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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shell line opportunities.

I have hardly had any time to go metal detecting lately, so when I do get the chance I go for it. 
A thanksgiving morning gave me a small window of opportunity to go shallow water hunting in search of gold jewelry.
Although the beach I chose was sanded in, I saw one interesting area on the lower beach with a large amount of shells by the waters edge. 
Normally wide shell lines along the lower beach are not a good sign, but sometimes the areas in front or behind the shells can be productive.
Standing in the wet sand, I noticed the shell line resembled a mini cut inside the first drop in the water. 
After entering the water with my Minelab Excalibur, I quickly began scooping targets.
The quarters, dimes and nickels on the sandy bottom along the edge of the shell line told me that heavier targets had collected behind the wall of shells.
It was not long before I heard a low gold tone through my Excalibur headphones, which turned out to be a large heavy mans 14K wedding band. 

The line of shells only ran for a short distance, I knew how to read the lower beach and take advantage of the only hot spot on the beach. 
A beach may appear to be sanded in at first glance, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Finding gold at sanded in sites.

If you want to find jewelry at the water, you have to go to where the jewelry is, not where all the other water hunters are. 
On my first water hunt for three weeks I could have easily followed the detecting crowd to the over hunted sites everyone hits, but that is not my style and it never will be. 
Instead, I chose to use a hit and run tactic on three smaller beaches, assuming they would not be hunted over the weekend being so close to a popular tourist beach. 
The coins found in the shallow water opposite the three small beach sites told me I made the correct site selection. The two pieces of gold jewelry found at each site were the reward for relying on my treasure hunting instincts and not being predictable. 

It was a 4 hour water hunt so I wanted to make the most of my first water hunt in three weeks, to do that I searched known (only to myself) productive jewelry sites. 
Small beach sites close to each other that I could quickly sample to see if I had a chance of finding recently lost jewelry. 
All three sites held gold jewelry and when I was sure I had hammered the best area at each site I moved onto the next site. 
A good discriminating metal detector is the best equipment to use when you intend searching several sites within a certain timeframe.

You can see by the photo that even if the water is sanded in with no rocks, you can still find recently lost gold jewelry if you search around for places with more gold jewelry than water hunters. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Patience and instincts.

I have written extensively in my beach and shallow water hunting books about ways to increase your finds by timing your beach and shallow water hunts correctly.
One of the keys to being successful is learning to be patient, another is relying on your treasure hunting instincts if you are part time beach and shallow water hunter.
Knowing when to hit the beach during times of high surf, or knowing when to hit the water afterwards can really make a difference.  
Just like it is not a good idea for a weekend warrior to detect early on a Saturday morning before people on the beach have had a chance to lose anything, you have to wait for erosion to take place. 
Many beach hunters rush to the beach straight away when high surf is forecast, a good treasure hunting move, but only if you really know your local beaches. 
If you know how the surf height or direction effects your local beaches you have a big advantage and you can time your hunt much better.
This is another reason why it is so important to base your treasure hunts on your own instincts, instead of following the flock.  
Beach and water reading skills and being proficient at using a good metal detector can help a part timer treasure hunter to be just as successful as a full time beach hunter on eroded beaches.
So can patience and waiting until conditions on the local beaches are primed for treasure hunting.  
As I have also written in my books, sometimes it is just as important to know when NOT to metal detect on the beach as it is to know when to metal detect on the beach.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Power hunting and top 10 tips list

Like many other people hooked on this great hobby, I class myself primarily as a weekend warrior and I have to make the most of any opportunity to go beach or shallow water hunting.
I try to be effective by "Power hunting" using either an all metal or discrimination search mode to blitz a chosen site for jewelry or coins.  
Since I have been doing this blog, I hear from many other part time beach and shallow water hunters in my area who ask me for advice or potentially good site information. 
My message inbox starts to fill up when people see conditions are good for treasure hunting, especially when finds are being posted on the internet.
First of all, you should never worry about what other people are finding because you only have control over your own treasure hunts.
It is important for part time hobby guys to pick and choose their battles.
My top ten tips for Power Hunting are;

1. Choose a local site.
 Spend more time metal detecting than driving, use up your valuable detecting time chasing treasure, not other treasure hunters!

