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  #1  
Old 07-09-2013, 01:00 PM
mikenannie mikenannie is offline
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Question Lake Michigan, East shore - Unable to find anything...

First post - noob.

I've been using metal detectors since the mid 1970s, but only in the past 10 years or so have I used a water machine. I mainly use it on vacations to Michigan, and hunt various beaches along the Lake Michigan east coast. My struggle is that I rarely find anything of value. We're getting close to our annual vacation again, and will once again be on the east coast of Lake Michigan, and I want to do what I can to try to avoid another year of finding nothing So I'm here to ask for help

I hunt with my Dad and we work together using my Whites Beach Hunter ID. I believe it's a decent machine and it seems to have pretty good depth. However, having hunted this water over the past 10 years, during our family vacation, I have never found anything of value. Lots of rusty metal though. I believe these coastal beaches get enough use during the summer that there has to be stuff there to be found and I've had people approach me and tell me that they, or someone that they knew, has lost something on one of these beaches. So, what are we doing wrong?

We have hunted from the shore out to about shoulder deep, using every possible pattern in the water to try to cover enough ground. We typically hunt for 2-3 hours at a time as well.

Some questions for those who know Lake Michigan (or have similar experience).

1. How fast is a ring lost in sand too deep to locate with a machine? (my machine?) Seems like the sand moves very quickly out from under your feet as you wade through the water. Dad thinks that stuff sinks in the sand so quickly that it's difficult to detect before it's too deep to find. True?

2. Where is the most productive area of the water? We watch the swimmers, and see many adults moving out past the trough into the sand bar that's about 100 yards from shore (varies). We have hunted this trough before, and the sandbars, but still found nothing. (A few years ago, I did locate a wedding ring for a man who had just lost it, gave it back to him, and he gave me $20 But that was our only gold anything.

3. What is the 'cut' and is there one on Lake Michigan beaches? Is the 'cut' where the waves cut into the sand and create a 6" to 1 1/2 foot hump just above the wet sand on the beach? Is that were we should be hunting?

4. Do we need a better machine? (Tiger Shark, etc.)

As you can see, having never found much of anything of value, I'm at a loss on how to improve our chances of success. I'll admit that other than this week's hunting each year, we don't do much else in terms of water hunting, but, given 30+ years of metal detecting experience, I'm pretty confident that my skills with the machine are adequate.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2013, 01:20 PM
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If I were you i would look into the CZ21 or Excalibur... the Tiger Shark isn't going to give you more depth than the Beachhunter...

You may just be hunting an area with deep soft sand and a target like gold isn't going to stop until it reaches a firm bottom like clay or gravel...

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  #3  
Old 07-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenannie View Post
First post - noob.

I've been using metal detectors since the mid 1970s, but only in the past 10 years or so have I used a water machine. I mainly use it on vacations to Michigan, and hunt various beaches along the Lake Michigan east coast. My struggle is that I rarely find anything of value. We're getting close to our annual vacation again, and will once again be on the east coast of Lake Michigan, and I want to do what I can to try to avoid another year of finding nothing So I'm here to ask for help

I hunt with my Dad and we work together using my Whites Beach Hunter ID. I believe it's a decent machine and it seems to have pretty good depth. However, having hunted this water over the past 10 years, during our family vacation, I have never found anything of value. Lots of rusty metal though. I believe these coastal beaches get enough use during the summer that there has to be stuff there to be found and I've had people approach me and tell me that they, or someone that they knew, has lost something on one of these beaches. So, what are we doing wrong?

We have hunted from the shore out to about shoulder deep, using every possible pattern in the water to try to cover enough ground. We typically hunt for 2-3 hours at a time as well.

Some questions for those who know Lake Michigan (or have similar experience).

1. How fast is a ring lost in sand too deep to locate with a machine? In mushy sand a ring is gone in minutes. (my machine?) Seems like the sand moves very quickly out from under your feet as you wade through the water. Dad thinks that stuff sinks in the sand so quickly that it's difficult to detect before it's too deep to find. True?

2. Where is the most productive area of the water? We watch the swimmers, and see many adults moving out past the trough into the sand bar that's about 100 yards from shore (varies). We have hunted this trough before, and the sandbars, but still found nothing. (A few years ago, I did locate a wedding ring for a man who had just lost it, gave it back to him, and he gave me $20 But that was our only gold anything.

3. What is the 'cut' and is there one on Lake Michigan beaches? Is the 'cut' where the waves cut into the sand and create a 6" to 1 1/2 foot hump just above the wet sand on the beach? Is that were we should be hunting?

