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.