Freshwater Lake Treasure Hunting with a Metal Detector

Fresh water metal detecting at the shoreline.

Fresh water metal detecting at the shoreline.

Headed to a lakefront cottage or summer destination near a freshwater beach? Don’t forget your metal detector! Every vacationer walks the beach—but the SMART detectorist brings his or her metal detector. Many hobbyists say you’ll find MORE treasure along freshwater beaches than the ocean. They say you’ll get more good finds in one day here than any popular ocean beach! Here’s why: popular ocean beaches are hunted every day. But beaches and [boating & swimming areas] on a freshwater lake are rarely detected.

A roped-off swimming area is usually only 30-50 yards wide, so it’s easy to read where the most treasure will be found. Jackpot area: Search right near the shoreline where mothers often sit with kids in the water. Here, you’ll find jewelry– gold, silver and diamond rings.

Advice from Fellow Hobbyists (Friendly Metal Detecting Forum)

Jeff says:  “I detect Southeastern Virginia & Northeastern North Carolina and concentrate on the areas in the water where the people swim and play. I especially like working around piers and platforms that they dive from. Also check out the shallow areas where parents and kids frolick.”

Chris says:  “Most of the time in freshwater lakes, the goodies either sink into the sand where they were dropped or slowly get pushed up to the water’s edge. Concentrate on the swimming area first, but things find their way all over the place.”

Is Your Detector Waterproof?

Before you dip your machine into the water, be sure to check that it is a waterproof model. Some models are only waterproof up to the control box. The last thing you need is to ruin the electronics when you’re just trying to treasure hunt on vacation!

Equipment: All-purpose or Waterproof VLF metal detector:

Very Low Frequency (VLF) Metal Detectors are usually recommended for freshwater hunting. They will easily locate coins, relics, and jewelry. If you want to go shallow-water-hunting, make the sure the specs allow for it. Here is a list of our best-selling water proof freshwater metal detectors.

Short or long-handled sand scoop

Beach scoops are a tremendous help when sifting through sand for treasure. A water scoop is necessary for shallow water metal detecting, as it digs deeper into wet sand. Check out: Sand Scoops for the Beach.

Warmer Weather is Here! Consider Shallow Water Treasure Hunting

Shallow water metal detecting.

Shallow water metal detecting with the Garrett AT Pro waterproof metal detector.

Are you an ambitious treasure hunter? If so, you’re probably not afraid to get your feet wet. It’s almost time to hit the beach, and shallow-water metal detecting can pay dividends!  One of the major bonuses of shallow-water hunting is that the treasures are usually in good shape on the ocean or lake floor. Also, underwater treasures are known to be found right where they’re dropped. (That’s not always true because of the tide.) Regardless, there are coins, trinkets and gold jewelry beneath the wet sand.

How Deep is Shallow Water?

This is subjective, as some detectorists only want to search from the high water mark to a few inches deep. If you know you’re staying in water that is only a few inches deep, a detector with a waterproof search coil will work fine. Here some VERY affordable models with a waterproof search coil (not housing):

Wading and Snorkeling

If you plan on wading in knee-deep water up to ten-feet deep, then you’ll need a completely waterproof detector. Submersible metal detectors can be used for snorkeling and scuba detecting, too. So, once you become expert at shallow-water detecting, you can graduate to the next levels. Many water detectors are equally proficient at land detecting, so they are the perfect investment for the enthusiastic hobbyist. Listed below are some popular waterproof metal detectors.

(Note: some are waterproof to much further depths than others):

Whether you are shallow-water hunting in the ocean, lake or the river, there is a wealth of treasure to be found! Some detectors are better suited for the saltwater beach than others. However, newer models often have a “beach mode” setting that will cancel the effects of most to all saltwater mineralization. For more information about the best beach and shallow-water metal detectors, be sure to read our Learning Library article: “What are the Best Metal Detectors for Metal Detecting on the Beach?”

Look for an upcoming blog post about underwater treasure-hunting techniques.

Spring Vacation – Bring Your Metal Detector!

What could be better than simply enjoying the sun and the sand while on vacation? Finding treasure of course!

What could be better than simply enjoying the sun and the sand while on vacation? Finding treasure with a metal detector of course!

Is your family getting ready for a Spring vacation? If so, don’t forget to pack your metal detector! Even if you already have activities planned, you can still sneak in a day trip for metal detecting. Treasure awaits anywhere your travels may take you—from battle sites (war relics), to beaches (where other vacationers lose valuables) to rumored buried treasure (Blackbeard’s stash in North Carolina). Just do an internet search about the lore and  history of your destination. There’s sure to be hotspots nearby!

