I have been a "Weekend warrior" for large chunks of the summer time, metal detecting for two or three hours on either a Saturday or Sunday.
Not seeing the beach very often, makes it tough to get a good idea of the conditions to expect when you arrive at the beach to detect.
Using beach web cams help, but you cannot beat an up close look and walk on the beach you intend to search.
I use versatile Minelab metal detectors, so changing beach hunting plans including search coils is not a problem for me.
It also helps that many full time beach and water hunters in Florida, are very one dimensional hunters.
They either predominantly water hunt, wet sand, or dry sand.
Very few people I see regularly hunting the same places, search different parts of the beach, they either do one thing or the other.
Early on Sunday morning when I found this 14K gold band, I knew there was little chance of seeing the local full time hunters.
High tide was the simple reason for the lack of regular hunters, and the full timers wonder why I beat them to the gold?
Water hunters and wet sanders make the same mistake of not bothering to go metal detecting when the tide is high.
Leaving the beach to enterprising dry sanders, who can vouch that all gold and silver jewelry is not lost in the water.
Because I search all the beach, I rarely have any metal detecting down time due to sanded in conditions or high tides and I continue to find gold on a regular basis.
I also never just browse the beach web cams with an eye towards people using the lower beach and water, as you can see by the gold I recovered on Sunday.
On Sunday I went to the beach hoping to find gold jewelry, not to water hunt, wet sand, or dry sand.
It just so happened that the dry sand was the best option, on with the smaller search coil and home with a piece of gold.
Maybe if I went to the beach to water hunt, or search the wet sand using the same equipment every time, the full moon high tide would have forced me to return home.
I do not box hunt, so I will never know what it feels like to return home empty handed because it was sanded in, or high tide.