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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Forget the big stuff

I find a lot of small gold and I like it, because I know if I can find small gold I can certainly find any big gold tickets in the same search area. 
My typical beach and water hunting style is to cover a small area and cover it really well.
Employing a slow metal detecting pace and using a slow sweep speed as I clean an area out. 
I often detect stud ear ring backs and gold chains without pendants,  two very difficult to detect items of jewelry using a metal detector at the beach.
That is what happens when you "Mole" around winkling out targets in a small area, instead of briskly walking miles along the wet sand swinging your metal detector.
Im the guy you see when you first walk onto the beach and Im the guy you pass not far off the same place as you walk off the beach.
So much of metal detecting is exactly how it sounds, detecting metal. 
It really helps if you give your metal detector a chance to detect metal, by walking and sweeping your search coil slowly and having a level search coil as close to the sand as possible.
You are highly unlikely to detect a gold chain without a pendant or a thin gold ladies band with a huge rock in it, if you move across the beach too quickly and swing a tilted search coil. 
A metal detector needs time to detect metal and relay that information back through your headphones or speaker.
The better you detect metal the more target information your receive, especially if you use a metal detector with a screen.
You can detect metal better, by slowly passing your search coil over it and listening to the audio responses through your headphones or speaker.
Sometimes an iffy signal that was barely detected, can become a good signal and a nice recovery after you have swept your search coil slowly over a target from different directions.
Basic stuff, but basics are the foundations you build on to become a good beach hunter. 
Beach hunters have to detect targets in a saltwater matrix, targets that could be settled at any angle and depth, so you want to give yourself the best chance of detecting them by helping your metal detector do the thing you bought it to do.
Sure you could run around the beach like your on a competition hunt searching for buried tokens, but if you want to find nice tickets like this $13.000.00 ring with a 1.9 carat diamond, you need to go into full "Mole" mode.

The afternoon I found this bobby dazzler, I probably covered a 500 feet of high tide line on my two hour beach hunt.  
Detecting and digging targets, why would I want to cover the rest of the beach when Im detecting targets.
Searching slow and low helps you detect targets, it also saves you from having to cover the whole beach. 
Forget the big stuff that is easy to detect at the beach, go for the stuff 90% of people using a metal detector at the beach are not going to detect. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Checking out high spots on the beach

Today was a perfect day for beach hunting with a sky full of dark clouds and raining all day.
I hit a local beach in the middle of the afternoon and had the place all to myself, no tourists or other people using metal detectors.
Unfortunately the beach did not look very promising, with a fluffy sanded-in lower beach and seaweed washed up along the previous high  tide line. 
Scanning up and down the beach I saw an opportunity at the two highest points on the beach.
Normally I would be looking for low areas at the beach, but I headed to man made high spots at both ends of the beach. 
The beach I searched has a beach cleaning tractor that rakes the beach every morning and turns around at the same points, so I gave both ends of the beach with obvious tractor turning points a good going over. 
I used my Minelab Excalibur with an 8 inch search coil and slowly searched both ends of the beach. 
I was hoping to find jewelry dragged to the ends of the beach and I found a good assortment of stuff including jewelry in the area.
My take from a two hour beach hunt was a 14 K gold ring, 14K gold earring, several pieces of junk and silver jewelry, an iPhone and a Fitbit.

This beach is often searched by other beach and water hunters, but I still expected to recover jewelry.
The tractor turn around points are a ways down the beach from the nearest entrance or most frequently used areas.
That means they are often ignored by local beach hunters who use the beach entrances at either end of this beach as turn around points.
I did not find anything special today, but on previous searches of these type of areas I have recovered some fine pieces of jewelry.
Imagine how much stuff is dragged along tourist beaches and shaken loose at beach cleaning tractor turn around points, as the tractor lifts the beach rakes before turning. 
Many of these areas are less frequently searched by other beach hunters because they are often well past more heavily hunted areas.
Jewelry is not lost there, it's dragged and dumped there at many tourist type beaches with beach cleaning tractors.
Some of the best times to search beach tractor turn around points at tourist beaches are when cuts are flattened out. 
This is why it is often difficult to recover lost jewelry for people, even when they tell you exactly where they lost it at beaches with regular cleaning rigs. 
Once the tractor drags the area, jewelry could be anywhere along the beach.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Searching heavily hunted beaches

