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Sunday, September 24, 2017

No Rhyme or reason

Every so often I run across something somewhere that has me thinking what the heck is this stuff doing here.
So far this year has been full of great surprises and I know why, It's because I have taken the trouble to search areas that even I did not like the look of.
Beaches or areas that you never see anyone using, places with no good signs to attract a beach hunter.  
No parking lots, beach entrances, beach side houses, hotels or other places you figure someone lost something at.
Head scratching finds recovered from head scratching places,  when you are lucky enough to stumble across such a place you often do really well.
The uglier the beach, the prettier the gold if you keep the location to yourself. 
I am a firm believer the majority of beach and water hunters are birds of a feather who flock together. 
Some would argue why waste time searching off the beaten track when there are sites known by everyone to produce a trinket or two.
It often works out to be about the same amount of time wasted, only sometimes you discover untapped areas you can have all to yourself.
Battle it out and get skunked at heavily hunted beaches, or get skunked trying somewhere different, I know what I prefer to do.
Unfortunately, the more experienced you get the easier it is to get lured into believing you always have to go to a certain place to find.
In my opinion, fortune favors the person who try's different areas as in the long run the more productive sites you have up your sleeve the more likely you are to avoid gold droughts. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Face value

On my travels this year I have had the opportunity to search many heavily eroded beaches and recovered some pretty impressive finds which I will show before the end of the year.
A couple of trophy beach hunting finds came out of the vertical face of cuts on the beach.
The vertical face of a cut beach is often ignored by many beach hunters, because it is either too physically demanding to search or a metal detector is just too chattery with a search coil used on edge. 
One of the reasons I use the metal detectors I do is because they can do this type of work. 
Of course, when you search an area less hunted you are always going to have a great day at a productive site.
The vertical face of a cut beach is best searched using a metal detector with a 6 to12 inch size search coil, larger search coils tend to be too heavy for this type of beach work.
I actually prefer using elliptical search coils for searching eroded beaches, you can get closer to the base of a cut.
Using a search coil with a good side detection capability also helps, so too does a metal detector harness or hip mount kit if you use a heavy metal detector.
I have recovered many different things from the vertical face of cuts over the years, from Spanish treasure coins and colonial artifacts to modern gold chains and diamond rings.
The better the site the more chance you have of recovering something good if you flip your metal detector and search coil sideways and go full crab mode. 
I have walked onto heavily hunted eroded beaches that have been pounded by local beach hunters, but still pulled stuff out of the vertical face of a cut, long after a storm has passed.
Heck sometimes you get lucky and see stuff dangling or just waiting to be plucked out of the wall of the cut.
Are you missing a find of a lifetime by ignoring the vertical face of a cut beach?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

11 days without internet and the best metal detector at the beach

I will spare you the details about hurricane Irma, the loss of power and get right to the good stuff.
During our power outage I spent my spare time answering texts and messages on my phone, with the number one topic being metal detector or search coil related from people who thought that was the most important thing on my mind after the hurricane lol
It normally is but not this one time, anyway I fielded an unusually high number of questions from people who wanted to know what I thought was the best metal detector, several people asking the question took up metal detecting at heavily hunted beaches.
My reply was the best metal detector you can take to the beach is you, if you expose yourself to a wide variety of beach hunting sites and conditions.
Getting beach hunting savvy does not cost a darn thing, knowing where and why to search at the beach comes with experience and learning from experiences. 
Watch and learn to read people using the beach, see how your recoveries relate to when and where people use the beach.
Look for features that catch your eye, especially at beaches you are likely to return to search. 
For example bottom beach steps exposed, or a rocky area on the lower beach,  two things that could be good future beach hunting signs.
I rely heavily on site selection and beach reading skills, along with knowledge of my local beaches. 
Heck I believe I could probably kick butt at the beach without a metal detector and just a spade for digging.
I know why I am at most sites and what to look for at the beach, a metal detector just makes life easier pinpointing jewelry and coins.
You could say a metal detector is just a tool you use to compliment your beach or water hunting skills.
It should not be the opposite way around, if you have no beach or water hunting skills even the most expensive metal detector will not change your fortunes.
I sometimes put my metal detector down and use a pin-pointer in areas I know contain good stuff, especially when I know a small but potentially productive area is littered with iron. 
The less you rely on your metal detector, the more you will eventually find with your metal detector. 
Something to think about if you believe your metal detector is holding you back from finding good stuff.
When you learn to drive, you can drive any car, the one you choose to buy within your budget is usually the one you are most comfortable driving. 
Metal detectors are the same, learn where and how to use it. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Patience is a beach treasure hunting virtue

