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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Programs and patterns

I am a big fan of using discrimination searching tourist type beaches for jewelry, but only using a little discrimination to reject certain nuisance targets. 
I am referring to fish hooks and hairpins, two things that can be rejected and not cause you to miss gold chains or solitaire diamond rings with thin bands.  
Go too heavy on the discrimination and you run the risk of rejecting good stuff, a great reason to test targets at the beach to see what level of metal detector discrimination you can use before good targets are rejected.
If you have a metal detector like the CTX 3030 and use other peoples programs with patterns, you run the risk of leaving good stuff in the sand. 
You have to know why and where they use that program and discrimination pattern, also what the person searches for.
A better idea is to take the time to compile your own program with settings and a discrimination level to suit the places you search and tailored towards detecting what you are searching for.
I have seen some pretty scary shaded out metal detector screens in my time, from gold jewelry to silver coin programs, usually loaded by people who only want to find certain specific targets.
Thats ok if it floats your boat, but I would rather be in charge of the discrimination department.
Heck even many pulse induction metal detectors now come with an iron rejection feature, so much for digging it all. 
I guess it all comes down to how well you know your metal detector and what you are searching for when it comes to discrimination. 
It is not what unwanted targets you are rejecting by shading out an area on your screen, but the collateral damage stuff that is lost on the edge of shaded areas.
A little test for CTX 3030 users is to run over an area using the preset Beach Mode, then go back over the same area after pressing the Detect button using Pattern 2 the more wide open search mode, I bet you find at least a few non ferrous (Iron) targets. 
Non ferrous targets your preset Beach mode discrimination pattern rejected, do that enough times and you'll know why I use Pattern 2 with the thin line of discrimination to reject small nails.
If you are searching for old coins and artifacts, the small nails rejection line should be all the discrimination pattern you need to use. 
If you are searching for gold chains and big solitaire diamond rings at tourist beaches, you better know why you put your trust in a strangers program or discrimination pattern.  
I don't like small nails but I do love bobby dazzlers in the scoop basket!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The best metal detector

For a beach or water hunter the best metal detector to buy is the one you choose after doing research on metal detectors. 
Buying a metal detector just because someone you see uses one is probably the worst thing you can do, unless that person is well known for their metal detecting finds and they have used the metal detector for quite some time.
Even then I recommend heading to your local dealer to see if you can hold the same metal detector in your hands.
Its no secret what make and models of metal detector I prefer to use, but I often try other brands just in case something is better. 
So far I have not used anything that would make me want to change from using my favorite Minelab metal detectors for my style of beach and water hunting. 
Actually, I have to slow my roll on trying other brands as it is become expensive losing money selling metal detectors and search coils I tried, tested and decided I preferred what I have.
Research before you buy any type of metal detecting equipment is very important, buy something because you believe it fits your style of hunting and go from there.
For example, perhaps a non waterproof but more versatile metal detector is a better fit if you are a beach hunter.
If you intend to only search inside the water, its either going to be a waterproof VLF or pulse induction metal detector choice for you.
The more things on a metal detector that aid your type of hunting the better.
For example, it makes no sense hunting in the all metal search mode digging every metal object using a top of the ling discriminating VLF metal detector, although plenty of people do.
Buy a deeper detecting pulse induction metal detector if you want to dig every piece of metal.
The same applies to pulse hunters who discriminate by target response, why not buy a discriminating VLF if you are going to reject targets in all metal.
If you have to turn a metal detector into something resembling a metal detector already out there, save up and buy the darn thing you are trying to copy.
Heck it may actually be a cheaper metal detector and a better fit for your style of hunting. 
A high priced metal detector does not guarantee more or better finds, unless it is the right fit for you.
Look at the important things that make a difference between metal detectors, ease of use, controls you can adjust to suit different situations and can it detect the type of targets you are searching for. 
Certain metal detectors are hot on small gold, others optimized towards detecting silver and some metal detectors are better suited to detecting large iron targets.
All of these reasons are why I tell people to do lots of research before buying a metal detector, I also always recommend buying the metal detecting equipment you are most comfortable using.
A metal detector should be a tool used to help you detect what you are searching for.
I doubt you would buy a tool at the local hardware store that was not suitable for the job you intended to use it on.
You would buy the right tool for the job, buying a metal detector or any type of metal detecting equipment should be the same.
Start by identifying the targets you are likely to detect in the areas you search, then research what metal detector is regarded as being the best at detecting what you are searching for.
Pull the trigger on that metal detector, read the manual several times and commit to it as that metal detector will be the one you compare all others to in the future.
Research and choosing the right tool for the job are the keys to getting it right when choosing the best metal detector. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A few thoughts on using large search coils

