I searched a sandy lot about a block away from the beach this morning and came away with a few old coins for the area.
Better still I came away with a perfectly good example of why it is good to use a little discrimination.
I pressed the iron icon on my Minelab GoFind 40 and saved myself from digging junk instead of coins.
My sensitivity was maxed out on my GoFind 40 and I recovered every coin my search coil passed over within metal detection range for the size search coil on the metal detector.
My detecting time was limited and I was not concerned about missing deep targets or the odd good target being masked by iron.
The easy to use $300.00 metal detector recovered coins at reasonable depths and did not have to be ground balanced or set up in any discrimination pattern.
As was the case with many of the more shiny finds in my beach and water hunting books, the old coins came up from relatively shallow depths.
I would even go so far as to say the majority of my better finds have been shallow targets, treasure coins and artifacts on shipwreck beaches, or humdinger diamond rings on tourist beaches.
All found within the first 6 to 8 inches of sand using a little discrimination, which goes a long way.
Actually, that little bit of discrimination allows you to get to what you are searching for faster if you are looking for coins or jewelry.
Now more than ever it is important to dig more good targets than bad targets, especially with the popularity of beach and water hunting.
In my opinion, far too many beach and water hunters are concerned about what they are missing (deep or masked targets) instead of concentrating on easy to recover shallow targets.
I have a few big guns in my detecting arsenal, but I chose to keep it simple and pull a fold up metal detector from under my car seat when I got to the site this morning.
I figured as I had never searched the place, why not keep it simple and see if the site has potential.
This also ties into my theories of beginners luck, I wonder how many magnificent diamond rings are found at the beach by newbies using relatively inexpensive metal detectors, found because they cover more ground recovering the easy to detect targets.
I believe there will always be two vastly different camps in the beach and water hunting community, the dig it alls and the cherry pickers.
The secret is being able to find the middle ground, using the search mode that best fits into the amount of time you have to metal detect and the sites you search.
The less obvious junk targets you detect, the more chance you have of recovering good stuff, I dare say no matter what beach you search at.