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Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 day holiday weekend hunting

Here in the US it is a long holiday weekend, and I have already set my 3 day weekend metal detecting plan in action by chilling out with my girls ice skating at the local rink. 
No doubt the weekend warriors were out in force searching the beaches this morning, but I was not one of them. 
I have written a little about the subject of weekend hunting and the way I pace my weekend treasure hunting in a previous blog.
I always like to wait to go metal detecting until after at least one full busy weekend day has passed.
Many beach and shallow water hunters time their long weekend hunts incorrectly. 
In my opinion, you are always better off waiting until the second or third day before going treasure hunting on a long holiday weekend. 
I believe patience is a virtue when it comes to treasure hunting. 
Just like you have to wait for a passing storm to erode beaches, you have to wait until a beach has seen plenty of activity before searching for lost jewelry.
The worst times to go out metal detecting on a long holiday weekend is on the very first morning of the weekend and the morning after the last day.
Every beach hunter for miles around has the same idea to go out metal detecting after the last day. 
Try to beat the crowd by going out metal detecting after a full day of beach activity, or on the very last day. 
Good luck!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Recon for beach and shallow water hunters

It is always best to have a good idea of what the beaches look like, especially if you are a part time beach and shallow water hunter.  
This helps you to be more prepared when you do get the chance to go metal detecting, with your metal detector and search coil choices. 
I use 3 different ways of keeping up with the beach conditions so I am always more prepared and have a good idea what to expect when I arrive at the beach to metal detect. 
When I do not have time to treasure hunt, I try to make the time to visit a few of my favorite beach sites, even if it is just for a quick look up and down the beach after hours. 
If it is not possible to check the beaches first hand, I do it every day from the comfort of my own home. 
I rely on two useful tools on my computer,  beach webcams and surf projection sites, closest to my favorite metal detecting spots. 
These two methods of beach recon I check daily, so without ever having to leave my home I see present beach conditions and projected future beach conditions. 
I guess you could say I take my treasure hunting seriously lol!  I like to stay on top of things and know before I go. 
You can also increase you chances of a successful treasure hunt when you know a beach has recently been detected.  
Other beach and water hunters on popular tourist beaches are easy to spot on beach webcams, seeing two or three other hunters on a Friday afternoon detecting on a beach may save you from going home empty handed on a Saturday morning. 
Choose a different beach because you already know which ones have been recently searched.
Seeing where sunbathers and swimmers are using the beach on a webcam for several days, allows you to go straight to the potential hot spots for lost jewelry when you do finally get a chance to go detecting. 
Internet surf sites will allow you to make water hunting plans ahead of time. 
A part time treasure hunter can hang with the full time competition for metal detecting finds by keeping up to date on their local beach conditions.   

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Search patterns and local beach hunting

It is always best to use some form of search pattern when beach hunting.  
Just like it is always best to go home with a sore shoulder from digging lots of targets, than tired feet from doing too much walking along the beach.
Using a search pattern means you have a plan, you are not just meandering around aimlessly hoping to stumble across something good.
No amount of beach reading skills will help if you do not fully cover the areas you search on the beach.
The search pattern used should be one that allows you to leave the beach knowing that if anything worth finding was there, you would have found it.
Covering search areas methodically is always a better strategy than covering more ground. 
Saturday mornings on my local beaches resemble a metal detecting horse race, as solo or pairs of beach and shallow water hunters try to cover the entire beach as fast as possible. 
Most speedy beach or shallow water hunters search up and down the beach moving either north or south. 
I prefer to metal detect the same area using a slower more methodical east / west directional search pattern. 
I am normally still searching in the same general area I started metal detecting as the local beach and shallow water hunters leave the beach.
Sometimes it is better to try changing search patterns, instead of changing beaches. 
Cover less ground correctly than more ground incorrectly, especially if you predominantly search one local beach most of the time.
Long handled scoop drag marks left behind in the sand by a methodical beach hunter, can be just as discouraging to speedy local beach hunters as going home empty handed.
Nothing is more of a compliment to your beach hunting skills than another local beach hunter walking off the beach because they know you have just searched an area. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Twin optical scanners

