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.