2. Own the correct treasure hunting equipment.
Be ready for any beach or shallow water hunting situation, versatile treasure hunters adapt and change metal detectors and search coils to suit the conditions. 

3. Local knowledge rules! 
Use your knowledge of the local beaches to hit prime search areas within a local beach site, be the master of your local beaches.

4. Leave the house with a Plan B
Have a back up site, never go to the beach without knowing the best secondary site within reach.

5.  Be a methodical beach or shallow water hunter.
Methodically try to cover every square foot of the search area, drag your long handled scoop or use a GPS if you have one. 

6.  Maximize your metal detector and search coil depth.
Keep your search coil level and slightly scuffing the sand, both in or out of the water.

7.  Slow down 
Overlap your sweeps to help hit deep targets and improve target IDs on screened metal detectors. 
Overlapping sweeps actually forces you to slow down, overlapping sweeps is recommended when using Mono coils but it is just as effective when using Double D coils.

8. Double check
Always recheck your holes and any holes left behind by other beach or shallow water hunters. 

9. Leave no prisoners 
If you cover the search area using discrimination and recover targets, cover the same area in all metal.  Really hammer every site you search before leaving.

10. Be a positive treasure hunter.
Maintain a positive treasure hunting attitude, I always enjoy the feeling of contentment knowing that if any jewelry or coins were in the search area, I would surely have found them.

These are just a few of the things that help me to compete against the small army of full time beach and water hunters in my area. 
Try to remember, it is not how much beach you cover, it is how you cover the beach!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beach hunting competition

If you are a competent methodical beach hunter, you may be surprised to know just how little competition you really have. 
The majority of beach hunters on the beaches that I like to search, always look like they are on their way to somewhere. 
Zig zagging along the lower beach and racing towards some mysterious hot spot just in the distance, they must spend more time walking to spots than actually metal detecting. 
I hear many people complaining about the sanded in conditions and how the competition for finds has increased.
I believe an increase in beach hunters just means a few more of the easier shallow surface finds are skimmed off the beach.  
I would be worried if there is an increase in beach hunters NOT zig zagging and speed walking over the sand lol!  
They would probably be covering the ground correctly and finding deeper targets, taking a bite out of my jewelry numbers. 
On East Coast US beaches, winter time is often the best beach hunting season and after high surf many popular beaches are crowded with beach hunters. 
That does not mean your chances of finding anything good diminish, on the contrary your chances may increase if you do not get caught up in the frenzy.
Stick to slowly and methodically searching prime treasure hunting real estate on beaches with large numbers of people searching them.
Avoid getting carried away by trying to cover several areas, as many speedy beach hunters do.
Your knowledge of the local beaches will help you decide where you are going to have the best chance of success. 
Trying to recover the shallow, medium and deep targets in one prime area is better than trying to recover all the shallow targets in many different areas, especially when you know where the good stuff is.
I have found some of my favorite pieces of gold jewelry on beaches with large numbers of people metal detecting. 
Practice , patience and knowledge of the local hot spots is often money in the bank, no matter how many people are searching the beach. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

More on traveling to beach and shallow water hunt

When you really know your local beaches and how to use a good metal detector, traveling to metal metal detect can be a good option. 
You can better  use your local beach and water reading skills to good effect on beaches you decide to travel to.
Knowing how to use a good versatile metal detector will also help you to compete with other beach and shallow waters in the area.
Relying on lady luck to walk over an old treasure coin or modern diamond ring is never the best beach or shallow water hunting strategy. 
It is always better to rely on your skill as a beach or water hunter, to maximize your chances of having a successful treasure hunt.
Always keep the "hunt" in treasure hunt,  it is called treasure hunting not treasure "chasing"
If you are traveling to search a beach because another person has recovered a good find, chances are that was the only good find and discovering the location of the recovered find will be very difficult.
Beach or shallow water hunters who post good finds on the internet rarely post the exact location, just a general area.  
Many beach and shallow water hunters base their detecting traveling plans on rumors or finds photos on internet detecting sites.
Sometimes, beach conditions can change a lot faster than a beach report or good find posted on the internet a few hours earlier. 
Add travel time and the fact that many other beach and shallow water hunters may have seen the same information and you have already missed the proverbial boat. 
Research, beach reading skills and your prowess as a beach or water hunter using a good metal detector are the keys to traveling and finding treasure. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Return on investment

