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.