Going to Florida? Several Beaches are Scattered with Treasure

Three-hundred years ago, many Spanish galleons and other ships sunk off  the coast of Florida. This was largely due to treacherous weather and attacks by enemy ships. Coins, jewels, gold and relics have since washed up, particularly along the east-central coast. Treasure hunters are STILL finding these valuables from the high-tide to the low-tide line and in shallow water. You can keep what you find on the beaches—but not on private property, federal land or any state parks. Metal detecting in Florida has become quite popular, as amateurs are finding priceless coins and treasure all the time! If you’re traveling near “Treasure Coast,” be sure to get in on the action. According to the “Visit Florida” website, popular detecting beaches include Vero Beach, Wabasso Beach, Melbourne Beach, Aquarina Beach and beaches near Fort Pierce. When detecting on saltwater beaches, pulse induction detectors are ideal because they cancel out the salt mineralization. For information on beach hunting metal detectors, check out:

Bring Your Underwater Detector to Tropical Destinations

Heading to Barbados, Cancun, the Virgin Islands or Costa Rica? Amazing underwater sightseeing awaits you! Scuba dive shipwrecks with your metal detector or snorkel in shallow water for ocean floor treasures. Shallow-water hunters often find pockets of treasure along the tide line, while scuba hunters uncover gold, coins and relics. What makes these foreign treasures remarkable is that you won’t find the same things in the U.S.!

Tesoro Sand Shark – the Most Affordable Underwater Metal Detector

Grab your Tesoro Sand Shark metal detector and head for the beach and ocean!

Grab your Tesoro Sand Shark metal detector and head for the beach and ocean!

Discover lost jewelry and coins from the sand and water with the Tesoro Sand Shark Metal Detector! This Pulse Induction detector expertly handles the mineralization of salt water and is submersible to 200 feet. Tesoro’s Sand Shark is among the most affordable underwater detectors for hunting the beach, shallow surf, wading, scuba diving and shipwreck hunting. PI detectors are the deepest-seeking underwater units on the market, and the Tesoro Sand Shark is feature packed! It includes a Pulse Width control for depth and sensitivity and two operating modes: VCO and Normal. Voltage Controlled Oscillator mode gives off a louder, higher-pitched tone as the target gets close to your coil. The strongest signal will be closest to the center of the search coil. Normal mode is designed for extended beachcombing. Owners of the Tesoro Sand Shark are passionate that it is the best “bang for your buck” underwater detector!

See Tesoro Sand Shark Detector Reviews

 

Fisher 1280-X Aquanaut Metal Detector- Endorsed by Experts

The easy-to-use controls on the Fisher 1280-X Metal Detector

The easy-to-use controls on the Fisher 1280-X Metal Detector

Hit the beach and find tons of treasure with the Fisher 1280-X Aquanaut Waterproof Metal Detector! This is a popular underwater scuba, surf and sand unit. If you’ve been researching the best underwater metal detector models, the Fisher 1280-X Aquanaut has most definitely been recommended! Owners can’t say enough about its automatic turn-on-and-go ease for salt water, fresh water and even land operation. It is water-resistant to 250 feet and provides up to 75 hours of battery life, thanks to Fisher’s patented quartz-crystal circuitry. This is a deep-seeking VLF unit with 10-level discrimination. Another stand-out feature—the control box converts to a belt mount (belt clip is included) for ease of entering the water. Underwater expert Daniel Berg says he always mounts his detector on a gear bag during transport, so all he has to do is turn the detector on and start scanning. Submersible waterproof headphones are included.

Related Article: Best Underwater Metal Detectors – Reviewing the Best Options

Tesoro Tiger Shark: Dual-Function Underwater and Land Detector

Tesoro Tiger Shark Metal Detector

Tesoro Tiger Shark Metal Detector

“Extraordinary” best describes the Tesoro Tiger Shark Metal Detector! Why? Because of its unparalleled versatility! The Tesoro Tiger Shark is a multi-function land and underwater metal detector. On land, the Tiger Shark is ideal for gold nugget prospecting, coin and relic hunting. Underwater, it is a superior machine—equally proficient finding treasure in fresh and saltwater. The Tesoro Tiger Shark is submersible to 200 feet and specially designed to detect gold chains- setting it apart from other models. Operating Modes include: No-Motion All Metal, Normal, Salt Mode, Silent Search and Motion Discriminate. The full discrimination feature filters out junk for quickly locating good targets. Shallow-water and scuba detectorists rely on the Tiger Shark to pinpoint valuable treasures! According to Tiger Shark owner Judy J., “I have already found 5 gold rings, 1 bracelet, shotgun brass that dates back to 1884, and numerous other items! I have found most items between 4-6 inches in depth. Definitely recommend!”

See Tesoro Tiger Shark Detector Reviews from Customers

Garrett Infinium LS has Mastered Both Land and Sea Detecting!