I am making the most of my computer time before hurricane Irma hits fortress Drayton cutting off power, and you know darn well I am checking out beach cams and news reports from the beach.
Probably wishful thinking as the beaches are in evacuation zones and we are under a curfew this afternoon. I have replied to a ton of when is the best times to search after a hurricane and what is the best metal detector to use questions, although our house and family is my top priority and beach hunting is a distant second. 
However my toes are tingling at the prospect of getting through this powerful storm and getting back to the beaches.
Watching TV news beach reports I have seen people already on beaches metal detecting as tropical storm force winds from feeder bands are moving across our area, but you will not see me out there yet for obvious reasons including I know better lol 
Some of my best finds have come after coastal storms have eroded beaches, many weeks or even months afterwards. 
Believe me, you don't have to be out on the beach during the storm or be one of the first people to hit the beach after the storm to find good stuff.
Hit the beaches when it is safe to do so and go with your gut feeling as far as the best place you are likely to detect what you are searching for.
I am partial to old stuff, so I will be hitting the best areas I know in search of older coins and jewelry. 
Beaches close to home, as traveling to and from distant beaches is a waste of metal detecting time and precious gas in the current situation. 
From previous experiences beach hunting after storms, I know I will be using a VLF metal detector and a little discrimination.
Digging everything on a ripped apart beach is no fun, think target separation over target depth. 
When conditions settle down and it is possible to get to more beaches, you should be able to do well many weeks after a storm, one of the perks of being a beach hunter who tries different beaches.
The more time that has passed after the storm, the more digging everything using an all metal search mode is the way to go, depending on the site.
Water hunting may be the best option at many beaches long after a storm has passed, this is where beach and water reading skills come into play.
This 5 ounce chunk of Spanish 17th century religious silver came off a Florida beach a full month after a hurricane, probably because it was a good hundred yards past everyones turn around point. 

Patience is a virtue when searching after a coastal storm, wait until it is safe to hit the beach then hammer areas you hope have opened up. 
If you are going to hit the same place everyone else is hitting, you better be a good beach hunter.
Although, patience can be a virtue at the most heavily hunted beach if you take your time and cover the sand instead of the whole beach. 
Its not who gets to the beach metal detecting first after a storm, its where you go and why!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Everyones favorite metal detector

You really find out just how much you like and I suppose depend on a certain metal detector when you have a perfect metal detecting opportunity.  
What would you put in your suitcase to go search a dream site, or use when a perfect treasure hunting scenario is ahead of you.
I know what metal detector I would use, a reliable one I know like the back of my hand. 
Although I have used a few metal detectors over the years, I rarely move away away from the type of metal detector I have become comfortable using.
I look at a metal detector as an important tool for beach and water hunting, but not something that is going to set me apart from other beach or water hunters, its just a metal detector. 
A lot of thought, practice and testing went into my choice of metal detector, it does all the things I want it to do so I can have a successful outing and just as importantly it detects the things I am searching for.
Im the operator and I use my metal detector to help me detect metal objects in the areas I like to search.
Site selection, site reading and search techniques make sure your choice of metal detector detects the stuff you would like to find.
Your choice of metal detector is important, but unfortunately you only find out what metal detector is best for you after you figure out what you are searching for in the areas you search.
In my opinion, metal detectors are just a tool and a craftsman must select  the right tool for the right job. 
I remember a friend and wise man Stu Auerbach once telling me to start off with "In my opinion" when talking about metal detectors to metal detecting folk as people are passionate about their favorite metal detectors.
I go one step further by not mentioning what favorite metal detector I always put in the suitcase.
If you have a favorite, you probably know what Im talking about.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Are you really digging it all ?

