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.