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Monday, November 17, 2014

Rough water hunting tips

My Sunday morning water hunt was out of necessity, I needed a gold fix and both the wet and dry sand did not look very promising.
I know the local beaches I hunt, my best chance of finding gold was fighting the 2-3ft swells and relying on the same swells to find gold.
The previous evening the wind picked up, I hoped any jewelry lost on the sand bar over the last week would have been pushed over the slope of the sand bar by the building surf.
The next low tide, made the water previously only accessible to swimmers open to jewelry hunting.
I took my Excalibur II and scooped up a large amount of clad coins between the sand bar and the wet sand.
Although I only found one 18K gold ring and a small silver  and malachite cross,  I was happy with the outcome of my 2.5 hour water hunt, especially considering the water conditions.

Never get discouraged by rough water hunting conditions, you often have the water to yourself during times of rough surf. 
Although competition from other water hunters has increased at many popular beaches, new water hunters do not yet have the skills necessary to metal detect effectively in rough surf.
When you are trying to metal detect in a strong current or getting pushed around by heavy surf, there are a few things you can do to help you locate and recover targets.

1. Heads up

Always keep your head on a swivel when you are trying to detect and recover targets in rough surf.
This is where your time spent pinpointing targets on the beach before beginning water hunting comes in handy.
Once you think you have pinpointed the target under water, turn side on to the waves and wait until the next wave has passed before attempting to scoop the target, try not to get hit mid scoop standing face on to a wave.
The average amount of time I spent scooping each target yesterday morning was two scoops, not bad at all for rough surf.

2. Search paralel to the beach

It is better to detect paralel to the shoreline, you can stop and turn to pinpoint and scoop, but avoid standing with your back to the incoming waves.
Trying to use an east / west search pattern, makes you vunerable to being knocked over in the surf on your return search line back towards the beach, it also makes recovering targets more difficult.

3. Use the correct equipment

Heavier open basket style stainless steel scoops are perfect for recovering targets in rough surf.
Pouches with zippers are better for rough surf hunters, you can open and close zippered pockets faster after a successful target recovery, than messing around with velcro fasteners. 
Your gold and silver is securely contained in the zippered pocket, if you lose your footing and get rolled over in the surf.

Little things make a difference in rough surf,  the name of the game is pinpointing and recovering targets in a timely manner.
Use the surf to open up Davy Jones Locker and the pinpointing and target recovery skills you learned on the beach to recover gold.

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