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Monday, January 27, 2014

Beach and water hunting

I always refer to myself as a beach and water hunter,  meaning I prefer to metal detect on the beach and in the water. 
I never just take my metal detector to the beach ready to search one area, if the beach looks more promising than the water, I will detect up in the dry sand or down in the wet sand. 
Yesterday I had my eye on several local beach cams, even though the temperatures were in the 70s there was hardly any people swimming in the water. 
For south Florida standards, It has been chilly just recently and I have noticed more people staying on the beach instead of swimming. 
I had a short window of opportunity to metal detect yesterday afternoon , so I decided to take my CTX 3030 for a walk in the dry sand.
I searched along a promising area I saw on the beach web cam, an area that had many people sitting on their towels on the beach through-out the day.
Even though I had checked the beach cam several times through-out the day and saw hardly anyone using the water, I was surprised to see four people water hunting.  
Sometimes you have to go where the people are to find gold, instead of blindly following the old water hunters saying of "Its all in the water" 
I found two silver rings, a junk ring and junk chain,  a $100.00 fashion watch,  a 14K gold ear ring, a small 10 K gold kids ring and a 1963 silver dime,  I dare wager my jewelry finds were more than all four water hunters found yesterday afternoon. 
The mid beach opposite this popular tourist beach had probably not been detected over the weekend,  as I know there is a crazy number of water hunters at this one beach. 
Gold is out there for beach and water hunters to find,  you just have to avoid being a "Box hunter" and be a beach and water hunter. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to sniff out deep gold

Many of the beaches where I live are pounded day and night by other beach and shallow water hunters, but that does not mean there is no gold to be found. 
Heavy competition just means the fresh dropped surface finds are probably gone and you have to work a little harder to find deep gold.
All of these recent gold and platinum bands were found on beaches that are regularly hunted, sometimes heavily! 

Every once in a while I see other beach or shallow water hunters, but not for long, as most of the competition look like they are working towards some other spot down the beach or passing through. 
Not many people I see metal detecting hang around in one place very long, but I do. 
I like to pound an area in full "Rottweiler" mode, especially when I know the site has a productive area. 
There is a time and a place for discrimination, but sometimes you cannot beat hanging around in a known hot spot and pulling every target out of the area. 
This is how I found a 1.2 ounce gold ring recently, taking the surrounding junk targets out of the area and hearing the feint low tone of the gold ring.  
Pounding an area from different angles instead of moving away is the reason why many of the gold and platinum bands in the photo are sitting on top of my CTX 3030 screen. 
In one of my books I wrote a chapter about traveling to out of town beaches, and wasting more time behind the wheel than on the beach detecting.
If you are not careful, you may spend more time walking along the beach than digging targets. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nobody gets it all

No doubt the beach I found this big 1.2 ounce 18K gold ring gets hammered on a daily basis by several full time beach and shallow water hunters, but as the title of todays blog says nobody gets it all. 

Yesterday I had my first shallow water hunt of 2014 and did quite well in only a couple of hours,  the gold ring was found 30 minutes into the hunt. 
Although I was trying to shake off a bad flu /virus that has been making the rounds in south Florida, I had a short window of opportunity to get out and metal detect and as you can see it was worth it. 
I am a firm believer in going beach or shallow water hunting regardless of the conditions or the tide time.  
Many beaches are heavily hunted, but it is almost impossible for the full time beach and shallow water hunters to cover every square foot of the beach. 
Which coincidentally is probably the average size of a metal detector search coil, that really should put things into prospective on large tourist beaches.
Many valuable targets lay waiting on the beach for people who are lucky enough to just put their search coil over them. 
In my opinion, you can help yourself to be a "luckier" beach or shallow water hunter by being unpredictable, spontaneous and motivated. 
It is not how many hours you put in searching the beach, it is what you put into those hours spent searching the beach.
Many people make the mistake of thinking you have to be out on the beach more or just as much as the competition. 
I believe you can find more in less time by optimizing your coverage, covering less ground better. 
Eventually you are going to put your search coil over a valuable target detecting at a pace that allows you to cover every square foot of the beach you walk over. 
Better to walk over the sand than a valuable target. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Searching cuts on heavily hunted beaches

When I search a fresh cut on a heavily hunted beach, I try to recover the easy finds first before the competition arrives.
Easy finds, refer to shallow targets from the base of the cut to the waters edge, using discrimination allows me to get to valuable finds faster.
A fresh cut on a stretch of prime tourist beach is no place to be messing around using a "Reverse" hunting technique or all metal mode.
Four other hunters turned up shortly after me on the night I found this expensive 18 K Cartier emerald and diamond ladies ring at an eroded popular Florida beach.

