How to Water Hunt
Tips on Water Detecting
If you are thinking about trying your hand at detecting in the water, here are some tips. Water hunting is not easy, and there are many days that we come home exhausted, but the goodies that can be found make it well worth the effort.
In our opinion, the Whites PI Pro is a good detector to start.
So first you need to live near a beach. Salt water detecting requires a different type of detector than fresh water hunting. Okay, so generally speaking you will be detecting similar to land detecting, except you will be forced to go slower because the water will slow you down.
Practice in the Wet Sand
Before you attempt to get in the water, you should practice in the dry sand first. Do not go in the water or surf without knowing what you are doing, it is too dangerous.
Once you practice in the dry sand with your water scoop, then try the wet sand, and then the shallow water.
Detecting Shallow Water Tips
After you have graduated to the shallow water, just keep moving your coil over the sand in the water till you find a beep. Try to figure an exact location of this beep and it's size, by moving your coil back and forth over it several times.
Now once you figure where the loudest beep is, then put your foot there and move your coil aside. Then place the tip of your scoop where your foot is. Put your foot on the back of the scoop and push it in, and you can even wiggle it back and forth to try to get deeper.
Then pull the handle back and the sand will come out with it. Move it to the side of you without tipping out any sand and rescan the hole to see if the target is still in there. If you can't hear it then chances are it's in your scoop. Yea!
More than likely though, the first scoop is not going to be the winner. Generally the second or third scoop will be the winner. Why? Because, more than likely, the target is laying deeper, or you didn't pinpoint it close enough and you missed it.
So what do you do if you have the target in your scoop? Well you'll have to let your detector go, and let it float around while you check what is in the scoop. Slowly raise the scoop up through the water with out letting any sand fall off. Most of the sand will fall through the bottom holes in your scoop.
Once all the sand is gone, there should be in the bottom of yopur scoop the target and probably some pebbles or shells. Your target recovery is different with each beach that you detect. Some beaches have clay on the bottom, then what??? Then you will need to make a sifter screen.
Using and Making your own Sifting Screen.
It you are detecting in water that has a clay, rocky bottom, or a freshwater with a mucky bottom. Building your own sifting screen will help your recovery efforts a lot! If you are detecting in shallow surf, you can just dump what is in your scoop on the wet sand, rescan, and retrieve the target with your hand. But once you go to kneedeep and waist deep water, you must have a floating sifter.
We made our floating sifters with 1x4 inch wood, chicken wire, and pink construction foam. You can see how it turned out in the picture. View a larger picture of the homemade water detecting screen.
These floating sifters lasted us many years. Occasionally we would have to add more duct tape though. In the picture above you can see the screen floating behind me. The current will take it away from you, and when you need to dump a scoop of mud and rocks in it, you need to grab the rope and pull the screen to you.
What you can Find in the Water
It has been said that gold is always looking for a way back to the center of the earth. Gold is heavy, so gold rings are not exactly flowing on the surface of the sand. You are going to have to dig for them! If you are lucky and the current moves the sand, then you won't have to dig so deep. They say that most items are lost knee deep and shallower, so it is not necessary for you to go in the water so deep.
In the real shallow water, which they call the swash, the sand is usually deeper, and this is where you will find lighter stuff like pulltabs, bobby pins, bottle caps, 22 cal shells, and maybe light jewelry. The best time to go water detecting is at low tide, which will give you access to more area to detect. The further you go out, the less junk you will find.
Best of luck and Happy Hunting!