Sometimes you do not need a metal detector to find good stuff on the beach, all you need is good observational skills. 
Early morning beach hunters, especially wet sanders,  have the most to gain from keeping a sharp high above the high tide line. 
This is one of the reasons why I like to use a headlamp when night hunting, not to see where I am going but with the light angled to the side to pick out potentially valuable objects laying in the towel line. 
Many night time courting couples or skinny dippers on tourist beaches leave valuables behind. 
An early morning beach hunter should investigate any towel or scattered alcohol containers left behind above the previous high tide line. 
It is possible to find everything, from cell phones, cameras, wallets, pocket books, to watches, jewelry or paper money.
I have returned 3 cell phones, 1 camera and two wallets this year to grateful owners
Lifeguard tower steps are another place you can find valuable items just waiting to be picked up by the first person passing by. 
Obvious signs of activity should be the first place you search in the dry sand on heavily hunted beach that see many dry sanders. 
Look for flattened outlines in the dry sand, left behind by people laying on towels.
Even a single beer can sitting upright in the dry sand should be a sign to to go over and investigate. 
One of my favorite dry sand watch finds was found sitting on top of a tin can on Fort Lauderdale beach.  
The $500.00 dive watch is still a good find for having the good sense to go over and check the area out. 
One of the best times for eyeballing good finds is after a large crowded event has taken place on a beach. 
Of course the beach will be heavily detected as soon as the event has finished but that is not the best time to use your twin optical scanners. 
The early morning hours are much more productive after people in the area have partied all night and the effects of alcohol have kicked in. 
Do not be surprised if the wet sand after the next high tide is also good for eyeballing valuable finds, as well as metal detecting. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Search coil cable security

Many beach and shallow water hunters complain about noisy metal detectors down in the wet sand splash zone or  just inside the waters edge. 
Often it is not the metal detector, if it is multiple frequency or pulse induction metal detector. 
It is a common mistake I see many beach and shallow water hunters doing, not securing search coil cables to metal detector shafts correctly. 
Securing your search coil cable, either too loose or too tight can lead to false signals or worse! 
Loose search coil cable flapping around leads to false signals every time it is bumped, hit or moved around by the water. 
You have to securely wind and then fasten your cable wire to your metal detector shaft using electrical tape, NOT plastic zip ties! 
Plastic ties can cut into your search coil cable and you run the risk of cutting into your cable every time you have to cut the plastic ties off when breaking down your metal detector.
Wind your cable around the shaft and use electrical tape every 6 to 8 inches along the shaft to secure your search coil cable. 
Pay close attention to the first and last taped areas of your search coil cable.
The first taping should be about 6 inches away from the point where your cable connects into the main metal detector control housing. 
This taping prevent your search coil from being tugged or yanked out of your control box, acting like a cable strain relief.  
It can happen easier than you think, a long handled scoop falling against your metal detector or your cable getting snagged on a dive belt or finds pouch. 
The last taping towards the bottom of the search coil should have just enough slack to allow your search coil to tilt back and forth without straining or tugging at the search coil connection point. 
You may be surprised at how much stress you put on your metal detector shaft when stopping to scoop targets, you often lean on your metal detector. 
If you do not have a little play to allow your detector shaft to move over your search coil, you could end up pulling your cable out of your search coil. 
Experiment with the last taping,  use a temporary wrap and stand your metal detector upright to see if it allows you to lean your detector shaft forward over your search coil. 
This closely mirrors shallow water hunting in chest deep water, scooping while holding onto your metal detector. 
Securely fastening your search coil cable to your metal detector will help to cut down on false signal issues and trips to the metal detector service department. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Micro searching.