ROI ( Return on investment) is a chapter title in one of my books, it is something that beach and shallow water hunters should take into account when traveling to metal detect.
The grass is not always greener when you go to compete against other beach and shallow water hunters in their back yard, especially traveling long distances.   
Local beach and water hunters should always have an advantage over outside treasure hunters raiding their beaches.
Not having to travel to detect is a major advantage, even a half hour drive to a beach means a full hour behind the steering wheel instead of on the beach metal detecting.
Having confidence in your beach and shallow water hunting skills, and knowledge of your local beaches will give you the upper hand over traveling treasure hunters.
Gas, tolls and parking fees can also put a damper on raiding other beach and shallow water hunters territory. 
I never like to over extend myself, I travel to metal detect but always making sure I know the best areas, and have at least two back up sites.
I try to make my treasure hunting trips a good investment, that means coming home with something to make the trip worth while.
If I travel to search for hard to find Spanish treasure coins, my back up sites are modern jewelry sites.
Easier to find gold or silver jewelry on tourist beaches, more than make up for the disappointment of not recovering older finds. 
There is a small army of full time beach and shallow water hunters, and local bloggers who detect the same beaches every day. 
If you are a part time treasure hunter like myself, you can still give the full time treasure hunters a run for their money by honing your detecting skills and searching places closer to home.
Sites you know you have a chance of searching and recovering valuable targets, instead of wasting your limited metal detecting time driving long distances to beaches that have probably already been heavily hunted. 
You will get the biggest treasure hunting returns by banking on your knowledge of the local beaches.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reading the beach and shallow water

This really nice chunk of platinum and diamonds was found inside the water on Saturday morning, because of beach reading skills. 

When you metal detect on the beach and in the shallow water, beach reading skills often lead to water hunting success. 
I chose to search a beach that was off the beaten track, a small beach with a hidden access gate used by timeshare vacationers staying across the road opposite the beach. 
It was quite a hike to the nearest beach entrance, but as you can see from my photo it was well worth the exercise.
I noticed an old cut just past the area I had intended to search,  metal detecting on the slope below the old cut I recovered many clad coins. 
I knew from past experience there was a high probability of more coins and jewelry being found in the water opposite the cut. 
The first drop off inside the water was very sanded in, no doubt from all the sand dragged off the beach when the erosion first occurred. 
A little further offshore the area was very rocky, with many coins scattered in the rocks.
The platinum ring, an 18K gold band plus several pieces of silver and junk jewelry were recovered after fanning sand off the rock with my hand and foot.
This story just goes to show that you can still take advantage of beach erosion, even when the erosion happened a week or two earlier. 
Old cuts are often filled in with the same sand that was washed away when the cut was first created. 
Sometimes leaving valuable jewelry behind for enterprising water hunters. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

High tide hunting in the dark

I planned to water hunt this morning at a remote beach entrance that I know is not heavily hunted.
I left the house early and swung by a popular tourist beach to see if I could find anything washed up in the high tide line,  I did find a gold ear ring washed up below the high tide line.
When I search tourist beaches after hours, I like to use a head lamp to scan the towel line just above the previous high tide mark.
This morning I saw a few dry sanders high up on the beach,  but I had the high tide line all to myself.
I found a $140.00 ladies Armani watch with the price sticker still attached to the back of the watch.
No great shakes but it could just as easily of been a more expensive watch taken off and left in sand.
Many times when searching high tide lines you can eyeball finds before your search coil has a chance of picking them up if you use a head lamp.
After the sun came up I had a productive early morning shallow water hunt, finding platinum, gold and diamonds.
If I was a box hunter who only water hunted, I would not have searched the lower beach and found a gold ear ring and the watch.
Many beach hunters never bother to search the beach on a high tide,  preferring instead to show up two hours before the low tide.
Buy yourself a headlamp and get into the habit of searching the beach after hours, especially for the high tide.
You may be surprised how much jewelry you can find when you are forced into searching a much narrower strip of lower beach.