I use every trick in the book to recover good targets at productive but trashy sites, places where a good target can easily go undetected if you are not careful.
The double whammy of both iron and target masking may cause you to walk away from a find of a lifetime in trashy areas if you are not careful. 
I only dig everything when I know it is worth digging everything in a trashy area, meaning I know from previous experience the site holds what I am searching for.
In my opinion, site selection, pinpointing, target sizing and target recognition skills overcome trashy sites containing good stuff.  
When I hammer a trashy site, I hammer it hard making sure I recover as many targets as possible. 
From experience I know the more ferrous and non ferrous metal objects I pull out the area, the more likely I am to find something good being masked by iron or larger non iron objects.
I actually rely on both iron and target masking at my favorite trashy sites, as they put other people metal detecting off the scent. 
Good trashy sites are where your pinpointing, target sizing and target recognition skills come into play.
What use are they if you are digging everything you may ask, my answer would be because they help make sure you do not miss anything. 
So too will understanding that a good target response is not always a one or two way repeatable signal. 
A null or break in your metal detector threshold, a slight raising or lowering in threshold volume can also turn out to be a potential find of a lifetime at a trashy site.
Trashy sites are hard work, but when you know good stuff may come out of trashy sites the hard work is well worth it.
Something to think about the next time you walk away from an area full of pennies, bottle caps or small iron nails. 
I have found many a gold ring scooping up pennies at heavily hunted sites I know other beach or water hunters walk away from. 
Some of my favorite finds stories start with I rechecked the hole or after digging so many ........ I pulled out this beauty. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What are you in it for?

It would be nice to find out what readers of this blog are into metal detecting for, no matter how much expensive modern jewelry I recover I prefer finding old stuff.
Sometimes you get the best of both worlds, returning home with an old piece of gold with precious stones.
I have had more than my fair share of old jewelry, found on the beach and inside the water using a wide variety of metal detectors.
Old jewelry is hard to find at the beach, but it can be found if you are a slow methodical beach hunter.
At least two or three times a year in south Florida I run across a hot spot containing several pieces of old jewelry.
I am talking about areas where I recover multiple gold class or college rings, due to favorable tides or some type of beach erosion.
Although old gold class rings are not exactly old compared to gold rings recovered in other parts of the world they can still be quite impressive when found in numbers.
Last year I recovered nine gold class rings over two three hour water hunts at an eroded section of beach.
Before the ring returners blow a gasket, I did manage to make contact with three people who lost their rings and were very happy to see them again, even encrusted in green coral lol
The other gold rings were impossible to return, with no owners initials from the 1940s and 1950s from schools that are now long gone.
I dont make a big deal about returning rings, iphones, or wallets found at the beach, I look at the returns as good Karma to appease the beach and water hunting gods.
I also like finding old coins at the beach, it still amazes me some of the old coins that can be recovered at tourist beaches or beaches in the middle of nowhere. 
Which goes back to what I always say, the more sites you search, the more variety of things you will recover, including old jewelry and coins if they are there. 
Heres a few older finds from florida beaches, some from places I expected to go home empty handed from. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jewelry hunting

I always find it hard to add the word coins when people ask me what I am searching for at the beach, as jewelry is what I am really searching for when I am on a tourist type beach using a metal detector.
Although for every piece of jewelry you find I would say on average you find fifty or perhaps a hundred coins. 
When I post jewelry I have recovered at the beach, I rarely show the hard work I put in to find the jewelry I recovered, which would be a large amount of coins of all denominations.
The reason I do not post coins is because they could give away the site I found the jewelry.
I know my local beaches like the back of my hand, I also know what coins look like when they come off one of the local beaches I search. 
Foreign coins are recovered in quantities in certain areas, so when I lurk on detecting forums and see local hunters posting photos of foreign coins I know exactly where they are hunting. 
Shiny fresh dropped coins are often found opposite beach parking lots, especially quarters.
Black or dark grey coins are silver and have spent time in saltwater, the tarnish is oxidization from spending an extended time in saltwater. 
Green encrusted coins usually come out of the wet sand or the slope leading into the water.
Black and green encrusted coins I would not dream of posting, just in case I am still working the site.
You probably get the point of todays post, you can tell a lot about a jewelry hunting site by the coins you find.
Heck you could say I go to the beach to search for coins, because if you are finding coins there is a really good chance jewelry can also be found in the same area.
Jewelry and coin hunting go hand in hand, although coins are easier to find than jewelry for a couple of reasons.
The first reason being people take more coins than jewelry to the beach, obviously you are going to recover more coins than jewelry.
The second reason jewelry is harder to find than coins is target masking, the damn coins mask the good stuff at tourist type beaches.
A half ounce 10 K gold class ring will be invisible sitting next to a couple of pennies, you may even dig the pennies mistake the chunky gold ring for another penny and decide to move on.
No doubt this happens a lot at heavily hunted sites when the most important thing is to cover the prime ground before the competition, yeh right? 
Not me, I pick an area I believe is promising and let the coins lead me to gold. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Are you detecting deep enough at the beach?