I often use a large 17 inch search coil on my CTX 3030 when I want to cover ground quicker and search for deeper targets.
There are plenty of reasons for using a large search coil, but ground coverage and target depth are the best reasons.
I have often changed to a large search coil on a site that is producing and found nothing more than I did using the standard size metal detector search coil, sometimes it does not make a difference.
A large search coil used in even a moderately trashy area may and often does cause you to miss good targets. 
You have to know why you are using a large search coil and why the search site is a good place to use a large search coil.
It all goes back to site selection and understanding the effects of both ferrous (Iron) and non ferrous target masking. 
A large search coil can cause you to walk over an area without detecting what you are searching for, a smaller search coil may have you digging like a crazy person over the same area.
So I look at large search coils like I look at pulse induction metal detectors, they are very site specific. 
Use a deep detecting large coil or PI at the wrong type of site and any target depth advantage quickly disappears, along with your chances of recovering anything good.
A large search coil will not change your fortunes if you are having a tough time finding anything, unless ground coverage and target depth are issues.
Again, site selection and understanding the effects of target masking will help you decide if you need to go large.
So too will knowing the recovery speed of your metal detector, or time it takes for your metal detector to recover and detect something after it detects a previous target. 
Once your metal detector threshold (Background noise) disappears you are not actually detecting anything until the threshold reappears which is a scary thought at a trashy site where you could have your search coil over multiple targets.
If you are thinking of investing in a large search coil, make sure you have the sites to get the maximum return on your investment. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chasing or finding ?

In my opinion, metal detector proficiency, search techniques and beach reading skills are the keys to being a successful beach or water hunter. 
Chasing other beach or water hunters around is not something I have ever done or even thought about doing, quite the opposite as I am usually the one being hunted by people wanting to know where my secret beach and water hunting sites are.
Which is pretty funny as my secret beach and water hunting sites are actually the same sites other people can and do search on a regular basis.
Just because someone found something good at a site, does not mean another person can find the same type of good find at the same site, unless you believe everything is lost in the same place all the time.
Research, choose and spend a lot of time using a metal detector and you will have one heck of an advantage of the majority of beach hunters. 
Sweep your search coil low slow and level and you will add to that advantage at the majority of beach and water hunting sites.
Putting it all together is easy when you know how to read a beach, which also only comes after putting your time in at local beaches and learning from previous good finds recovered. 
What did the beach look like, what conditions were present and what did the recovery layer look like?
Basic things that make a difference at the time of the recovery, but probably mean nothing a day or so later by someone chasing another beach hunter down.
People who always seem to be in the right place at the right time are usually seasoned beach hunters who have used a specific metal detector for a good amount of time.
Take the time to know what your metal detector is capable of and just as importantly not capable of and it will serve you very well.
Take the time to cover ground methodically using sound metal detecting techniques with an eye towards site reading and you will eventually become the hunted. 
The more you learn about your metal detector including how and where to use it, the less likely you are to be concerned about who is finding what and where.
I also guarantee you the type of metal detector you use only makes a difference if you know why you are using it. 
There are no short cuts in beach and water hunting, the more you learn the more you find. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Never ignore areas and assume anything