My strategy of getting the easy finds first at a fresh cut paid off as I saw the edge of the gold ring at the base of the cut before I scooped it up.  
I was only using a low level of discrimination, but it was enough to avoid getting bogged down digging corroding bottle caps and other easily avoidable shallow trash targets. 
In my opinion, you do not have to dig it all to find gold, especially when searching fresh cuts on heavily hunted beaches. 
A beach can be littered with trash after erosion has first taken place on a busy beach,  it is the perfect situation to use a good discriminating metal detector capable of finding treasure amongst the trash. 
If I know I am not the first person to search a cut on a heavily hunted beach, my beach hunting strategy is the opposite. 
I go for depth over discrimination, chances are many of the shallow targets will already have been scooped up.  
I use zero discrimination trying to find targets that were originally masked by shallower targets, or targets that were hopefully just out of the detection range of previous hunters. 
Being proficient at using discrimination and hunting in all metal, helps to make searching cuts on heavily hunted beaches exciting. 
When you do not use the same metal detecting strategy for every beach hunting situation, you do not have to be the first person searching the cut, you still have a chance of recovering deeper valuable targets. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Light weight beach hunting

If you are going to be metal detecting on the beach for many hours, it is always best to invest in accessories that will allow you to be comfortable metal detecting for many hours. 
In this photograph there are two accessories that will help you stay out on the beach longer during prime beach hunting conditions, instead of nursing a sore arm or shoulder at home. 

Two accessories that make beach hunting easier, an Anderson carbon fiber straight shaft and a light weight long handled aluminum scoop.
A straight shaft will help to balance out the weight of a typical waterproof metal detector on the beach, and a long handled aluminum scoop is easier to carry around and use to scoop targets. 
A long wood handled scoop with a stainless steel basket is a good option for searching rockier shorelines. 
Notice the duct tape on the scoop handle, wrapping an aluminum scoop handle will help prevent your hand from slipping down the shaft when recovering targets on the beach.
I always prefer stainless steel scoops for water hunting, but lugging the heavier scoop around on the beach for hours can be tiring. 
The same applies to many factory waterproof metal detector shafts, hip or chest mounting kits are other good options. 
Just balancing the weight of your metal detector can make a huge difference in the amount of hours you  can stay out on the beach metal detecting without getting tired. 
A balanced metal detector on the beach allows you to control your sweep and keep your search coil level which translates into better depth and more finds. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Another sanded in beach solution

The good thing about not being a box hunter, who only searches on one area of the beach, is not being effected by prolonged periods of sanded in beach conditions. 
If the water is too rough for water hunting or the lower beach is sanded in, try searching the dry sand on the upper beach.
Many beach hunters see an old cut like the one in this photograph and incorrectly assume the old cut has been hunted out, especially when the base of the cut is covered back over with several feet of sand. 

In areas close to hotels, condos or beach entrances the cut can still be productive, if you know how to search it? 
The upper face or wall of the cut may hold jewelry, coins or artifacts if you live close to beaches with a little history. 
I have found many old artifacts left over from early 1800s beach site forts and encampments in the upper face of cuts, I have also found my share of pieces of Spanish silver from the face of old cuts along the Treasure Coast of Florida. 

Small search coils work best for the awkward task of searching the upper face of old cuts, you will receive fewer false signals using small search coils and be able to pinpoint targets more accurately. 
Try hip or chest mounting your metal detector if possible, this will save your arm strength as you sweep your search coil along the face of old cuts.