In my opinion, the hardest targets to detect at the beach are often shallow targets, but the majority of beach and water hunters obsess over target depth. 
If you mistakenly believe you cannot find anything at the beach because the good stuff must be deeper, the latest greatest deepest metal detector or search coil is not going to help you.
This $5K diamond engagement ring was recovered in the dry sand approximately three or four inches deep, so were the Spanish silver treasure coin in the next photo.

Search techniques, beach reading skills and site selection, are far more important than target depth for a beach or water hunter.
Heck I believe I could probably find more jewelry using a garden leaf rake at the beach than someone using a deep seeking 10K metal detector and a 20 inch search coil.
The silver treasure coins in this photo were lost over three hundred years ago, but ended up close to the surface and easily detected on a Treasure Coast beach.

I know they were recovered due to site selection and knowing when to go look for them, you could say I waited for Spanish treasure to come to me. 
The diamond engagement ring was recovered very close to several pieces of surface junk at a tourist beaches, bottle caps and corroding pennies that work like a Klingon cloaking device to mask jewelry.
My goal at many tourist type beaches is to recover shallow hard to detect pieces of jewelry left behind by speedy beach hunters.
When I walk onto a beach I aim to find and recover anything of value within the normal detection range of the equipment I am using. 
I am not concerned about what may lie much deeper, as the majority of the gold, platinum and silver jewelry I detect at the beach is recovered within the first six inches of sand.
Depth is very over rated and often used as the excuse to why a person cannot find jewelry at the beach.
Improving your search techniques, beach reading skills and site selection will help you avoid falling into the trap of believing everything good is just out of reach at the beach.
It only takes a little trash to cloak or mask a lot of of treasure! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Search coils and settings

I am a search coil junkie, which can be a little tough on the old wallet as some search coils cost as much as a metal detector now.
One important thing to remember when changing search coils on your metal detector is you have to adjust your settings to suit whatever search coil you have installed on your metal detector.
You have to make sure you use the right metal detector settings for the size search coil being used.
For example, you should not be concerned about discrimination or settings geared towards recover speed or target separation when using a large search coil.
Large search coils are always best used for ground coverage and target depth at non trashy beach sites.
The opposite is true when using small search coils at trashy beach sites, where target separation not target depth is the most important factor. 
You can run much hotter manual sensitivity settings using smaller search coils than you can using large search coils.
The reason why there is not a lot of difference in target depth between the 8 and 10-inch search coils on one of my favorite metal detectors the Minelab Excalibur.
Hot or high sensitivity levels will result in a noisy ride at the beach, so you often have to lower the metal detector sensitivity control to operate smoothly.
A chattery metal detector because of an incorrect sensitivity setting for the size of search coil, may cause you to walk over valuable targets missed in the threshold chatter.
If you dumb down your metal detector to use a large search coil, any potential target depth advantage of using the large search coil is wiped out. 
It is not just settings you have to adjust, a fast sweep speed will also negate any depth advantage of using the large search coil.
You have to sweep large search coils slower than small search coils.
If you are using different size search coils on a regular basis, more than likely you know how and why they serve a purpose in your beach or water hunting arsenal.
Unfortunately, people new to beach or water hunting use different size search coils but do not understand their "Normal" settings do not always do a different size search coil justice.
To get the maximum benefit from investing in a different size search coil for a metal detector, you have to find the best settings to run the new combination at.
Different set ups require different settings to make the reason you are using it work. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beach & water hunting troubles

