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  #1  
Old 01-06-2010, 09:18 PM
Drosera Drosera is offline
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Default Beach hunting in Northern California

I'm new to metal detecting but have the good fortune of living in a popular beach side community (Monterey, California). I'm hopeful that as I get better at using my machine (Garrett Ace 250) I'll have lots of success. But I need some beach hunting advice that may be specific to Northern CA or areas with similar beach conditions.

I've read that searching in the edge of the surf is one of the best places to look for good finds. I assume this is because people play around in the water and rings, earrings, etc. slip off and are lost. Those of you that have been to the Pacific Ocean, especially north of the Los Angeles area, may know that the water is pretty darn cold (mid-50s pretty much year-round). This means that even when the beaches are packed fewer people actually go swimming in the water than you would expect in Florida, Hawaii, or even Southern CA.

That being said, is the surf zone still the ideal area to search? There are a lot of beaches for me to search here and there is no way I could cover the whole thing. So I need some sort of beach search strategy that maximizes my chances of discovering interesting finds. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated by this newbie!

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:31 PM
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Compass Compass is offline
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I'm just getting back into beach hunting now that I have a PI machine. Years ago when I was stationed at Mare Island I drove down to Santa Cruz after hearing about some mammoth storm generated waves. I remember having a pretty good day in the wet sand but I don't think that I found any gold that day. I think that you will do okay where you are at- you aren't that far north. There is a lot of information here that will help you but I think that the short answer may be for you to hit the wet sand at low tide after any storm or beach erosion. Sure, it's not Hawaii or Florida but you should be able find enough to keep you happy. Scan down and read the thread about Seabee Ron's Barber Half. HH!

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  #3  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:36 PM
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snf101480 snf101480 is offline
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You'll want to have the sensitivity set really low on the ACE 250 because you'll end up with lots of false signals. With the ACE the dry sand is what it's best for, I've had limited success with wet sand. If you don't turn down the sensitivity it goes nuts, if you do turn it down, you won't get as much depth but you'll find something if it's there. I've found only one ring in the wet sand and some coins, but the bulk of my finds and success at the beach was dry. Good luck, hope that info helped a bit.

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  #4  
Old 01-07-2010, 03:58 PM
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MetalMetal MetalMetal is offline
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You cant find anything on the beaches in Monterey

All kidding aside, I find plenty at the Asliomar, Carmel beach and by the Monterey beach hotel. I use a Garrett 1500 so I stick to the dry stuff, my machine goes nuts near the water.

I set mine to zero discrimination and keep the sensitivity low. lots of junk around the hotel area and where people build fires but lots of good stuff also.

Best of luck!
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2010, 11:30 PM
Drosera Drosera is offline
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Thanks for the replies and advice!

I guess from what I've heard (including what snf said) my detector is going to limit me to the areas that are not completely soaked anyway. I already found two men's rings in good shape so I must be doing something right, although I strongly suspect they are only worth a few bucks each as they probably aren't silver and the gems look fake.

Compass, I know I'm not that far north by California standards, the weather is warm enough to bring people out to the beach but the water is still cool enough that you don't get the sheer masses of people in the water that you do at a warm water beach!

Metal Metal, you sound like a local. The places you mention are high on my list of places to visit. Don't worry, there are thousands of people visiting miles of beaches, so there should be enough finds to go around!
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2010, 11:46 PM
mike_i mike_i is offline
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I'm south of you and I've been md'ing in the south orange county beach areas. I've only had my machine for a couple of months but I've spent a lot of time on the local beaches. I have yet to find anything in the wet sand. All of my beach finds were in the dry sand either where people lay out near the water or in the middle of nowhere. I have done pretty good around the life guard stations and volleyball court areas. I'm still looking forward to my first wet sand find.

Mike
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2010, 09:56 AM
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The wet sand and surf are usually the better places for good finds (although dry sand produces as well). Your machine will not do well in the wet salt sands (lots of screaming static). So you would likely miss deep signals if you pick them up at all in the wet. I used a similar machine several years ago (a loaner) and could not stand to be in wet sand.. it was just too much overload on the ears. HH RickO

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  #8  
Old 01-09-2010, 06:45 PM
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SeabeeRon SeabeeRon is offline
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Hey, welcome from across the bay in Santa Cruz!!
I got a PI machine so I could better hunt the wet sand, shallow water areas, but I had great luck with my Bounty Hunter in the dry stuff. I now have a MXT which also works well in the dry over here, a little noisey though.
They are always finding old silver over your way on Del Monte beach when the swells take the sand out along the dunes. I have yet to hunt over your way, one of these days we'll have to hook up! Again, WELCOME!!

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  #9  
Old 12-30-2010, 01:49 PM
coloradorainbow coloradorainbow is offline
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Default Diamond Rings

I started metal detecting in the 90's and the BEST place to beach detect is Santa Monica. We found 3 diamond rings in an hour right close to the pier. For those that are just starting out where they lay their towels and take off their precious rings so they won't lose them in the water is on the towel and they forget they put them there and shake it and there it goes in the dry sand. The best time is after a holiday and all have cleared out. And it is well lite in that area so you can detect at night. Just have a good non rust scoop and away you go. I had a fischer and my X had a PI. The PI is what found the rings. Also used to dredge up in Sacramento area for gold, but I enjoy the metal detecting on the beach as it's so much easier. I moved to Colorado so it has been awhile since I have detected, but going to move back to CA. Comments welcome.
Vik
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2010, 05:38 PM
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Burbank Bob Burbank Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradorainbow View Post
I started metal detecting in the 90's and the BEST place to beach detect is Santa Monica. We found 3 diamond rings in an hour right close to the pier. For those that are just starting out where they lay their towels and take off their precious rings so they won't lose them in the water is on the towel and they forget they put them there and shake it and there it goes in the dry sand. The best time is after a holiday and all have cleared out. And it is well lite in that area so you can detect at night. Just have a good non rust scoop and away you go. I had a fischer and my X had a PI. The PI is what found the rings. Also used to dredge up in Sacramento area for gold, but I enjoy the metal detecting on the beach as it's so much easier. I moved to Colorado so it has been awhile since I have detected, but going to move back to CA. Comments welcome.
Vik
I hunt Santa Monica constantly. Not as good as it once was and the city has been dragging the beach a lot.

Still do OK there.

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  #11  
Old 12-30-2010, 09:16 PM
Drosera Drosera is offline
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Weird to see my old post resurface. I'm in Southern California now and I have a lot more beach experience under my belt although I'm still a novice compared to the long time beach hunters.

I've been to Santa Monica several times over the past few months. It has a lot of potential, but I've yet to get a good find there. Just like anywhere you need to hit it on the right day or just get lucky.

I'm starting to think that the beaches south of Palos Verdes may be consistently the best. At the very least there are some REALLY good hunters down there as I hear far more about good finds there than I do north of PV or in "my" territory, the Malibu coast.
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