There are far more full time beach and shallow water hunters than ever before on popular beaches, but that does not mean you cannot be just as effective being a part time beach and shallow water hunter.
You just have to refine your metal detecting techniques and make the most of every treasure hunting opportunity to compete with full time beach and shallow water hunters.
I always say just because someone has walked over an area with a metal detector, it does not mean that area has been searched correctly.
It is amazing how many good targets you can recover following sloppy beach and shallow water hunters.
When you can clearly see the lower beach has already been searched by scoop drag marks and dug holes, you still have a couple of golden opportunities.
Most of the easy surface finds should already be gone, search slowly and concentrate on trying to recover deeper targets that were being partially masked by surface targets already recovered by previous hunters.
Always double check around any areas of disturbed sand, some beach hunters give up on disappearing signals from targets on edge.
Get into the habit of using your foot to push the sand around a filled hole on the beach, before slowly sweeping your search coil over the disturbed patch of sand as there may also have been a more valuable target in the same hole.
I have found far too many nice pieces of gold jewelry following other beach and shallow waters, to ever get discouraged by signs of a freshly hunted beach.