I always see beach hunters walking along the beach, who says you have to go anywhere? 
It may surprise you just how many metallic objects are in the sand in front of beach side parking lot or beach entrance. 
Extra large search coils are all the rage now with beach hunters who mistakenly believe you have to cover more ground to find anything with the increased competition for metal detecting finds. 
If you take a look at people using metal detectors on most beaches around the world, they almost always look like they are heading somewhere, often in a hurry! 
Many beach hunters are covering ground but not really covering the ground. 
If you use a metal detector that allows you to change search coils, install a small search coil and hang around in one spot for an hour or two and you will see what I mean.
It does not matter whether it is an 8, 6 or 5-inch search coil, I guarantee you will be digging more targets than you can handle.
Many local beach hunters do not really cover the ground correctly, they cover the area but not the ground.
Small gold & silver jewelry, old artifacts or coins can easily be masked by a bottle cap or a corroding fish hook. 

Target separation is far more important than being the first person to search any prime spots on heavily or moderately hunted beaches.
You really only see how many targets you just miss when you stop to search for other targets after you find something good.  
Or you decide to go over a coin line from a different direction or using a different search pattern. 
I think "missed targets" is a poor  choice of words, as you did not hear the targets in the first place.
Many beach and shallow water hunting sites are better searched by using a combination of search patterns with two different size search coils. 
Sometimes the reason why beach hunters go home happy with a great find is because they bothered to really cover a productive area.
Be thankful that other beach hunters are passing through, it is when a beach hunter stops to search an area that you have to worry!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Level playing fields

I am sure you must have heard the expression "The grass is always greener", I believe this also applies to beach and shallow water treasure hunting.
I very much doubt that local Treasure Coast beach hunter's always discover the best Spanish treasure finds.
People who metal detect on famous tourist beaches do not always find the best jewelry. 
No matter where you live and go treasure hunting, you still have to find the treasure, old or modern.
We are all on a level playing field when it comes to beach and shallow water hunting. 
Nobody knows that better than me, I have to travel long distances to metal detect. 
I have a 5 hour round trip to take on the local Treasure Coast  beach hunter's for Spanish treasure finds.
If I want to duke it out for modern gold jewelry finds on some of the famous tourist beaches in Florida, I have to travel to them.
In my opinion, the best way to level the playing field is to learn how to read the beach and water effectively. 
Followed by using a good metal detector and learning how to use it correctly.
A good tip is to always have a secondary treasure hunting plan 
For instance, when I make the long drive in search of Spanish treasure coins, I always plan to search for modern jewelry on the way home. 
Some of my best diamond rings have been consolation finds after getting skunked searching for old finds.
When I drive any distance to go modern jewelry hunting, I rely on my secondary sites if my intended first choice of beach is being heavily hunted or targets are few and far between.
Seasoned beach and shallow water hunter's have better luck when traveling to metal detect.
This is another reason why it is important to hone your detecting skills on your local beaches, before traveling to compete against other local beach or shallow water hunter's.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Water hunting against a strong current.

Many of the 8 hour a day, 7 days a week, full time shallow water hunters on popular tourist beaches stay at home during extended periods of rough surf. 
Part time beach and shallow water hunters like myself have to go water hunting when we get a chance. 
Obviously, if the surf is rough it is normally only safe to water hunt very close to shore, and around low tide. 
Searching inside the water in the first drop off is a good way of staying safe and out of danger from rip currents. 
I have found the best way of working in strong currents very close to shore is to search in one direction only. 
This involves using a simple north / south search pattern in a straight line, entering the water in the area you are going to search and getting out of the water after you have searched in a line along the first drop off. 
Walk back along the beach, re enter the water and search in another straight line further into the water, but only if it is not too deep and safe to do so. 
You can cover long beaches fairly quickly searching in a straight line along the first drop off inside the water. 
Search opposite parking lots, beach sun bed rental sites,  beach accesses or any other potential beach hot spots to increase you chances of finding something good in rough surf close to shore.
Straight line shallow water hunting is less stressful on your body and equipment when you do not have to fight against the current.  
Try slowly walking backwards in the water along the straight line if it helps you to fight the current. 
Use your long handled scoop to hold you in place and give you a chance to slowly sweep your search coil. 
This is another good reason why you should always use a heavy stainless steel long handled scoop for shallow water hunting. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Simplify your beach and shallow water hunting

