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Saturday, November 10, 2018

I love firm bottoms !

Now I have your attention, if you are a beach or water hunter it is important to understand the relationship between a firm bottom and success with your metal detector.
I’m always looking for a firm or hard bottom when I hit the beach because I know the harder the sand I am walking over is the more chance I have of finding something good.
When coins or jewelry are lost at the beach, they eventually sink deeper until they hit a deep layer they cannot penetrate.
Coins, jewelry and artifacts always find a base layer where they remain until some lucky beach or water hunter comes along with a metal detector to rescue them.
Many tourist beaches are heavily hunted now, but more people swinging metal detectors does not always decrease your chances of being successful if you can read a beach and know where the best potential sites are within a site.
Firm sand or packed shell under foot is a good sign, so too is coral or coquina exposed on the lower beach or inside the water.
Ripple troughs and other areas on the beach carved out by unusual onshore wave action are often firmer under foot than surrounding areas. 
Rocky areas on lower beaches or shallow water hunting sites are always the dogs danglies when it comes to detecting coins, jewelry or artifacts, they are impenetrable collection areas.
You need a certain set of target recovery skills to recover targets from these type of areas also a variety of target recovery tools.
If you carry a flat head screwdriver, needle nose pliers and a mask and snorkel, you probably already know what I mean about searching for hard bottoms.
Some of my best beach and water hunts occured because I found a firm or hard bottom stacked with targets that could not sink any further. 
If an area of the beach is tough digging it’s worth digging, if it’s almost impossible to detect and recover targets in it’s worth detecting and recovering target in! 
Do you go to the beach to cover as much ground as possible or find the best ground to cover? 
Searching for a firm or hard bottom will help you detect and recover the most targets. 



Saturday, November 3, 2018

Interested in metal detecting ?

If the title of today’s blog is exactly what you are interesting in doing I have a few words of advise for you before jumping into the proverbial deep end.
Metal detecting is a fantastic hobby but it is not as easy as it looks, it’s not about going out and buying an expensive metal detector and location location location.
It’s more about researching areas potentially hiding what you intend searching for, learning to use a metal detector correctly, site reading and site selection skills.
I always tell people to read the best metal detecting book in the world, unfortunately I didn’t write it as that book is the instructional manual that comes with the metal detector you choose to use.
Read it, read it again and read it until you know how to set your metal detector to suit the search site, when you fully understand the manual you will know how to make incremental control settings that make a difference.
Local research is easy, head to that building called the local library, they have books full of old photos  and you can look at the old photos and go follow up those leads with your metal detector and find lots of good stuff lol
Site reading and observational skills come in time, they lead to site selection skills and an increase in good metal detecting finds.
You can now hit the ground running although I always  recommend walking slowly as you metal detect.
Metal detecting has been very good to me, heck it’s my profession now but I guess it’s better than working for a living lol
Build on good foundations and I can tell you that you will find what you are searching for, it’s not about covering ground everyone else covers and swinging a detector for hours hoping to get lucky.
Remember research, metal detector knowledge and basic techniques lead to success at metal detecting. Success breeds familiarity with site conditions needed to have success locating stuff and before you know it the metal detector and digging equipment are tools
You are the key to success at metal detecting, the more you learn the less you have to rely on your metal detector.
I hope you are even more interested in metal detecting now, get yourself a metal detector read the all important book and find places to use your research to the max.