Garrett Infinium LS Metal Detector

Garrett Infinium LS Metal Detector

High-achieving treasure hunters gravitate towards the Garrett Infinium LS (Land/Sea) Metal Detector because of its extreme versatility! The Garrett Infinium LS performs exceptionally well underwater in the sea, in gold and meteorite fields, black sand beaches and war battlefields—for every type of metal detecting. This is an Advanced Pulse Induction (API) detector that finds more treasure at any depth with accurate discrimination. Automatic Ground Track features lock, slow and fast settings to master changing soil conditions. Other amenities include an Advanced Discrimination Dial, customized Tone ID and adjustable Audio Threshold. Experts say the Garrett Infinium LS is a champion detector for scuba diving – extremely deep seeking! Waterproof up to 200 feet;  includes DD™ PROformance submersible search coil and land headphones.

 

Commercial Shipwreck Divers and Professionals Rely on JW Fishers Pulse 6X and Pulse 8X Underwater Metal Detectors

JW Fishers Pulse 8X Metal Detector full length view

JW Fishers Pulse 8X Metal Detector

Shipwreck divers, commercial and professional divers are huge advocates of JW Fishers Pulse 6X and 8X Underwater Metal Detectors. These are the top-performing underwater detectors on the market—utilized by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, law enforcement agencies and professional underwater treasure hunters. JW Fishers Pulse 6X and 8X expertly ignore interference from salt water, making it easy to recover gold, silver, artifacts, weapons, ordnance, cannons and pipelines. These units’ 200-foot depth rating and waterproof search coil connectors make them invaluable for underwater hunting! The Pulse 6X and 8X are feature-packed with both visual and audio target ID, extreme sensitivity and a complete diving accessory package including: a corrosion-proof underwater handle, aluminum land handle, underwater earphone, battery chargers and a hip-mount kit. Included 7.5″ search coil is extremely sensitive to both small and large objects. Optional search coils are available for specialized operations.

 

Garrett AT Gold Underwater Detector: Hunt Rivers, Streams and Gold Fields

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector is an All-Terrain Best Seller!

Hand’s down, the Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector gets top ratings as a prospecting detector. This is a deep-seeking, all-terrain metal detector with an 18 kHz frequency- the best frequency for finding gold. The price of raw gold is high (recently $60/ per gram; $1,850 per ounce), so it is no surprise that detectorists who live in gold country hunt rivers and streams in search of pay dirt!  The rugged, high-performance Garrett AT Gold delivers BIG TIME with its advanced underwater design. Top features include: • True All-Metal Mode – provides deep detection and sensitivity for small nuggets, • Iron Audio – Hear discriminated iron and adjust mid-tone range, • Digital Target ID- from 0 to 99 (ferrous starting at 1 and highest conductive items at 99), • Tone Roll Audio offers enhanced target information as you pass over targets. Waterproof up to 10 feet. According to one MetalDetector.com reviewer: “I found 13 specimens of gold ore on an old tailings pile next to a road in S. Wyoming. The AT Gold is very sensitive. I am confident I will have no trouble detecting rare coins and gold nuggets down to 8″ deep or more.”

– Read all: Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector Reviews

Garrett ATX Multi-Frequency Military-Grade Metal Detector: Underwater to 10 Feet

The Garrett ATX metal detector deepseeker package includes everything you need to locate deep treasures. The package includes the ATX with 12” DD coil, Land headphones, Soft storage/travel case, Garrett Detector Sling, AA alkaline and rechargeable batteries, Battery charger, 20" Deepseeker Mono Searchcoil and Military-grade Garrett hard case.

The Garrett ATX metal detector deepseeker package includes everything you need to locate gold nuggets, gold jewelry and even deep treasures.

World-renowned shipwreck diver, author and Master Scuba Instructor, Dan Berg, says that determined shallow-water treasure hunters can easily find diamond and gold rings, jewelry and valuable artifacts while water hunting. Berg explains that HIGH-quality underwater detectors will pay for themselves, as their deep-seeking abilities will uncover valuables lost by other machines. The Garrett ATX is a waterproof military-grade unit that provides maximum detection on all targets at the same time. This is due to its multi-frequency motion and non-motion modes — automatically adjusting while you search. Advanced ground balance handles rapidly changing terrain; and extreme sensitivity of the Garrett ATX is designed to uncover gold (from underwater jewelry to tiny gold nuggets). Garrett ATX’s exclusive “DD” search coil enhances detection of the smallest targets. The ATX is an extreme all-terrain metal detector, favored by prospectors for finding nuggets, as well as relic-hunters and shallow-water detectorists. The Garrett ATX is endorsed by “Diggers” Tim Saylor and George Wyant! Waterproof to 10 feet.

Choose the Garrett ATX Metal Detector Deep-Seeker Package to locate deeply buried treasure caches!

 

Reference: “Beach and Water Treasure Hunting with Metal Detectors,” by Capt. Dan Berg