I often hear and see head scratching words and phrases passed around in beach treasure hunting, such as strata, marl, treasure and finds formulas etc.
I cannot ever remember going to the beach and being concerned about marl or treasure formulas.
When I go to the beach I have no outside distractions, as I am far too busy searching for potential hot spots or concentrating on my metal detector settings and search technique. 
It is possible to over think things in beach and shallow water metal detecting. 
I see more and more beach hunters being concerned with "Fluffy stuff"  things that have no effect on the outcome of their beach treasure hunt. 
Beach and water hunting should be as simple as picking a beach and turning on your metal detector.
In my books, I always try to stress the importance of making the most of your allotted treasure hunting time. 
This also includes keeping an open mind towards beach and shallow water hunting, because the less preconceptions you have towards beach hunting, the more treasure you will find. 
Rigidity and repetition are a treasure hunters worst enemies, over thinking things will also stunt your growth as a treasure hunter. 
You could really tie yourself up in knots if you wanted to, worrying about what the competition is finding, what metal detector they are using, who is hunting your favorite sites, sanded in conditions, targets out of depth range,  etc.
No person has any greater effect on the outcome of your beach metal detecting plans than you. 
What you choose to do with your treasure hunting time, where you decide to search and what metal detector you choose to use.
Stick to the simple things, go metal detecting where ever and when ever you get the chance. 
The treasure hunter who carries less baggage to the beach, has more capacity for finds! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sand bar slopes

I was searching along the slope of a sand bar yesterday morning, opposite a high end tourist resort.
Taking a page out of my latest book "How to Read the Beach and water " I was searching on the beach side slope of the sand bar.
The surf has been picking up over the last few days and I noticed a nice incline on the beach side of the sand bar.
This was probably the surf rushing over the top of the shallow sand bar and stripping sand off the slope.
Using my CTX 3030 in the all metals relic mode gave me a chance to get to some of the deeper targets now within reach.
I knew from the amount of quarters, dimes, nickels and two silver bands recovered, that I had a chance of finding gold jewelry.
As you can see by this photo, I was handsomely rewarded with a heavy 18K ladies ring with 43 quality diamonds.

There were seven other water hunters along this popular stretch of south Florida beach, searching on the other side of the sand bar and closer to shore.
I kind of went with the flow and took the area that was left open for me to search.
The slopes of sand bars are very productive areas in the water to search,  especially the slope on the beach side.
I imagined how many people over the last few weeks had stood at slope at high tide and been hit by waves, or how many people had slipped and stumbled dropping back into deeper water as they returned to the beach.
If you concentrate on searching sand bar slopes opposite hotels, resort areas, or large beach side parking lots, you will increase you chances of finding gold.
Local water hunters should always be on the look out for any change in the sand bar slopes and be ready to change search modes or search coils to get to any deeper targets.

Friday, August 16, 2013

If you do not go, you will never know

When people follow local beach treasure hunting conditions blogs, I am sure the temptation is to use them to save you from needlessly having to go metal detecting. 
In my opinion, that is a huge mistake as the local bloggers often rely on the slightest of beach upgrades to stay relevant. 
Dang, there goes my christmas card from the local beach treasure hunting conditions bloggers lol!
All kidding aside, you should never base your decision on whether you go detecting on other peoples beach ratings, they are after all just that, other peoples ratings. 
This is especially important if you live and metal detect in an area where you have a good chance of finding something regardless.
I live in an area where a couple of hours drive North I could be searching for Spanish treasure, an hour drive South I could be searching for modern jewelry. 
I know for a fact that Spanish treasure coins can wash up anytime, anywhere within a 100 mile stretch of beach and modern gold jewelry is lost on a daily basis on many more miles of beach. 
If you wait until some complete stranger tells you that conditions have improved, you are missing an important part of treasure hunting. 
The drive to go search for treasure, believe me when I tell you that drive is what puts finds in your finds pouch. 
It would be easier to stay at home and wait until someone tells you that conditions have improved, but by them you would already be chasing with the pack who also heard conditions improved.
I believe that the very best beach conditions are the ones that await you when you arrive at the beach to metal detect.
You never know what you are going to find but at least you have a chance when you go detecting regardless of the conditions. 
I do not need any photos of modern diamond rings or old Spanish treasure rings to get this point across, the title of this post says it all, if you do not go, you will never know.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gold magnets