I often hear people talking about buying new equipment or doing crazy stuff to beat the beach hunting competition.
My take is it is better to be your own competition, while having fun and getting your share of beach treasures.
Worrying about who is finding what and where will probably drive you to distraction, I say probably as I don't know for sure because it's not a thing I do.
There are plenty of ways to get your share in this hobby, hard work, patience and perseverance will do for starters.
Every time I post a metal detecting find, it was the end result of the three previous things mentioned.
I never track or try to chase other beach hunters down, I don't fret over things other people have recovered,  I just have fun and use other people's recoveries as motivation.
What one beach hunter can do, another beach hunter can surely do, unless you get distracted by fluffy stuff that really has no effect on the outcome of your time spent beach hunting.
Knowing many other people search the same beaches I use a metal detector at, makes me work smarter to get my share of loot.
Whatever I return home with, I know I worked darn hard to detect it and used my beach hunting smarts to put myself in position to recover it.
I have found working smarter at the beach helps you to detect more good stuff in less time.
In my opinion, up to 90% of the so called competition do the same thing the same way every time they step onto a beach.
It makes perfect treasure hunting sense that if you avoid doing the same thing no matter what the conditions, you are going to have different results to 90% of the people using a metal detector at the beach.
One of my theories to why everyone searches the same way at the beach, perhaps people who first see other people using a metal detector at the beach, assume that is the way to do it all the time. 
Before you know it, everyone at the beach using a metal detector has a very similar beach hunting style and probably with similar results.
How are you setting yourself apart from the beach hunting competition, are you working smarter or just harder?  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Silver and gold linings

On a recent beach hunt I witnessed something at the beach that often leads to a good jewelry hunt, as it did on this occasion with a gold wedding band and a silver chain. 
The silver chain was still fastened that leads me to believe it was lost by people rushing off the beach as heavy rain spread across the area.
People grabbing clothes, towels, shoes and bags, before racing across the sand to get shelter from the rain.
Whenever I see this happen, I immediately stop what I am doing and search the area most people left in a hurry. 
Sunglasses, watches, chains and rings fall out of places they were hidden while people sunbathed or swam in the water.
I spend a lot of time watching people using the beach, that's the excuse I give my wife and In sticking to it lol 
Seriously, people take jewelry off and put it inside shoes, under items of clothing or in pockets for safe keeping.
All it takes is a sudden down pour to distract a beach goer into forgetting about valuable items they placed on or around their towels for safe keeping. 
A beach hunter may be tempted to stay at home when it is raining, thinking the beach is empty and there is nothing lost to find.
But sometimes a rainy day has a silver or even gold lining, especially if afternoon showers ruined a perfectly good beach day.
Next time it rains when you are at the beach, just think about how many chances you have of finding jewelry lost when the rain first started. 
Assuming you use a waterproof metal detector and don't think it's all in the water.
Perhaps it's all on the beach, left behind so it did not get lost in the water.
Some of my best beach hunting days have been rainy beach hunting days, including one day I returned home with a 2 ounce 14K gold college sports championship ring.
Another time I recovered four 18K gold bangle bracelets in the towel line everyone raced away from. 
You also often have the beach all to yourself  on a rainy day, allowing you to detect areas that are impossible to search in the middle of the day at crowded beaches. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sniping gold at tourist beaches

