Some of my best finds came off beaches that are very tough to search because of iron.
Large iron objects buried in the sand make it very tough to search a beach, especially if you are not familiar with the area.
Many beach or water hunters think they can search an iron infested beach effectively by using a search coil, but a small search coil is useless if used incorrectly.
You have to reduce your search pace and sweep speed down to a crawl when using a VLF metal detector and small search coil at any iron infested beach site.
Do not be afraid to put your metal detector down and move iron obstacles around if you can, you may be the first person searching under or around the iron object you moved.
I have several iron obstacles I use as jewelry traps on local beaches, when I visit these beaches I go straight to known obstacles to move them.
Any jewelry or coins close to the obstacles are easily detected after moving the iron obstacles.
Fishing piers are perfect examples of trashy iron infested beach sites, full of corroding fish hooks, bottle caps, beer cans and flakes of iron from the pier.
The closer you metal detect to a fishing pier the more corroding junk you encounter, the more that little voice kicks in telling you to move away from the area.
Instead of moving away from an iron infested site, do everything you can to detect jewelry or coins hidden amongst the iron.
Search the area from different directions and expect good targets to be effected by any iron in the area.
You cannot expect all good targets to respond with two way repeatable signals, especially sitting on, or close to iron.
Any one way target response should be investigated, use your scoop or foot to move sand away from the target area.
Wiggle your search coil over the target area, try to coax a better target response if you can.
Think of yourself as the first person taking the time to recover jewelry or coins at the site, because often you are!
Iron masking is enemy number one when it comes to jewelry and coin hunting at the beach using a VLF metal detector.
A shallow target can easily be missed if you do not put all your efforts into target separation, instead of target depth.
You single out, or hone in on good targets amongst multiple iron targets by giving your metal detector time to detect a good target.
Sometimes the easiest targets to detect are in the hardest places to search, if you take the time to search iron infested beach sites.
This gold and silver jewelry came out of an iron infested site earlier in the year, I moved two old cast iron drain pipes out of way and the area was loaded with targets.
I wonder how many water hunters at this popular beach got to the pipes, heard the null and walked around before I decided to put my metal detector down and move the pipes.