4. Do we need a better machine? (Tiger Shark, etc.)

As you can see, having never found much of anything of value, I'm at a loss on how to improve our chances of success. I'll admit that other than this week's hunting each year, we don't do much else in terms of water hunting, but, given 30+ years of metal detecting experience, I'm pretty confident that my skills with the machine are adequate.

Thanks in advance for any help!
You are doing everything right except finding holes in the sand to hunt. In the big lakes you have to pretty much forget about finding fresh drops and you have to try to find an area where the sand is shallow enough over the clay or gravel hardpan to hear targets.

If you are hitting quarters, nickels and those pyramid surf sinkers you are in an area that could hold gold rings. If you are hitting zinc pennies, dimes and light sheet iron you are not.

Get this book it will help you more than anything we could tell you. Good Luck! You are hunting one of the most difficult enviornments there is to water hunt.

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Beneath-W...eath+the+waves

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  #4  
Old 07-09-2013, 05:40 PM
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Just a quick note... all the gold I have found this year has been in thigh deep water or shallower!

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  #5  
Old 07-09-2013, 05:44 PM
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Welcome to the forum from the east coast of MI!!

I would offer you some tips but I suck at water hunting! LOL..

<*)))>{

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Old 07-09-2013, 06:15 PM
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Irons is 100% right on right down to the book he suggested. I have hunted the Great Lakes and the only beaches I had any success on were beaches where sand had moved. Nice pristine soft sand beaches, all I found was campfire nuggets and a few pennies.

We spent 3 months traveling the entire Lakeshore Drive from Niagara Falls all the way to MN. We stayed longer in a few spots because terrible weather came in and waited to see if any sand would move. Those were the only beaches I was successful at.

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  #7  
Old 07-09-2013, 06:34 PM
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Watch Chicago Ron's videos on YouTube, they hunt Lake Michigan with a lot of success. If you look closely, you will be able to see the type of areas that they hunt (low spots, as mentioned above).

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  #8  
Old 07-09-2013, 06:54 PM
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I use the people gauge before I even consider getting wet.

Kids playing knee deep 25 to 50 yards offshore = forget it.

Adults waist deep 10 - 15 yards from shore = possible targets.

Another gauge is the bikini gauge. Flatbellies walk out into the water just deep enough to pee.
Then they wave their arms, point at stuff and generally act like they are not peeing.

Groups of bikini's standing around way off shore = sanded in.

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Last edited by Irons; 07-09-2013 at 07:53 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2013, 09:41 PM
mikenannie mikenannie is offline
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Thanks for the information everyone.

Irons, I ordered the book you recommended and should have it on thursday, thanks.

Not sure I understand your last comment though? Maybe it will make sense after I read the book?
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2013, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenannie View Post
Thanks for the information everyone.

Irons, I ordered the book you recommended and should have it on thursday, thanks.

Not sure I understand your last comment though? Maybe it will make sense after I read the book?
If the water is deep right next to shore there is a good chance enough sand has moved out for you to be able to hear targets.

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  #11  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:38 AM
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I hunted lake Michigan ONCE. Found a nice gold ring that day also. The sand is crazy deep where I was. Do not find it that way on my side of the lake mostly.

I used my CZ-21. Are you finding coins and sinkers? I would venture to say that if you are finding sinkers, you just haven't got your coil over any gold.

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  #12  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:59 AM
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I got no clue how deep a BHID goes in fresh water? Might want to make you a test garden with play sand and just bury some items and water the sand. Then do your ground balance to see how deep it goes. Then try it out of balance. Also you need to see the difference between depth in pinpoint and disc. May be a huge difference in fresh water? If a BHID isn't finding it,i don't think a Tigershark is gonna help you any. If you don't get your coil over it, you'll never dig it. Unless it's by accident.

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  #13  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenannie View Post
Thanks for the information everyone.

Irons, I ordered the book you recommended and should have it on thursday, thanks.

Not sure I understand your last comment though? Maybe it will make sense after I read the book?
When you receive Jim's book, do read the chapter "Running and Gunning" That really plays a big part in the GL.

Also when I hunted the East side of MI, it was really depressed because all of the auto industries shut down. I think everyone sold their gold to survive. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't find anything on the East side either. But there sure have some beautiful beaches on that side.

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  #14  
Old 07-10-2013, 09:49 PM
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Items can and do sink quickly to oblivion in the deep/soft sand.


One of the big keys to east and southeast Lake Michigan hunting is studying sand movements at the various places you plan to hunt. Throw in a little people behavior studying in there also.


Figuring out what happens, why it happens and timing it so you get to the right spot to hunt at the right time helps alot.
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