Many moons ago I managed to run across a trifecta of bad beach and water hunting situations, all thanks to an early predawn hunt at a local tourist beach.
After getting kitted out and walking on to the beach, I was immediately accosted by a group of drunk youths asking me what I was doing and how much was my equipment worth.
Not very much as  I made it myself was my reply and they backed off when I told them my scoop was very sharp. I was ready to go medieval but it was not necessary as I walked into the water and that put an end to that potential threat.
I continued searching in the water, although I usually would only search inside the ocean after sunrise. 
With my back to the beach pinpointing a target, two approximately five foot long spinner sharks passed between me and my search coil. 
The sharks pectoral fins brushed against my thighs, luckily I was wearing my brown shorts. 
That is it I thought, I'd rather take my chances with the land sharks. 
About an hour into the beach hunt, a bad thunderstorm rolled over the area.
I headed straight to my car and drove home, drunken lager louts, sharks and lightning, do you think someone was trying to tell me something? lol !
Today's blog is about watching your back at the beach and being aware of your surroundings.
I am sensible now at not taking chances at the beach, starting with parking and sitting in my vehicle for a few minutes to scout the area for unfriendly's.
I also prefer to check a beach out first without carrying my equipment, just in case the beach conditions looks terrible. 
Better to take a quick look at the beach conditions than waste money feeding hungry parking meters without knowing if you are going to stay.
I also never get in the ocean before sunrise, automatically taking myself off the breakfast menu.
Some people like to metal detect in the ocean at night, I do not anymore.
Get caught in a rip tide at night and your in trouble. 
Not metal detecting at the beach during a thunder storm is a no brainer to me and that was before I heard about a guy getting struck and killed by lightning metal detecting in the water at Jupiter beach.
My metal detector often tells me it's time to go when a thunder storm approaches.
A lighting strike several miles away will cause your metal detector to false. 
Better to be safe than sorry, carrying a metal detector and metal scoop on a wide open beach.
Watch your back if you are searching beaches at night and use caution near the water or during a storm as no amount of gold is worth dying for.
Put safety first and what ever it is you are searching for at the beach second. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Site percentages

Percentages is not a word you would normally associate with beach hunting, but at heavily beaches it is good to take site percentages into account.
I always think about percentages before leaving the house, the percentages of finding something of value at the site I am heading towards with my metal detector.
I always like to stack the odds of success in my favor by taking several things into account.
At heavily hunted tourist type beaches, you may see several people searching a site or sites on a regular basis, taking the term local beach hunter to new heights. 
If three or more people are searching the same area of the beach every day, it stands to good reason your percentages of finding something good are greatly effected by joining the crowd and searching the same site.
You could say in the previous scenario you have a 25% chance of finding something in the same area, perhaps less chance of recovering something of value.
If you choose wisely to search a different area the three regular hunters ignore, your chances of success shoot up to 100% if there is anything to the be found in the area you chose to search. 
If you have a hunting partner, you get to find approximately 50% of what ever there is in the area to find. 
Assuming there are no other people searching the site at that time and you are as skilled as your hunting partner.
Your chances of a successful hunt drop even more if you have more than one hunting partner. 
Use a non waterproof metal detector or wear the wrong clothing at the beach and you cannot search inside the water effectively.
Limiting your chances of recovering all possible finds in the water if it is the place to be, unless you take off your sneakers or flip flops and cover your metal detector control box in a plastic bag.
Crowded beaches do not always guarantee you will find something, especially if you are ignoring large areas of the beach that people use.
Think of the percentages the next time you go beach hunting, are you limiting your chances of success?
The answer is probably yes if you race to beat the competition to the same site at the beach every time you go metal detecting, the fact you are joining the competition lowers your percentages of a successful beach or water hunt.
If you only water hunt or only search in the wet sand or only search in the dry sand, you lower your percentages of having a successful hunt.
I played the percentages on my last two beach hunts and recovered eight pieces of gold jewelry, on a two hour water hunt and a two hour wet sand hunt.
On the water hunt I recovered two gold chains and a gold ring, searching a local beach inside the water opposite an old beach entrance I discovered a few years ago. 
On a wet sand hunt at a different beach, I recovered five gold rings taking advantage of an area I know is a popular local water hunting site. 
I know the wet sand is ignored by the water hunters who say "All the gold or 95% of the gold is in the water" yeh right! 
After scouting out the area and seeing good wet sand hunting signs, I figured the percentages of being successful were good on the next low tide. 
Eight pieces of gold jewelry in four total beach and water hunting hours, I like those percentages. 
Put the percentages on your beach or water hunting side, by hunting smarter not harder. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sweep slow low and level