As anyone who has ever taken a beach hunting lesson off me will tell you, I like to cover small areas and I like to cover them well.
I'm not into spending all day at the beach hoping to wander over some gold, in my opinion it is better to find more at the beach in less time.
One of the ways I continue to recover gold at heavily hunted tourist beaches is " Sniping" gold using tight search patterns and small search coils.
This morning I hit a very sanded-in beach at low tide for two hours tightly gridding an area straddling the towel line.
An area I saw people crowded on yesterday afternoon watching a local beach webcam.
Although it was low tide my feet never touched the water or wet sand, I stayed just above the previous high tide line.
Knowing where I was likely to detect lost jewelry, I went straight to the area I had seen on camera and pounded it as methodically as possible.
I was not looking for deep stuff or trying to cover lots of ground, so I used my CTX 3030 with a 10 X 5 search coil. 
Sniping gold (Low tones) from between obvious clad coins and bottle caps.
I knew I was not going to walk away from the area after recovering a couple of pieces of gold, so I covered the area again from a different direction, just in case I detected more gold.
You can sometimes detect gold in trashy beach areas like the towel line, by searching a second time but from a different direction.
The first piece of gold I recovered was a 22k gold earring with rubies and pearls, it was closed when found and was probably taken off by someone before going swimming.
I will return to the area later and see if I can recover a match to this earring, perhaps the beach cleaning tractor dragged it further along the beach.
The second piece of gold I recovered was a 10K white gold wedding band, another shallow target recovery.  
Both pieces of gold recovered this morning were lightweight and easy to detect targets along the towel line. 
You don't need a large search coil or a super deep metal detector to have success finding gold at tourist beaches. 
You just have to make sure you put your search coil over it, instead of putting your search coil over multiple targets and risk not hearing gold, or wasting your time digging deep holes chasing difficult to identify targets.
Around and along the towel line is an excellent area for sniping gold at tourist beaches, especially during very sanded-in beach conditions.
Discrimination and small search coils that help with target separation are the way to go, along with searching small sections of the most used areas of the beach. 
Your competition for gold is also usually two thirds lighter at heavily hunted sanded-in beaches, as water hunters and wet sanders are shut down because those are the only places they bother to search.
Its not always about going deeper or being the first person at the beach, sometimes separation is more important.
Separating yourself from the beach hunting pack by doing different things and separating gold from trash by using discrimination and the best size search coil for the job.

Friday, April 14, 2017

What and where?

I receive and answer many "What metal detector is the best " questions, which are always easy questions to answer.
It just depends what you are searching for and just as importantly where you are searching for it, when making metal detector or search coil decisions. 
Once you decide on what you are likely going to find at the sites you search, metal detecting equipment choices become much easier.
For example, you would probably not need a VLF metal detector with discrimination features out the wazoo, or small search coils if you are searching for old shipwreck artifacts on remote non tourist type beaches. 
Alternatively, you'd have to be crazy to use a pulse induction metal detector or very large search coils at a busy tourist type beach.
I search beaches in remote areas for shipwreck coins and artifacts, and tourist beaches for jewelry, so I use a pulse induction metal detector and a VLF metal detector.
Sometimes I will slam an extra large search coil on my VLF metal detector instead of using a pulse induction metal detector.
On occasion I will slam a very large search coil on a pulse induction metal detector, when searching shipwreck beaches. 
Every so often I will buy and try a new metal detector or search coil, but only if I believe it can find what I am searching for in the areas I hunt.
If what I try does not do it better, it's history as I know what I need to have success at the beaches I search.
Today's blog came about after talking to a friend yesterday, who reeled off a few names of metal detectors I have tried over the last few years. 
All metal detectors I heard great things about, but ended up being disappointing in my hands.
If you are reading this blog and you are thinking of trying something new, stop and think about what type of things you search for and where you will search for them.
Think what and where, before opening your check book, wallet or purse.
Just because something may be a good fit in one part of the country searching for specific targets, does not mean it will be good for you and what you search for.
Researching equipment that suits your individual beach hunting needs will lead to big returns.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Heads up or in?

When I go shallow water hunting and the water has good visibility, I always prefer to use a mask and snorkel in the water.
Every year I recover plenty of cool stuff from the bottom of the ocean that I saw before I detected.
From sunglasses to gold chains and paper money, it can be a real opener what you walk over inside the water. 
Yesterday I was wearing a mask and saw a water logged iPhone and a glint of gold that turned out to be a nice chunky 14 K gold bracelet.

I cannot remember a recent year I have not spotted at least one piece of gold jewelry in the water, rocky areas are always good for eyeballing jewelry underwater.  
That is why I always wear a mask and snorkel in the water if I can see the bottom. 
I am a slow methodical water hunter and I find wearing a mask and snorkel makes me detect even slower. 
When the water has zero visibility and I do not bother wearing a mask, I notice I cover an area of water faster, even though retrieving targets involves a few more scooping attempts. 
I know veteran water hunters who never wear a snorkel and mask, I know other water hunters who only bob and fan to recover targets.
My preference is to use a mask and a long handled scoop, it really comes down to whatever floats your boat. 
The more targets you successfully recover in your allotted water hunting time, the more chance you have of recovering something good.
Wearing a mask and snorkel in clear water hunting situations adds an extra detecting edge to your game.
Especially if you have good site observation skills, mud larking bottle and clay pipe diggers will know what I mean.
Another handy thing about wearing a mask and snorkel water hunting, is people are less likely to ask you what you are doing if you have your head in the water at tourist type beaches. 
It also works on other beach and shallow water hunters too lol!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Got beach hunting competition ?

