Sunday, July 10, 2011

Learn Secret Tips for Successful Metal Detecting at Beaches

What draws so many people with metal detectors to the beach? It goes without saying that there is the excitement of finding buried treasure that has been lost for centuries. Hearing the sound of the waves against the shore or seeing the seagulls flying overhead adds to the enjoyment of a day spent outdoors. It doesn't matter what time of year you go metal detecting, you always have that hope that you will find something valuable.

Successful metal detecting in or near water is a science and your success depends on several factors. Winds, tides and currents keep the sand moving continuously. Most people don't notice these changes, but a good detectorist has taught himself to be patient and observant. You gain an advantage over other treasure hunters if you know how to read the changes in the sand. Pay attention to markers or landmarks. Trees and rocks make great landmarks for determining sand movement.

The biggest cause of movement of sand on the beach is the weather associated with the changing of the seasons. Large storms, whether they are out at sea or come ashore, will have a big impact on the sand. Pay attention to the wind and wave direction. Once you start to understand how the sand is moving and being redistributed, chances of finding treasure is dramatically increased.

Storms, especially the stronger ones in the fall or winter, can erode the beach and move lots of sand. Look for channels in the sand or cuts resembling small cliffs in the beach. The more sand that has been moved in these cuts, the more finds you will likely have. Older coins or gold jewelry located in the channels will be at a deeper level, so you will want to dig even if you only get a faint, whisper-like signal.

Summer is a great time to go metal detecting at the beach. With increasing numbers of people visiting the beaches for swimming or surfing, the number of finds you have also increases. Start with the most popular beach in your area. Go metal detecting early in the morning, or later in the evening after everyone starts to go home.

Searching a grid system is a good way to search a beach. Gridding the beach is a method that metal detectorists use to cover a small area of a beach in order to increase their finds. Instead of trying to cover the whole beach in a couple of hours, choose a location that has been well traveled and begin a search pattern. The easiest patterns are a straight line pattern or a circular pattern. For example, you could walk a straight pattern where you start from the high beach line and walk a straight line toward the low tide line, then move one step to the left or right, turn around and walk a straight line back up to the high bank where you started. Turn and move over a foot and search the next line. You could also try a sideways straight pattern where you metal detect parallel to the high bank line for 2 or 3 yards, and turn left or right, and move over a foot, and again walk parallel to the bank. Another pattern would be to start at the center of the beach and move in circles, expanding the size of the circle each time. Gridding the beach in a pattern allows you to create lines in the sand with your feet to mark the areas you have searched, which eliminates the chance that you'll retrace your steps.

There are a few rules of etiquette when metal detecting that should always be followed. The first rule is to fill in all the holes you dig. It is easy for someone to come along later and trip over the hole if you don't fill it in. The second rule concerns courtesy and a sense of fair play. If you see someone else metal detecting, do not come too close to them with your detector. You should never get right in front of them and then continue in the direction that they were heading. This is beyond rude. Do not move in on someone else's area and keep your distance.

With these few secrets, your metal detecting adventures at the beach will be rewarded.

Max Wagner has always enjoyed beachcombing and has been avidly metal detecting for several years. For more information and tips for successful beach treasure hunting, visit his website at

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