beach goers and the unwanted attention of any beach or water hunting competition in the area.
Having to take your headphones off and answer "Any luck?" questions from other people metal detecting can eat into your time.
I love watching other beach or water hunters chatting and I will often pick up the pace a little to take advantage of chatty competition.
Another reason I don't like to chat to other people metal detecting at the beach is I feel guilty lying, as "Nope" always means heck yes! 
If I had the choice of early predawn searching or night hunting, I always choose predawn hunting.
Sometimes I see beach or water hunting situations worth hanging around for, perhaps opportunities completely missed if I could not see them late at night.
You are also more likely to be able to take advantage of a good water hunting situation at dawn, it is less likely you hit the water at night. 
At tourist type beaches you sometimes find more stuff on the lower beach without a metal detector at sunrise, paper money, cameras, cell phones, sunglasses, are just a few of things you can pick up at sun rise. 
I see many a beach hunter coming on the beach as Im leaving the beach, too late the early bird got the worm! 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

No Rhyme or reason

Every so often I run across something somewhere that has me thinking what the heck is this stuff doing here.
So far this year has been full of great surprises and I know why, It's because I have taken the trouble to search areas that even I did not like the look of.
Beaches or areas that you never see anyone using, places with no good signs to attract a beach hunter.  
No parking lots, beach entrances, beach side houses, hotels or other places you figure someone lost something at.
Head scratching finds recovered from head scratching places,  when you are lucky enough to stumble across such a place you often do really well.
The uglier the beach, the prettier the gold if you keep the location to yourself. 
I am a firm believer the majority of beach and water hunters are birds of a feather who flock together. 
Some would argue why waste time searching off the beaten track when there are sites known by everyone to produce a trinket or two.
It often works out to be about the same amount of time wasted, only sometimes you discover untapped areas you can have all to yourself.
Battle it out and get skunked at heavily hunted beaches, or get skunked trying somewhere different, I know what I prefer to do.
Unfortunately, the more experienced you get the easier it is to get lured into believing you always have to go to a certain place to find.
In my opinion, fortune favors the person who try's different areas as in the long run the more productive sites you have up your sleeve the more likely you are to avoid gold droughts. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Face value

On my travels this year I have had the opportunity to search many heavily eroded beaches and recovered some pretty impressive finds which I will show before the end of the year.
A couple of trophy beach hunting finds came out of the vertical face of cuts on the beach.
The vertical face of a cut beach is often ignored by many beach hunters, because it is either too physically demanding to search or a metal detector is just too chattery with a search coil used on edge. 
One of the reasons I use the metal detectors I do is because they can do this type of work. 
Of course, when you search an area less hunted you are always going to have a great day at a productive site.
The vertical face of a cut beach is best searched using a metal detector with a 6 to12 inch size search coil, larger search coils tend to be too heavy for this type of beach work.
I actually prefer using elliptical search coils for searching eroded beaches, you can get closer to the base of a cut.
Using a search coil with a good side detection capability also helps, so too does a metal detector harness or hip mount kit if you use a heavy metal detector.
I have recovered many different things from the vertical face of cuts over the years, from Spanish treasure coins and colonial artifacts to modern gold chains and diamond rings.
The better the site the more chance you have of recovering something good if you flip your metal detector and search coil sideways and go full crab mode. 
I have walked onto heavily hunted eroded beaches that have been pounded by local beach hunters, but still pulled stuff out of the vertical face of a cut, long after a storm has passed.
Heck sometimes you get lucky and see stuff dangling or just waiting to be plucked out of the wall of the cut.
Are you missing a find of a lifetime by ignoring the vertical face of a cut beach?