Sunday, October 21, 2018

Minelabs for beach hunting

Here are a few opinions on which Minelab metal detector is best for beach and water hunting, I can’t believe Minelab users are now spoilt for choices.
In my opinion, your choice of metal detector should suit the areas you intend to search at the beach.
For scuba diving and searching deeper water the Minelab Excalibur is obviously the best option because of the 200 ft depth rating.
The Excalibur is also the best option if you are predominantly searching murky water with the control box submerged, where trying to look at a VDI screen for target IDs would be a right royal pain in the butt.
Shallow water and all other areas of the beach can be covered handily by the CTX 3030 or Equinox.
If you don’t intend getting your feet wet at the beach you can use any Minelab metal detector, although I always recommend using a waterproof metal detector at the beach.
The main difference between the CTX 3030 and the Equinox are the bells and whistles, search coil selection and of course price tag!
Coiltek make a variety of search coils to compliment the gaps in the Minelab search coil sizes on the CTX 3030, one of the reasons why I still lean heavily on my CTX 3030 as I do take advantage of the wide variety of search coil sizes available for the CTX 3030.
The Equinox is lighter and more travel friendly than the CTX 3030 which is a pro for people who travel on vacation to metal detect, Minelab is also releasing a couple of different size search coils for the Equinox soon. 
Your choice of Minelab metal detector for beach work comes down to your budget and where you are going to be using the metal detector at the beach.
I travel to metal detect, search deep sometimes murky water and I search all areas of the beach, so I use different metal detectors to suit the areas I search.
One thing I have noticed different metal detector companies doing is making lighter metal detectors that can be used on a wide variety of sites searching for different things, the CTX 3030 and Equinox are good examples of that.
So to answer the question I probably answer on a weekly basis, I do have a favorite Minelab, it’s the one best suited to detect what I am searching for at the sites I search.
For example, on an upcoming metal detecting trip to the Caribbean it is highly likely I will take my Equinox because it is easier to pack and travel with and I won’t need the extra bells and whistles on the  CTX 3030.
I metal detect for a living and I need a few different toys, for someone wanting the one Minelab metal detector for beach hunting I would recommend the CTX 3030 or Equinox depending on your budget.
If your budget does not stretch to either of those fine metal detectors, take a look at the GoFind series,  they are good bang for the buck and they work on saltwater beaches, unlike some metal detectors costing hundreds of dollars more.
Good luck my fellow and potential Minelabbers!  







Sunday, October 7, 2018

Chasing the dream

This year I have had one heck of a year metal detecting, but I have also had some tough times as I’ve put time and effort into chasing down things I find attractive that perhaps wouldn’t be so appealing to others.
In 2018 I have tried a lot of new things in a wide variety of areas, sure I’ve returned home empty handed more times than I would like but I wouldn’t change a thing as you often learn something new even if you get skunked.
Normally I play a numbers game when it comes to treasure hunting, relying on a steady flow of easy to detect targets knowing what I am really searching for is often hidden in between easy to detect targets.
Staying true to my style of treasure hunting  I have been mixing it up and getting out of my comfort zone, sacrificing gaudy amounts of gold and silver for quality over quantity finds.
Ive gone after the spectacular find more than in previous treasure hunting years and all I can tell you is I have found some pretty amazing things in the most unlikeliest of places.
The rewards of taking the time to search a wide variety of sites and having the determination to stay the course until I recover what I am searching for. 
Hard work and determination are often overlooked in the hobby as people fixate on location, site conditions and of course the type of metal detector used.
If you have to rely on favorable conditions or the latest and greatest metal detector to find what you are searching for you are probably going to struggle.
Good old fashioned leg work and outside the box thinking overcome most obstacles a beach treasure hunter has to face in order to be successful on a regular basis.
Step out the box at a different site and you may be surprised at what you can pull out of the sand, but you have to be willing to do that.
The recent story of the Viking sword pulled out of a lake by a young girl in the news put a smile on my face, something so old just laying their waiting to be picked up.
There are so many amazing things at beaches around the world waiting to be picked up, you just have to be there at the right place at the right time.
Work hard chasing the dream and you will get to the right place when it is time.










Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How to avoid a finds drought

Ever wondered why some treasure hunters always seem to be in the right place at the right time, it’s because they go to the right places! 
Treasure is often found where you least expect to find it so if you only search one or two areas all the time don’t be surprised if you go home empty handed.
The number one mistake people new to the hobby make is copying what they see other beach hunters doing, mainly going to the same site or area as many times as possible.
It’s been a while since I have travelled to a few beaches out of my area, but I can guarantee if I showed up today at those beaches I would see the same faces searching the same main areas at those beaches.
You have to be careful you dont go from being the master of your local beach to the slave of your local beach.
Beaches are constantly changing sometimes overnight when the conditions are just right, but you won’t know if you only go to the same beach, same area, same time every opportunity you get to go beach hunting.
The wider variety of beaches or areas of the beach you search the wider variety of finds you will recover, you will also recover more stuff often because other areas are not metal detected as frequently. 
Getting back to the right places from the start of today’s blog, if you don’t actively make a point of searching new areas you end up being at one place all the time which is not a good beach hunting strategy even at the busiest of beaches. 
I occasionally check out metal detecting forums with regular posters who live in attractive areas to search, from beaches known for old shipwrecks to tourist beaches packed with vacationers.
Most posts start with “I headed to my usual spot” and many end in I haven’t found anything in a while, blaming competition or conditions for a lack of finds.
It’s no coincidence that many of the successful posts start with “I decided to try somewhere different” and end in a tale of a good recovery.
Putting yourself in the right place to have success as a beach hunter is easy when you search a wide variety of areas.
The next time you see a familiar face searching the same area think about all the places you    are going to search before you see that person again.
Contrary to what you read on metal detecting blogs and forums, it’s not how much time you spend metal detecting it’s where you decide to spend the time searching. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Storm beach hunting tips