I don't think so, the only real competition you should ever have at the beach is yourself as you try recovering more stuff every year. 
Don't let the lack of bling being posted fool you, I'm still getting my fair share of loot from heavily hunted beaches which I will start showing soon.
Late last year I decided to stop posting recently recovered jewelry as I was getting followed around to jobs, my kids school and dance studio and even the local ice rink. 
Not sure if my vehicle was tagged with a tracking device, but last year two guys always showed up at the same beach I was searching not long after I started hunting, too wide of a variety of beaches over several weeks to be a coincidence. 
The easy solution was to stop posting recently recovered finds and become even stealthier than I used to be.
Before I came out of the shadows and released beach and water hunting related books, I did some pretty funny things to avoid being detected. 
Once I started writing beach and water hunting related books and posting finds, I was on everyone's radar which is understandable as it comes with the territory.
A few months time delay from finding to showing stuff, should take care of lazy people who would rather track me around instead of tracking down their own sites and enjoying the thrill of recovering finds they contain. 
Today's blog about serious competition is an ideal way of announcing my latest beach and water hunting related book release. 
Aptly titled " A guide to searching heavily hunted beaches" it deals with metal detecting at heavily hunted sites.

I lay out the beach and water hunting techniques and tricks I use to kick butt at heavily hunted beaches, while the competition stop and chat to each other about sanded-in conditions and not finding anything.
Last year as a weekend warrior, I recovered over a pound of gold and two ounces of platinum at the beach and didn't even bother to keep track of the silver.
I got my fair share of shiny stuff at tourist beaches and this year is no different, living up to the " Metal detecting ninja" monicker.
If you deal with stiff competition for finds at your local beaches, my latest book is sure to be of use.
Available on my website at
In my opinion beach or water hunting competition is a healthy thing, it keeps you on your toes and helps you to find more creative ways of recovering what everyone is searching for at the beach.

I often get accused of owning a jewelry so its confession time, my jewelry store is located at the nearest beach in town!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Learning on the job

I recently took a couple of experienced beach treasure hunters for a full day lesson.
It was a new experience for me as most of the people I take for a lesson are just getting into the hobby of beach metal detecting.
It was an interesting day with two great guys who so reminded me of myself. 
For example, traveling to another beach they wanted to stop and scope out different places along the way. 
They also pointed out a few places they had success, maybe I would not do that lol but I was pleasantly surprised they tried and had success in the areas pointed out. 
Both of the hardcore guys had their own ways of beach hunting and I assume they are probably just going to add a few of my search techniques and metal detector settings. 
Driving home after the lesson, I was impressed by their work ethic putting in 10-12 hour metal detecting days, week in and week out. 
Although, I saw raised eyebrows when I told them a normal beach or water hunting shift for me was 2 to 3 hours. 
I am quite reclusive when it comes to beach or water hunting, unless its a metal detecting event or lesson, I rarely hang with other beach or water hunters.
The recent lesson with the full time beach treasure hunters, helped me focus on a couple of important things I always try to do at the beach, think like a beginner and stick to the basics.
Because these guys already knew the beach hunting basics,I probably skipped over these important parts of my own beach treasure hunting strategy. 
Beaches and especially tourist beaches are heavily pounded by people using metal detectors, so it pays to search areas a more experienced beach or water hunter would probably avoid.
It also pays to be patient and be one of the slowest people methodically searching a beach, especially if you find yourself searching a promising area.
I have always found a methodical slow and low sweeping motion prevents you from covering an area too quickly.
If you want to get your share of goodies at heavily hunted sites, you have to set yourself apart from the competition.
Technique and site selection are excellent ways of making sure you remain competitive, so too is knowing someone has probably recently searched the same area.
I never worry about the competition or what they may have already recovered from the beach, I just figure out a way to get my share. 
That usually involves thinking if the beach has been hit hard, where are the less appealing or hardest places to search, or areas that probably still hold good stuff on the edge of detection range.
Combine those factors with knowledge of your local beaches and you should be able to duke it out for finds at the most heavily hunted of beaches.