Andrew P asked what I believe are the top three mistakes made by water hunters.
In my opinion, the top three mistakes made by water hunters are:
1. Not learning how to metal detect on the beach first.
Great beach hunters make great water hunters, but the opposite cannot be said. You should always learn how to use your metal detector and recover targets on the beach, before moving into the water.
Newbies dazzled by photos of jewelry posted on the internet make the mistake of thinking everything is in the water and recovering targets in the water is easy, it is not!
I can tell you it is not all in the water, you can find just as much jewelry in the wet and dry sand, but if you are a good water hunter you can take advantage of the high number of bad water hunters.
2. Not covering an area correctly.
The same applies to my second mistake on my list, if you cannot cover an area on the beach correctly, you have to rely on lady luck more than water hunting skill's. Learning different search patterns on the beach will serve you well in the water, covering every foot of sand you are slowly walking over. I find a lot of jewelry at tourist beaches missed by sloppy water hunters. Its not that I am better than the competition, I am more thorough than the competition. I go into the water to cover an area completely using a tight search pattern.
3 Using the wrong type of equipment.
When I am in the water and see people walk onto the beach with a metal detector, the first thing I do is look at their feet. I look to see if the potential water hunting competition are wearing sneakers or flip flops, both rule out water hunting. I also check out their metal detecting equipment, non waterproof metal detectors or coffee can size scoops rule out water hunting effectively.
Not all metal detectors are equal, cheap waterproof metal detectors are very chattery or noisy in the surf zone. The wrong type of water hunting wear can also be a mistake, on a hot summers day a full wet suit and weight belt mean a person has to stay in deeper water or risk over heating in the shallows. Shorts and T shirt in colder water has the opposite outcome.