Here are a few beach hunting tips for people who live in areas effected by hurricanes, tropical storms or other strong coastal storms.
My number one rule of searching on beaches after storms is safety first, especially in areas with downed power lines or flooding as no amount of treasure is worth getting injured for or worse !
You can often find good stuff many weeks or even months after major beach erosion has taken place.
Assuming you can get to a beach it is best to be prepared for anything by taking extra clothing, snacks, water and don’t forget the spare metal detector batteries.
If you have a back up metal detector with s different size search coil, take it just in case you need it.
After a storm had impacted a coastline you should expect the best and plan for an excellent beach hunting situation.
If the beach hunting conditions are excellent you want to take advantage of them for as long as you possibly can, believe me I wish I would have stayed longer on several memorable searches after major storms.
One thing I also do is stay put when I am finding what I am searching for or at least detecting targets associated with the targets I hope to find.
The grass often looks greener but I never take a chance by leaving a potentially good area, as sometimes all you have is one or two incoming tides worth of time to clean a good eroded stretch of beach out.
I also stay the heck off social media sites and metal detecting forums, you won’t catch me posting photos of beach erosion and alerting other pirates to a good site I have discovered and in the process of searching.
I remember several occasions when I did not find anything good on the first day of searching an eroded beach but the next day came away with several great finds.
Good stuff washed off the beach often washes back in on the next high tides when a beach generally begins to fill in.
My preferred method of searching a “Cut” eroded beach is to go for the easy to detect shallow non ferrous targets first then dig everything on a second sweep of the cut if I deem it necessary.
In other words use a little discrimination searching for high value targets then go for any high value targets masked by the removed junk on the second search.
Searching eroded beaches is all about making the most of the short window of opportunity Mother Nature presents to a beach hunter.
When the wind and waves subside check out the shallow water close to shore for good stuff washed into the water from the beach.
You may get lucky and discover holes or troughs inside the water caused by the surf pounding the coastline from different angles.
Remember safety first, bring extra gear and make the most of the beach and shallow water hunting opportunities.




Saturday, September 8, 2018

Weekend beach hunting tips

Here are a few tips from my “Hardcore Beach Hunting” book to hopefully help you to find what you are searching for this holiday weekend.

Timing

Avoid racing to the beach early Saturday morning if you are trying to take advantage of weekend crowds at the beach.  
I know it’s tempting if you are a weekend warrior but patience is a virtue when you are dealing with tourist type beaches.
Head to the beach on Saturday afternoon or evening or better still wait until Sunday before you go metal detecting. Sunday evening would be the best time to search after two busy days of beach activity.

Traveling to detect

If you live within reach of several beaches but you only have a few hours to metal detect, hit the nearest crowded beach instead of traveling long distances to detect big name beaches. 
You cannot find jewelry and coins sitting behind a steering wheel unless they belong to you. 

Be ready for anything 

Spare batteries, a search coil, digging tool or metal detector will insure equipment failures do not ruin your chances of finding something good this weekend.
I think like Noah and take two of everything, just in case it goes pear shaped or I end up staying longer than expected.

Plan ahead 

I always plan to hit two beach hunting sites with two different intended parking spots.
If the site I had planned to search first does not look very promising I can quickly move on to the back up site.
I also keep an eye on local beach cams towards the end of the week to help me identify crowded sections of the beach. 
If I have to search on the Saturday at least I know where people may have lost jewelry before the weekend.

What competition?

If the site is already being searched take the area not being searched or follow the other searcher or searchers. 
You never know what the beach hunting gods have in store for you. 
I have recovered so much good stuff following other people using metal detectors or from areas I perhaps would not have chosen to. 

Don’t miss the forest for the trees

The weekend is a great time to see where people crowd or congregate on the beach and in the water close to shore.
 More than likely you can see where to search the next time you hit the same beach.
People watching is one of my favorite site reading skills, I see what groups are more likely to lose what and where.