On many beaches you may find gold jewelry in unexpected places, such as roped off areas in the water or close to a buoy anchored offshore. 
These kind of obstacles in the water can be gold magnets on busy tourist beaches. 
People are always attracted to swimming over to buoys or roped off areas used for jet ski or paddle board rentals.
Most swimmers do the same thing, grab and hold on to the ropes or rest the top half of their bodies across the ropes. 
This would explain why obstacles in the water are a good place to find rings, chains and watches. 
Another "gold magnet" in the water are rocky outcrops at the end of horse shoe shaped bays.
These areas are always popular with people snorkeling or by large numbers of kids playing around the rocks. 
An area on the beach that is popular with small kids and parents, will often mean that lost jewelry can be found in the area. 
The best time to search along roped off areas in the water is after normal beach hours.
Box hunters often use these areas as turn around points when searching a beach or stretch of water.
Imagine how many people fall awkwardly between roped off water sports rental areas, getting on and off jet skis or paddle boards. 
This photo shows a rocky outcrop that divides two beaches, it is only possible to walk around the rocky outcrop onto the next beach at low tide. 

This photo shows an 18K gold chain and diamond cross found at this site close to the rocks.
No doubt the gold chain and cross came off as the person was checking out the rocks under the water. 

Look for places in the water where people swim out to, or bob under the water to investigate, giving you a chance to find gold.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sanded in ?

I lurk on many of the internet  metal detecting forums to see what the local beach or water hunters are finding in my area.  It is usually the same old complaints from the same old regular posters about lack of finds due to sanded in conditions.
I recently gave up posting finds on the same forums because it was tough for some of the resident "expert" beach hunters to hold back their anger at having me contradict their excuses for lack of finds by posting jewelry finds.  
Not to mention, using a metal detector they react to like a cavemen seeing fire for the first time.
If you look at the big treasure hunting picture, the beach is always sanded in. 
Only a person box hunting by only searching in the water or wet sand would not be able to find anything in the summer time on a US east coast,  when easterly onshore winds gradually push more sand onto the lower beach. 
If the lower beach is sanded in,  move higher up onto the beach and try dry sanding or scout around for a better beach. 
Any beach in your area with a hard pack lower beach is the place to be, especially if the lower beach  has a rocky shoreline.
You could also try finding areas out in deeper water to search if the wet sand and water close to shore is sanded in.
Look for the positives in beach and shallow water hunting,  lead from the front and leave the negativity to the people who thrive on it. 
I assure you that when you do find gold during sanded in conditions, you will appreciate it more when you know that you used your beach reading skills and versatility as a treasure hunter to find it. 
Because the beach has not only got two areas worth searching, the wet sand and shallow water, a versatile beach or water hunter will always have a place to continue searching for treasure. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An over looked edge

When several people search a beach with the same type of metal detector, often the only real edge you have is your metal detector settings.
I make a point of never telling my competition the metal detector settings I use on my local beaches, especially if we are using the same metal detector.
Having taken the time to conduct target tests on the beach with my metal detectors, I see no point in helping the competition to increase their gold finds.
Luckily their are plenty of generic, one size fits all settings passed around on the internet metal detecting forums for every metal detector. 
If you want to get serious about beach and water hunting, you have to tune your metal detector to every beach you search. 
Have a few control setting starting points, but take the time to push your metal detector controls.
Never just use a bunch of set and forget metal detector control settings, leave that to the other guys.
We have a hobby where an inch or two can, and often does make a big difference in your treasure finds.
The difference between going home with an expensive piece of jewelry or old artifact, or leaving that same object behind for the next beach hunter who has tuned their metal detector correctly.
People think it is bravado or bragging when a person says they found jewelry following another beach hunter, often it is just a case of having the edge of using better metal detector control settings. 
That may explain why I was able to retrieve this nice chunk of 18K gold with precious stones recently, when two other people had searched the area only a few hours earlier. 