Your sweep speed and search coil control are often overlooked money makers at the beach. 
Slowly sweeping a level search coil close to the sand throughout the sweeping motion, will lead to detecting more valuable items.
It is not the amount of hours you spend beach or water hunting with a metal detector, it is what you do in those hours. 
If you have to spend all day at the beach swinging a metal detector to find stuff, you are swinging your metal detector. 
I guarantee the less ground you cover slowly, the more targets  you will detect.
The more targets you detect and dig, the less hours you can physically stay out at the beach digging. 
My two or three hour beach and water hunts are intense, because  I use my beach reading skills and site selection to make sure I am detecting and digging targets not covering ground.
If your beach or water hunting plan is covering more ground than the competition, you are likely sacrificing technique and finds for ground coverage.
Sweeping slow low and level means sacrificing ground for finds at heavily hunted beaches.
Just one reason why a heavily hunted beach means nothing to me, I'm probably still going to get my share because I rely on site reading skills and technique. 
Detecting targets in the sand is what beach and water hunting is all about, not covering a beach before someone else shows up to detect. 
It makes perfect beach treasure hunting sense to give yourself as much chance of detecting targets as possible. 
Sweeping your search coil slow low and level, should make sure you are not covering an area too quickly.
My sweep technique is based on a three second sweep from left to right and right to left.
I do not step forward until I have swept my search coil in front of me twice, even overlapping my sweeps if I am using a mono search coil. 
On sandy beaches my search coil scuffs or scrubs the sand, for maximum target depth. 
If what I am searching for is within detection range of the metal detector and search coil I am using, it's going to be detected.
If I end up going home empty handed I know it was not there, but that does not happen very often when you sweep slow low and level. 
These two pieces of gold jewelry were recovered while trailing a couple of speedy water hunters this weekend.
Nothing to do with metal detector choice, everything to do with sweep speed and search coil control. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sensitivity and beach hunting

In my opinion, the wet sand is the real proving ground for metal detectors or search coils intended for beach hunting, you can add waterproof pin-pointers to that list too.
Salt levels change daily at beaches and black sand can show up after beach erosion or rough surf churns up the lower beach. 
Tweaking a VLF metal detector sensitivity or PI metal detector gain to suit the beach conditions is important, the reason I never turn my sensitivity control or gain  to a certain level and forget it.
I see that advice passed around on metal detecting forums, set your metal detector sensitivity to a certain position and off you go. 
That is ok as long as you are going to check and adjust the sensitivity level at some point to suit the ground you are covering. 
At saltwater beaches you need to adjust the sensitivity on your VLF metal detector to suit the salt levels present at the time you start metal detecting.
Not the same sensitivity level you used last time at the beach or the level you use all the time at the beach. 
The whole point of having a sensitivity control is to be able to adjust it so your metal detector is running smoothly and detecting a wide variety of targets at various depths.
Depending on the beach, you may be able to run hotter or it may be better to back off the sensitivity. 
My advice is to find a starting point, start searching and then tweak the sensitivity. 
Increase it to a level that causes a little chatter then back it down to where it runs smoothly.
If you are running noisy at the level you first chose, back off the sensitivity.
Find the slightly chattery level and then the best or most comfortable operating level. 
Too much chatter or too many false signals will cause you to miss good targets.
Lowering your threshold volume a little usually helps to smooth out and compliment a well adjusted sensitivity level. 
Don't be afraid to use Auto sensitivity if you have it and it allows you to run smoother. 
Sometimes it is better to detect all targets instead of missing targets because you are running too hot. 
Just because you are using a VLF metal detector it does not guarantee you have an advantage using discrimination, if you are losing depth or missing shallow targets because of sensitivity setting issues.
Get in the habit of adjusting your metal detector sensitivity control to suit the conditions you are about to search.
Remember just like driving a car, low dipped highlights in the fog are better than using full beams. Saltwater beach example, a lowered sensitivity level will help you to see through black sand and detect targets.
High car beams in open areas, allow you to see greater distance ahead. 
Beach example, a higher sensitivity level will help you to cut through the sand and detect deeper targets. 
Your metal detector sensitivity control should never be a set and forget control unless you run in Auto, as conditions always change. 
Set your sensitivity to suit the real time conditions at beaches as they change from day to day and sometimes from one tide to another tide. 
Are you setting and forgetting your sensitivity control, or are you maximizing your metal detectors sensitivity to detect small shallow targets and detect large targets at depth? 
In other words, are you leaving stuff behind for the next beach hunter because you do not take advantage of one of your metal detectors best assets. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beach hunting "L" plates

