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Back To The Drawing Board, Reading An Area Before you Start To Swing Your Coil

After my latest outing to Coburg Beach, I believed that more research is needed on “ the signs & what to look for “ when you are planning a trip to a new location. Being efficient and making the most of your time is imperative when heading out for any dig. Recently, from when I started this hobby, until now, I have been doing a lot of research, and putting new found knowledge to the test every time I leave to go digging. Then I come home and write about my findings. Like I’m doing right now.

So last time I went for a 2 hour drive to a beach had a 6 hour hunt only to come 2 hours home again with a bag full of junk, & $0.85 in Canadian clad. The only thing to save my bacon was that the 1953 Dime I got. It was my first silver piece, and my second oldest coin to date. Which honestly made the trip well worth it for me.

But I can’t help but feel, that without that 1 dime that the trip was a complete bust. So this time round, I have put in a considerable effort to figure out what I should be looking for when hitting a brand new beach area? Or any new to me area?

Some history on me.

“SQUIRREL” (just kidding, it does relate)

I was a commercial fisherman for years. As well as a charter Captian, where I took clients out for fishing charters. To be perfectly honest I never blindly went to a new body of water or an area I new well without the proper local information of the area I was fishing. I always did my homework and research before heading out for a day of fishing. The goal was always to be as efficient and successful as possible. So why would this be any different. After all this is a type of fishing isn’t it? (DIRT FISHING) it’s just that the Target species is precious metals and items of interest.

It is not just coincidence that the items you find are where you find them, “just because” is it? No, it not, It’s not magic! Those items are there because they had a journey. Some-one, or some-thing, put those items in your way to be found. Items found, must first be lost, or discarded, in order to be found again.

However there was a method of how those item got to their specific resting place, and if you can figure out why these items are where they are,? Then You will become a much more successful dirt fisherman.

So far what has all this writing told us? In order to be a successful detectorist you need a few things . You need a few basic tools, you know that the better the tools you have the more efficiently your hunts become, you know that depending on what area you hunt will determine the type of tools you will require, so being prepared is essential. You now know that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get into this hobby, but you can spend a fortune if you so desire, just like any other hobby out there. We know that no matter where you go, lots of garbage will be found, we know that as hobbyists, it is unlikely you will get rich from this, although it has been known to happen to a lucky few. We all now know different beaches and the rules and regulations within Ontario for metal detecting. and this blog is going to tell you one more item to your arsenal of tools. (Knowledge) knowledge of the area you wish to hunt is key to success. and if it’s a new to you area? Then have a plan of attack. This may be the most useful tool you bring with you on any given outing.

In the next week I have a plan to head out to Toronto or Oshawa area beaches right after work for an afternoon hunt. I have a hotel this time and my partner Erin and our son Caspian are going to meet me there so that the following day we can have a nice day on the town at Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto.

The area of choice is rich in history and can be a metal detectorists dream, or it can most definitely be a frustrating area because of so many detectorists before you have scoured the area.

But for now I need to be doing my research. 1st things first. Decide on the beach I will be heading to? In this case I have 2 options. Bluffers point beach, or Lakeview Park Beach in Oshawa.

When heading out to metal detect a beach, you want a busy beach, and you are going to want to get to it just after a busy weekend before the items of interest are either detected by someone else or washed away and buried by potential waves.

I am going to choose Lakeview Park for my next outing. now to put in a plan of action.

This beach is always busy, it is fairly flat, because the city combs the beach daily with a tractor and large rake. “not always the best for metal detecting” this means some recent finds might be a bit deeper than usual because a machine burrows them daily. I have never been to this beach yet either.

My research tells me that there are several other points of interest in this area as well. This park has several playgrounds which I also enjoy detecting at, as well as a huge area that hosts large events such as weddings and other gatherings. Also a great place to metal detect if the beach is slow.

An image I took from Google maps you can see several ball diamonds in the back too. So if I felt like it I could try each of the areas for an hour to see what they have and come back when I have more time, or choose one area and hit it hard to really give it a chance.

My thought for now is I have really been targeting as many beaches as I can in my first season of Treasure hunting, so I am thinking I will hit the beach first to see if I can gain a few decent signals to start.

Learning Your Beach

When you hit up a new beach there are things you are going to want to look for that may indicate a good area to start with. Look for any high ridges near the waterline, these ridges are where people like to sit and look at the water, the ridge line is there because it’s where strong waves have come and shaped the beach this way.

Woodbine beach (Toronto)

Wherever there are strong waves, there is always treasure in close proximity, look at the base of the ridges as well.

Look for any small pockets or any pooling water around the beach, these areas are like traps for metals to congregate. During storms the waves push items into these pockets and the items become trapped in there.

Also these pools are perfect for parents washing their children off of any sand and washing toys off too. The cold waters can constrict the fingers and this is when rings often slip off fingers. So search all of the natural pools on beaches.

So often when searching a busy beach just after a long hot summers day, you will want to do a little research of the beach you are going to and see where the majority of people set up on the beach. These are the areas you want to target. A very busy beach can literally have people on almost every square inch of the beach on any given weekend,

You could almost walk anywhere on these beaches and could get lucky. Try to stick close to an area where there might be a food vendor beach side. This is where people drop all kinds of loose change and fumble around holding 5 ice creams a cell phone, a purse and all the loose change while wearing a bikini. Yup loose change heaven in these areas.

So What’s The Plan?

So I know it sounds like I’ve now said to basically search anywhere on a busy beach but the honest truth is, and what I am trying to say is,? Have a plan of action before you go or you’ll be all over the place when you get there.

Look for the ridges, pooling areas first, hit the top of the ridges and then the bottom of them, then work your way over to any pooling areas by heading there in a straight line slowly by working the heaviest traffic area where people set up their day gear, then work the entire pooling area thoroughly, this is where the best treasures may be lurking.

Once you have done this, then work your way back to where you started right along the waters edge. The waters edge is where you will find mostly targets of higher interest, such as gold rings and coins. Once you get back to your original starting point. You can either start all over or think of a new area to search (if there is still time)

Personally I would hit up the front area of any food vendors before I leave and if time maybe a small hunt in a pick Nick area or an event area works as well.

Tips For When And Where To Beach Hunt!

Toronto food festival on the beach.

After a beach festival would be amazing times to go detecting. Try timing your metal detecting trips around busy beach events in cities for higher rate of success. There will be loads of garbage to dig through but everything will be close to the surface and should be a very productive hunt.

My next blog will be about putting all my knowledge of metal detecting to the test. At the beach, especially after my last outing was “almost” a complete bust.


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