Thursday, July 7, 2011

7/7/11 Report - De-tech Detecting & Rocks

Fellow Working the Water With an Excalibur at Jensen Beach This Morning.

Nice cloudy morning. A little rain at the beach too.

I was looking at a YouTube video the other day. I liked the video. They guy did a good job. And he was doing something that I have been talking about - hunting spots that might be overlooked or avoided by many detectorists.

You might think that a creek bed up north and the Treasure Coast beaches have nothing in common, but that isn't true. There are many common principles no matter where you detect. There are differences too, of course. But I'm going to use this video to point out some things. Maybe you want to watch it first.

Here is the link.

The guy was doing some good things. He was hunting a place that a lot of people would overlook and he was hunting when the snow was on the ground and a lot of other people weren't around.

He went to an older bridge. That was a good idea. But it was rocky there.

I know a few things about rocks. I've hunted lakes in Minnesota where the bottom of the lake was completely covered by round egg-size rocks. That can be challenging. It takes a good scoop to stand up to that. But there are other approaches when an area in the water is undiggable.

Some of the best water hunting in Florida occurs when the sand gets washed away and all that is left is a rocky bottom. Our rocks are different, but they have to be handled pretty much the same.

Instead of trying to scoop rock bottoms, try fanning. If you are wading with a detector, when you detect a target, use your foot to fan away the sand and any smaller rocks. You can blast a small hole in densely packed rocks by fanning a lot quicker than digging.

The sand and small materials fill the cracks and make it really tough to dig, but when you fan, the first thing that happens is all of the smaller materials filling the cracks flies out, and that loosens the rocks, which will move next, or when too big, can be moved.

Wear something on your feet. The rocks can really bang you up or cause sprained ankles, and fishing lures can fly up out of the hole and stick in your foot. I know about all three of those from personal experience.

One thing you can do is wear a dive flipper with part of the flipper cut off. That will make fanning much quicker.

But rocks are often a very good sign. Some of the best hunting I've ever had in the shallow water in Florida was where the bottom was covered with packed rocks. They can make it nearly impossible to use a scoop. I always recommend a heavy stainless steal scoop anyhow unless you are going to stick to sandy beaches.

Rocks provide traps where small heavy things will settle in the water.

I'm reminded of a Clint Eastwood movie where this one miner was working to move a big rock in a creek to get the gold that settled underneath it.

The rocks in the creek were obstacles to hunting, but they will also keep many people from hunting there. You can either see those rocks as an obstacle or an opportunity.

The goal of metal detecting is not to swing a detector. Sometimes you need to put it down. Sometimes you need to de-tech detecting. There are times to forget about the technology. Put the detector down, and move the rocks. You don't have to move all of them. Move some of them and check to see what is underneath or between them where you couldn't detect before.

If that bridge was very old and if there were a lot of people that used it for a long time, there has to be some accumulated stuff under it and maybe down stream a little.

Move some rocks and do some sampling. If you've moved some rocks and looked and it looks promising, move some more rocks and/or trench a little.

I know that would be a lot of work, but it could be worth it.

Most likely the first thing you will find in a place like that is junk - probably some pull tabs. Light materials will settle in certain places and they won't sink very deep. What you really want to find is where the heavier items are settling. Find the traps and dips. To get to the good things, you might have to clear some of the top junk off first.

It doesn't matter if you are in a creek or in the ocean. Water sifts and sorts things in a very similar way.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Beach by Fort Pierce Inlet This Morning.

The only thing that disappears faster than beach renourishment sand is tax payer dollars.

The cliff here is now a straight eight foot drop. Pretty dangerous, I'd say.

As you probably know there will be rain today and for a few more days. That isn't much of a problem except for the lightening, which I can hear now.

The rain, as I've explained before, can help in a variety of ways.

The wind is from the southwest. The seas are running about two feet now and will lessen over the weekend and into next week when they will be calm.

I saw some beaches that had a low flat front beach today, but some are more convex, with recently built up sand.

I only saw some very small unproductive dips in the water.

As you can see on the top photo, the sand extends out from the front beach in a low flat plateau. I think most of the beaches now have a lot of sand in front of the beach.

Happy hunting,