I remember back in England having to have a big red L for learner sticker on my car when I was first learning to drive.
When you first start beach and shallow water hunting you don't need an L plate as experienced beach hunters can easily spot a beginner from a distance.
I often see people new to beach hunting, but I don't look down my nose at them or mistakenly believe they are not competition.
They often have more chance of detecting something good than a seasoned beach or water hunter. 
The reason why is because they have not restricted themselves yet, got set in their beach hunting ways.
A seasoned beach or water hunter is more likely to head to one spot and search it the same way they always do. 
A beginner will search different areas, try different things and often dig unexpected items. 
Some of those recoveries are going to be good targets in unexpected beach or water hunting scenarios. 
In my opinion, the guy in the white sneakers and socks using a land detector up in the dry sand, has just as much chance of finding something good as the guy searching in the water dressed like a navy seal. 
Who the heck says you have to search a certain area or a certain way to detect good stuff at the beach, lost is lost at the beach and what you are searching for is often never where you think it is. 
If jewelry and coins are always found where you expect them to be, they would probably be referred to as waiting stuff not lost stuff.  
Sounds strange, but plenty of beach and water hunters return to the exact same places expecting to recover something else long after they recovered an initial find.
The reason I can return to certain beaches and see the same guys in the same areas doing the exact same thing I saw them doing the last time I searched those beaches. 
There is such a thing as being a local beach hunter, but same site same way same day same time hunting is just plain crazy.
Although, it is good knowing where other beach and water hunters will be while I am searching a different place filling my finds pouch. 
Hands up how many people reading this blog watch other people searching a completely different area and think they are wasting valuable detecting time doing that.
I'm the opposite, when I see a newbie searching a much different area to where I am searching I always wonder what they found.
I will often replicate what I saw a newbie doing at the beach, because they are often doing something 99% of other beach or water hunters would not "Waste" their time doing.
Although I have a lot of experience beach and water hunting I will never take my beach and water hunting L plates off.
Here are a few things people new to beach metal detecting often don't do which helps them to have beginners luck.
They do not read tide charts, have a favorite site, need to use the most expensive metal detector or the same metal detector everyone else is using, they are not hung up about competition, they are content with what they find and they are often having more fun than you! 
Beginners luck is often the best kind of luck, the very reason beginners have so much of it.
Throw caution and beach hunting misconceptions to the wind, have you ever though how would a beginner search the same beach and find something good? 
Beginners find good stuff experienced beach hunters ignore, so avoid taking your beach hunting L plates off.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Local beach hunters

Local beach hunters are hard to beat, especially at heavily hunted beaches.
If you have to travel to detect a beach, you can be sure someone has searched that beach for years with a metal detector and knows the beach like the back of their hand.
Local beach hunters have a heck of an advantage over people who either travel to detect the same beaches or people who have just got into beach hunting.
I rely on local beach knowledge a lot, knowing what areas look good and what areas I have recovered good stuff at in the past.
There are beaches I travel to that I know better than locals who have only been searching them a year or two.
The conditions present and what a beach looked like at when I recovered a good find are very important memories to me. 
Over the years I have seen my local beaches change dramatically, after hurricanes have ripped them apart and after the city has dumped tons of sand back on them to make them higher and wider. 
Every so often a window of opportunity opens up at a local beach and I get to put my knowledge of local beaches to good use.
It may take months or several years before I see something I know is a good sign, that is the point of today's blog knowing where and why a local beach is open for business. 
A week ago I found good stuff at a beach that I have not recovered anything good at in a long time. 
Two years to be exact, but I never stopped checking the area out and took advantage of an opening.
A good friend of mine once described shipwreck salvage guys as sand movers, they are just moving sand. 
Unfortunately beach hunters have to wait for sand to move, but it does move eventually.
Behind many of my best finds there is a reason why they ended up in my finds pouch, it almost always has to do with knowledge of a local beach and previous experiences in the area.
Local beach knowledge is not just about knowing where you are likely to find stuff, it involves knowing what conditions change the beach.
Long term studying of surf and wind directions at your local beaches will help you to figure out when sand will move.
Just a few hours of constant surf from the right direction may change a beach for the better.
Much higher surf hitting the beach from a different direction may actually sand in the beach more.
You have to learn what type of surf improves conditions on your local beaches. 
I often use beaches similar to ones I search to gauge beach or water hunting conditions, checking beach cams.
If I see one beach is losing sand, I know other similar angled beaches are losing sand.
Using beach cams saves me from having to waste time traveling to check beaches out.
The better you know your local beaches the easier they are to search. 
Local beach hunters stay on top of the best sites at the beach. 
A few years ago, I made a three hour round trip drive to a beach after seeing a cut on a beach webcam.
Twelve pieces of gold jewelry in a five hour beach hunt and three more pieces of gold the next morning, putting knowledge of that beach and previous hunts there to good use.
Oh and finding a gold pendant with my name on was pretty cool too. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Surprisingly easy places to find gold at the beach

With the weekend fast approaching here are a few surprisingly easy places to find gold at the beach.