Never under estimate the importance of testing and tuning your metal detector, especially when the competition is using the same metal detector. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hitting below the belt

I found a 1.4 ounce 14K bangle bracelet early yesterday morning, the result of people watching.

Here in south Florida we have had a few days of choppy two to three foot waves, that kind of surf is always a good sign for wet sanding.
If you observe people in the water during choppy surf conditions, you will see people like to stand just inside the waters close to shore and get hit by waves.
Not sure why, maybe it is because swimming is a little more dangerous in these surf conditions and people prefer to stand inside the water and just get hit by the incoming waves. 
These kind of "slapping" waves work wonders for shaking loose bracelets, anklets, rings and sunglasses from unlucky tourists getting hit standing close to shore.
I found three large junk rings, a silver bracelet and the chunk of 14K gold using my Minelab CTX 3030 in the wet sand.
This is my favorite metal detector for "Cherry picking" along the wet sand for low tone targets.
Other beach hunters were already searching the area when I arrived at 4am but they were not real competition, walking waaay too fast and swinging their metal detectors like golf clubs.
The more time you spend beach and shallow water hunting, the more you will know how to anticipate where you have the best chance of finding jewelry on the beach.
It normally takes a day or so for the wet sand to be productive after choppy surf conditions.
Many water hunters stay home during extended periods of choppy surf,  missing out on easy wet sand jewelry finds because they only water hunt. 
Or as water hunters always like to say "It is all in the water", yeh right! 
I saw the opposite yesterday morning, two dry sanders showed up as the sun began to rise and never ventured lower on the beach than the previous high tide line. 
When the majority of people likely to lose jewelry are close to shore getting buffeted and slammed by incoming waves, the deeper water and dry sand are the last two areas you should be metal detecting.
Learn to read the people in the water and learn to anticipate where you will find lost jewelry. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Relationships and bonding

It really surprises me how long some people have been beach or water hunting and STILL have not managed to settle down and build a relationship with one metal detector.  
A quick look around the internet metal detecting forums, remind me of the movie "Shallow Hal" were the leading character always manages to find a minor fault with a beautiful girl that he cannot get over.
So many "keyboard detector experts" nit pick and making silly depth comparisons, when is the last time anyone took a tape measure to the beach?
Every major metal detector company has one or two models that can be used on the beach or in the water, it should not be hard to find one that suits your style of beach or water hunting.
Your choice of metal detector is very important and it is not a choice that should be taken lightly and that is why research is the key to finding a good hunting partner.
Always use a metal detector that is well balanced and comfortable to use, it should also have has options and features that improve your chances of locating the targets you are searching for.
In my case,  modern gold jewelry on tourist beaches and thin Spanish silver treasure coins on shipwreck beaches.
I see so many "Keyboard experts" with an axe to grind against certain makes or models of metal detector, and of course always wanting the last word, I leave the pitch fork waving to the angry villagers.
Even though I am happy with my choice of metal detector, I am not afraid to try something new.
I have tried a few different metal detectors over the last few years, but I  have not found anything better than the metal detectors I use for my specific style of beach and shallow water hunting.
The bond between you and your metal detector is an important factor on heavily hunted beaches.
It is an advantage that I fully exploit, running finely tuned metal detectors for maximum depth and sensitivity for the targets I search for. 
Believe me, the longer you have used your metal detector, the further ahead of the competition you will stay.
Always base your metal detector decisions on your own research, not from people who spend more time on internet metal detecting forums than using a metal detector. 
Good treasure hunters with finds behind their names are in harmony with their metal detector, they use their beach reading skills to find treasure on a regular basis.
Inferior beach hunters are always searching and waiting for the perfect metal detector.
Bad workers always blame their tools!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bobbing and fanning

