I have heard several stories of beach hunters losing good finds at the waters edge, scooping and dumping higher up on the beach will help avoid seeing a good find get washed back into the water.
When I search in the wet sand and start to recover a target, I dump any sand I scoop a little higher up on the beach.
I never dump the sand close to the hole when I metal detect close to the water. If the target was dumped along with the sand, there is a good chance an incoming wave will wash over the area and take whatever you just found back into the water.
During times of rough surf, your target recovery skills on the lower beach are very important, so is your choice of search coil and recovery tool.
Smaller search coils are better for pinpointing, stainless steel scoops are better for target recovery.
The quicker you can pinpoint and recover the target on rough lower beach days, the more successful you will be.
I often see people having trouble recovering targets on the lower beach, spending way too much time farting around pinpointing instead of scooping.
You cannot afford to waste valuable metal detecting time walking around a detected target from every angle on a heavily hunted beach, especially if the beach is cut or eroded.
Pinpointing a target is basically X-ing a target to give you a good idea where the target is under your search coil.
In my opinion, coffee can size scoop baskets are a bust on the lower beach, decent sized scoop baskets take a big bite of sand from the dig area.
The combination of large search coil and small scoop basket should always be avoided if you have difficulty pinpointing targets at the beach.
If water is moving over the area, avoid shucking sand over the area you are trying to retrieve the target.
Just in case a diamond ear ring or gold chain falls through the holes in your scoop basket.
Remove a scoop full of sand, check the hole quickly and if you do not hear a signal move away and dump your scoop basket higher up on the lower beach.
Quickly sweep over the dumped sand to confirm you successfully removed the target, if you have not there is a good chance the target is still in the hole you dug.
Maybe pushed to the side or deeper into the hole, or even lost on the way to the dump site.
Large scoop baskets leave deep holes in the wet sand, this helps to capture the target if you miss it on the first or second scooping attempt.
A coin or piece of jewelry, may get washed back into the depression if it slips over the edge of the scoop basket.
Years ago, I remember walking onto a beach before dawn and digging to Australia for a target.
The good sounding signal just completely vanished in the wet sand at the waters edge and I made the decision to move on.
At first light I made my way back to the beach entrance and there laying in a large depression in the wet sand was a big gold mans ring.
I presume the gold ring had slipped over the edge of my scoop basket and dropped into the water, eventually getting left behind in the depression as the tide went out.
Every year I recover several pieces of gold jewelry next to dug holes on the beach and in the water, so watch out for near recovery misses on the lower beach and in the surf zone.
Heres a ring that almost got away, an18K gold amethyst ladies ring I saw slip over the rim of my scoop basket. I quickly stepped on the ring with my dive boot to stop it washing back in the water as the surf washed back down a slope on the lower beach.