Lifeguard tower steps 

Early morning beach hunters should always check around lifeguard tower steps, sometimes you don't need a metal detector to find good stuff.
After hours skinny dippers often take their jewelry and clothes off before hitting the water.
I have found watches, sunglasses, cell phones, wallets and gold chains just waiting to be picked up off lifeguard tower steps.
The area in front of the steps on the beach and in the water is also a great place to find gold.
Remember these type of areas are off limits during the daytime, so you are often the first person searching these type areas.

Beachside showers

Another great after hours area to search is around the beach showers, I have found everything from gold chains and bracelets to diamond ear rings around shower stands and hose pipes.
People do all the things that shake jewelry loose when showering off before leaving the beach.
I sometimes use a waterproof pin-pointer around the outskirts or edges of the shower area. 
Also check out drain covers many of the grids or screens just lift up, yeh I know I need serious help lol 

Gay areas

I can assure you gay gold is just as heavy, shiny and beautiful as straight gold. 
You can use other beach hunters intolerant views to your advantage if your local beach has an area popular with gays.
Gay marriage now means more wedding bands lost at the beach, and if you want to see fine jewelry a gay beach is the perfect place to see some serious bling.
If you see a pair of Union Jack speedos, that's me scooping up gold at places other beach and water hunters use as turn around points. 

Beach aerobics areas

Many swanky beach side hotels hold aerobics or fitness classes on the beach.
If you see a guy with Union Jack speedos and a CTX 3030 in their hand, yup that's me again looking for expensive jewelry shaken off to the oldies.

Concession stands 

You would think and rightfully so that you would find a lot of coins around concession stands on the beach, but you can also find gold.
Hands go in pockets to pay for stuff and gold taken off at the beach and put in pockets for safe keeping is pulled out and lost.
I have found a lot of gold chains and wedding rings around concession stands on the beach.

Sand castles and deep holes 

Hands up how many beach hunters have been asked to find a gold ring lost by someone playing with their kids at the beach.
Put your down now please, and never pass a large sand castle or dug hole you come across at beach without detecting around it. 
I should add not to search it while the people are still using it and at least attempt to fill any dangerous hole people may break an ankle stepping in.
I've had my share of nice diamond engagement rings around sand castles and dug holes, kiddy bling too at some beaches. 

If you don't be creative and search areas other people ignore at the beach, you leave easy beach hunting gold behind for others.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 10K gold drop out point

If you notch out unwanted junk targets you better be careful you don't unknowingly notch out gold. 
10K gold is always the first gold to go when you turn up your metal detector discrimination to a certain level. 
This is why I always test any new metal detector or search coil combo with a variety of 10 K gold jewelry.
I prefer using a little metal detector discrimination at the beach, but not close to the level that 10 K gold drops out.
My fellow beach treasure hunters would probably assume I go after 18k gold at ritzy tourist resort areas, but they would be wrong.
I search a wide variety of beaches, resulting in a wide variety of jewelry that is either scrapped, returned or head to my Khaleesi mother of dragons jewelry box.
10K and 14K gold moves the scrap gold scales much faster, as big gold rings and chains needs to be made stronger by the addition of more alloys in the gold mix.
I have found several large 10 K gold rings weighting an ounce, and at least two 1.5 ounce beasties.
It does not matter how big a gold ring is if you've notched it out because your tired of scooping pennies, bottle caps or god forbid aluminum ring pulls lol 
Because I test my metal detectors and search coils with a variety of test targets at the beach, I know where 10K drops out.
I suggest you do the same with your metal detecting equipment of choice, sometimes it can be a real eye opener what one incremental turn of a control knob or press of a discrimination button can do to a beach hunt.
Are you leaving big gold rings behind for other beach or water hunters ? 
A couple of weeks ago I followed and detected behind two guys swinging extra large search coils on a Florida beach, I recovered a 0.6 ounce 10K gold wedding band in their tracks.
They were not sloppy beach hunters wildly swinging, quite the opposite so my guess is they were using just a tad too much discrimination. 
Better check yourself before you wreck yourself with notching and discriminating out junk targets st the beach, just in case you leave stuff like this behind.

Find your metal detector 10K drop out point if you are a discriminating beach hunter and get under it to avoid missing 10K gold.