I have recovered some nice chunks of gold over the last two full moon low tides, out on a hard to detect offshore ledge in shallow water. 
My recovery tools of choice are simple, my metal detector, a snorkel & mask and a gloved hand.
The only reason I was able to recover the gold, silver and coins was using a bob and fanning technique. 
Very few dedicated beach or shallow water hunters are willing to put their long handled scoops down. 
I learned a long time ago the value of being willing and able to search over ledges or totally rocky areas in the shallow water. 
Once you get in a rhythm recovering targets it is a very exciting way of recovering targets, especially when you see 1/2 ounce chunks of gold like these three big class rings staring back at you after the sand is fanned off the rocks. 

My bob and fan technique works best in knee to lower chest deep water, I rely on the full moon low tides to allow me to search the area. I also rely on the normal low and high tides to keep the same areas off limits to other water hunters. 
The first most important part of bobbing and fanning for targets is to pinpoint the target.
Your pinpointing skills will save you valuable metal detecting time and energy.  
I use my foot  instead of my gloved hand after I have a good idea where the target is located. 
The reason why I wear hard soled dive boots is to use my booted foot to move rocks and sand away from pinpointed targets. 
I repeat the pinpoint process, and if the target is still in the same area I try fanning more sand away from the area with my dive boot. 

In this photo you can see me fanning an area with my dive boot and using my Minelab Excalibur on the short S shaft. 
If the target is still in place, I bob my head in the water and use my gloved hand to fan and move more rocks and sand away from the area. 
Nothing beats bobbing down and picking a large gold ring up out of the rocks. 

The foot and gloved hand fanning combination approach works easier, many times you see or feel the target after the energy saving extra foot fanning. 
Metal detecting inside the water from knee to lower chest deep allows you more time to recover targets than using a heavy dive belt in deep water and expending more energy. 
I always start out in the deeper lower chest water at low tide and work my way closer to shore as the tide comes back in. 
Bobbing and fanning is best done on calm water days and using a discriminating metal detector on a shorter shaft.  
A small search coil is fantastic for ledge or rock hunting where target separation trumps target depth. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stop, look and listen

Heres a tip that has put many a piece of treasure in my finds pouch, both old and modern.
When you go to the beach to metal detect, who says you have to walk to another area to find something good?
I see it all the time, beach and water hunters walking onto beaches and heading north or south to get to an area and ignoring beach entry points.
These Spanish silver reales from the late 1600s, early 1700s, were found on two different beaches along the Treasure Coast of Florida, the small silver reales were all recovered opposite or very close to beach entry points.

The same thing happens on the tourist beaches of south Florida, beach or water hunters ignoring beach access points.
Beach and water hunting is very monkey see, monkey do, especially on heavily hunted beaches.
Most heavily hunted beaches will have a few areas along the beach were regular local hunters desperately rush to, in a vain attempt to search the "hot spot" before other local hunters show up.
Sloppily sweeping over good ground just to get to the most heavily hunted areas makes no treasure hunting sense at all.
Here are two large gold rings gold, adding up to a combined weight of one ounce of gold.  
I recovered last year from right outside a beach entrance, instead of walking a hundred yards down the beach to the local hot spot where two guys were already searching.

I posted a previous blog about gold often being found right back where you started out searching. 
Both blogs have a connection, because that place you started out searching is often the beach entrance. 
It may surprise you to know that on heavily hunted beaches, the most ignored area on the beach is the place everyone cannot wait to walk away from. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Positive thinking

Sometimes treasure hunting is a grind, whether it is searching for old treasure or hunting for modern gold jewelry.
It helps if you have a positive attitude and a hardcore treasure hunting style, going beach or shallow water hunting whenever and however.
Your time will come and the big find will eventually be under your search coil if you stay positive and keep your eye on the prize.
I attract a lot of negativity from other local beach and water hunters who are obviously not so positive.
While I am on the beach and in the water working hard to put my search coil over gold,  less positive people spread idle gossip and false rumors on the internet metal detecting forums.
Whining about which metal detector I am using or how it is not possible to make good finds on a regular basis.
That is why negative "keyboard beach hunters" stay on the hamster wheel, no positive treasure hunting attitudes and trying to be top dog on the forums instead of top dog on the beach.
These metal detecting finds in this photograph are what drive me on to the next find.

