Some beach and water hunters are very secretive about their productive areas. That’s because the same type of treasure found on land is recovered in or near water. Beach and water hunters are very successful at recovering lost jewelry and valuable old coins. Spanish coins and other desirable items from shipwrecks get scattered along the shoreline of oceans, lakes and waterways. Beach hunting consists of walking the dry or wet sand—typically not fully submersing the search coil. Shallow water hunting involves wading into shallow water, usually at low tide. Advocates say that more jewelry and less junk is found in the water. Water hunting involves working the seabed or lake bottom in water from chest to neck deep. It is best done with a snorkel in good visibility.
When selecting a beach or shallow water detector, it’s important to decide which model is best for your beach and environment. Some detectors are water resistant—allowing only the coil to be submerged, while others, like the Garrett AT Pro, are waterproof to depths of 10 feet, so the whole unit can go underwater. It also depends on whether your beach is fresh or saltwater. VLF units are best for fresh water and/or dry beaches. One exception to this rule is the Fisher CZ-21 as it can be ground balanced right down to saltwater. Pulse induction models are best for saltwater; they are also among the deepest seeking detectors on the market. Detectors with discrimination (trash elimination) are helpful for dry beach hunting. But, water hunters usually dig all signals, because the audio tone for foil and aluminum sounds just like gold. For suggested features and best water-hunting models, read: Treasure You Can Find in up to Six Feet of Water.