This year I have recovered several "Bobby dazzler" finds in some pretty unassuming areas, mainly because I prefer to search out of the beach and water hunting comfort zones. 
The comfort zones every beach or shallow water hunter knows, the lower beach and waist to chest deep water at low tide.
I am not a low tide beach or water hunter, meaning it does not have to be low tide for me to go out metal detecting.
Even if it is low tide, it does not mean I will search the low tide zone, I prefer to search the area I consider to have the most potential after arriving at the beach.
Land, beach and water reading skills put finds in your pouch, these skills can only be taken advantage of when you are open to searching a wide variety of areas any time of the day.
Hands up how many beach or water hunters will ignore the wet sand or water at low tide?
I recovered some pretty impressive finds this year by going against the accepted norms of beach or water hunting by deciding to search higher up on a beach at low tide. 
If you get too set in your ways, you end up being the person who everyone sees searching between point A and point B at the local beach.
Jeez I can drive to Fort Lauderdale or Deerfield Beach and tell you who will be searching, what they are wearing, even what day and what time of day you can see them.
Most importantly I can tell you where at the beach they will be searching, as beach and water hunters eventually become so predictable. 
My biggest competition is always myself and beginners, people new to metal detecting don't usually have a preset plan of attack, they are unpredictable and always have a chance of recovering something that may have had my name on it.
They never assume everything must be detected and recovered in the same areas every time they go metal detecting.
Lower beaches change daily thanks to the tides, what does not change is the possibility of recovering anything, any time and any place at the beach.
Learn to read the beach when you get there, not before leaving to metal detect at the beach. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Good things are worth waiting for on the beach

Two things you can count on if you live on the Eastern seaboard is sand piling on the beach during the summer due to easterly winds and sand coming off the beaches due to north winds in the winter. 
Because of the easterly winds pushing sand ashore during the summer months, I tend to spend more time in the water than on the beach.
The winter months I prefer beach hunting with a little water hunting at certain sites I have stashed in the top secret Drayton gold files.  
As the title of this blog says, good things are worth waiting for when the winds start blowing from a different direction. 
You could say I wait for mother nature to help put older coins, jewelry and artifacts within reach of my metal detector search coil.
Here are a few bobby dazzlers rescued off beaches thanks to mother natures fury, mama has been very kind to me over the years, perhaps all those under the radar jewelry, camera and wallet returns buy me a little karma.  

I run across good beach or water hunting conditions out of season, but as a rule when searching for older stuff you need the help of ma nature to detect really good stuff in areas known for older finds.
Of course if you only search in the water or only beach hunt you are well and truly buggered as they say in England. 
Water hunters don't often make good beach hunters, and beach hunters don't always make good water hunters, so its best to make sure your good at both.
Learn how to use your metal detector and read a beach on the beach, then learn water hunting so you can do both. 
Taking advantage of seasonal changes at beaches often involves knowing how to take advantage of changing beach or water conditions. 
The reason I use different metal detecting equipment in the winter months, than I use during the summer months.
What, where and why you found something can often be explained by the changing of the seasons, even in Florida.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

You cant do or use that, can you ?

Although Im a salty dog, Im just at home in swamps, marshes, a river or muddy field. 
One important thing I have learned over the years is you have to have the target recovery tools for the job, especially when you get "Squadded" up as they say in Lincolnshire England. 
Two things I always carry and use to help me locate and recover targets is a waterproof pin-pointer and a decent size flat head screwdriver.  
I believe I have probably used a spade more than a long handled beach scoop this year. 
Pin-pointer, flat head screwdriver and garden spade are not your normal beach or water hunting accessories, but I promise all will be revealed about my unusual choice of target recovery tools by the end of the year.
I look at target recovery tools like metal detectors and search coils, you use what is best for recovering what you are searching for in the areas you hunt.
I also have a target recovery tool bag in my vehicle just in case, consisting of needle nose pliers, a 250 pound strength pull magnet and a hammer and chisel, don't ask lol !
My choice of recovery tools should tell you a little about my style of hunting, I search places many other beach and water hunters do not.
I use natural coin and jewelry traps to my advantage, any area that is difficult to recover targets at is a great opportunity for an enterprising beach or water hunter, assuming you have the recovery tools for the job.
Rocky areas, coral ledges, thick mud, shell layers and hard packed sand are all jewelry and coin traps provided by mother nature to help a beach or water hunter.
The tougher it is to retrieve a target, the more chance that object has been there a long time.
For example, some people see a large boulder on the beach as an obstacle to walk around, I see that boulder as a coin, jewelry or artifact trap to search above and below.
I would also scan the boulder, just in case it is hiding something in a crack or crevice.
Sometimes good things are stuck between a rock and a hard place, if you are prepared to put your scoop down.