The modern gold was found in the water, the old finds on the beach, all recovered over the last few years.
I hope after seeing this photograph it motivates you to go beach or shallow water hunting.
These kind of metal detecting finds are out there, all you have to do is think positive, stay motivated and of course put your search coil over them.
You can measure a hard working, positive thinking treasure hunter by their treasure finds. 
Set the bar high, go to the beach with a positive attitude and use other peoples treasure finds to motivate you. 
Motivation in beach treasure hunting is a powerful thing, it is one of the reasons I never show my finds to strangers on the beach. 
A treasure hunter with a positive attitude may use that find as motivation to return to the same site and find something good.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chasing fresh drops

Unfortunately, that is exactly what you have to do, if you want to find fresh drops. 
Chase them down, they do not show up at the same time, same place every week, you have to know where and when they are likely to be found. 
The where is a busy stretch of beach, the when is not on a Saturday morning! 
If you are timing your beach or water hunts around a Saturday morning, you have got to change your metal detecting plans. 
A full Saturday on a busy beach will make Saturday afternoon, or evening a better choice for Saturday morning jewelry hunters.
I took a drive along the beach road early this morning on my way to price a job up, it was surprising just how many beach and shallow water hunters were out on a Saturday morning along this stretch of beach. 
Later in the day I drove along the same stretch and only saw one guy metal detecting, he probably had more success than the 12 beach and water hunters I saw earlier. 
In my opinion, timing is everything in jewelry hunting, you have to develop good timing by knowing how to put where and when together. 
Connect the dots and you can find obvious fresh drops like this 2.5 carat oval emerald set in an 18K gold ladies ring, appraised value $3600.00 

The quicker you realize the best times to go jewelry hunting, the more jewelry you will be returning home with. 
I dare say it will not be every Saturday morning! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Testing gold rings and chains.

I received a couple of interesting emails this week from people testing their metal detectors on the beach to see how they react to broken gold rings and gold chains without pendants.
Both emails confirmed what I already knew, that a gold ring when broken responds totally different to an unbroken ring and that all gold chains without pendants respond differently. 
I find that gold rings that are broken or have a small piece missing out of the band respond with the same kind of signal on my CTX 3030 and Excalibur's as a gold chain with no pendant.
The audio response from broken gold bands and gold chains without pendants can be confusing.
These targets do not respond with a classic two way repeatable signal, more like a bottle cap or other "iffy" target being rejected using a low or minimum level of discrimination search mode. 
Although you could easily miss broken gold rings, gold chains or open gold hoop ear rings, they all have one thing in common with the audio response, a weak or glancing gold tone.
No matter how slight or brief a gold tone, it is a sound that grabs the attention of a veteran beach or shallow water hunter. 
I was impressed that the people who contacted me took the time to perform actual beach tests with their metal detectors. 
It is important to know what your metal detector can find, it is even more important to know what your metal detector cannot find!  
Knowing how your metal detector will respond to various gold jewelry targets will put more gold in your finds pouch. 
An experienced beach or shallow water hunter can find broken gold jewelry and gold chains without pendants. 

All it takes is that initial gold tone response, no matter how brief, if you heard a fleeting gold tone you must stop, investigate and recover the target. 
Change to an all metal search mode if you have to, never walk away from any target giving mixed target tone messages to your metal detector. 
Seeing a broken gold ring or a nice gold chain in your scoop basket is incentive and reward for conducting jewelry tests on the beach with your metal detector.  
Often the biggest gold comes from the smallest gold tones, train your ears to find big.