The hot summer sun may be fading, but the beach is still a lucrative detecting destination in the fall. Traditionally, Labor Day weekend and the last hot summer days bring tons of visitors and vacationers to the beach. When the crowds head back to school and work, it’s time to search the sand for lost valuables! To make the most of your detecting time, experts advise learning how to “read the beach.” This means looking for areas where coins and jewelry might have accumulated. Here are likely spots to find metal treasure.
How to Read the Beach Before You Start Detecting
Before you ever start swinging your detector, locate the highest point on the beach. From this vantage point, look for holes, pockets and low-lying areas that look like sand has been removed. These are good indicators of where targets may have settled. The best beach spots for treasure are:
- “Sloughs:” A slough is a trough (water indentation) that runs parallel to the beach- with the beach on one side and a sand bar on the other. People walk and play in this area, which is visible during a negative tide. Heavier items like watches and phones are often found here.
- “Scallops:” These are humps on the beach with high and low sections. The low sections act to funnel waves and they also capture metal items.
- “Pockets:” Low-lying areas in the wet or dry sand. You will be able to get the depth on your metal detector as much as 4-5 feet deeper than normal.
Look and feel the sand: What is the beach consistency… does it sink in mush or is there resistance? This will determine how deep the targets are and how much sand is covering them up. Hard-packed sand, shells or rocks are a good sign. Gold sinks quickly. If the sand is really soft, gold rings and bracelets will sink through it at a faster pace. If the sand is hard-packed, it takes gold longer to sink to a harder layer. Eventually, gold settles until it hits a layer that is too hard to get past.
Beach Detectors and Sand Scoops
The two types of detectors best suited for the beach are VLF detectors and Pulse Induction (P.I.) models. VLF detectors are affordable and ideal for freshwater beaches. If you will be hunting saltwater beaches, a PI detector is best because they ignore salt and offer deep-seeking capability. With that said, there are a number of modern VLF detectors that may be used successfully on the salt water beach. VLF units will have target identification features that P.I. detectors lack. Shop and compare Beach Metal Detectors. You can narrow your search by detector type, price, operating frequency, search coil size and much more! The second most important tool when beach hunting is a durable sand scoop for recovering your targets. Shop all beach scoops held, from hand to long-handled styles.