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  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default Florida Detecting And Reality

For those of you who think detecting in Florida is so good then please read on.

I have just finished a road trip to visit family and detect some gulf beaches. The reason for this post is to clarify the realities of finding gold jewelry and the conditions on the beaches for those of you who are new. The old timers know what I am saying.

During my trip I hunted the following beaches: Clearwater, Sand Key, Indian Rocks, Maderia Beach, St. Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille, Ft. Desoto (both beaches), Howard Beach and Dunedin Beach. I spent many hours water hunting and dry sand too. I had a good time but absolutely NO GOLD. My totals were 2 silver rings, one silver toe ring, a frog bracelet, several pieces of junk jewelry. I did manage about $25 in clad and a 5 dollar bill. The conditions in Jacksonville are the same.

Total silver melt of my finds are less than $20. Add that to the clad my total is $45. I spent $18 in entry fees to hunt and probably $35 in fuel. Lucky for me I did not pay at Clearwater to park. CDV showed me a free parking spot and I was lucky to get one, otherwise I would be another $15 in the negative.

Conditions of all beaches is sanded in. One beach is not but digging there is torture. Some beaches I found a few pennies and canslaw. Of course they say beaches change quick but I have not seen that. A popular web site that centers around the Treasure Coast beaches rates the conditions daily. I have not seen his rating go above a two (5 being best) in a year.

So, the moral of the story is this is a HOBBY. You might find some goodies and that will make your day but not often. I will keep digging because I enjoy the hobby. As long as you understand that finds are tough then you will be OK. Otherwise your detector will grow cobwebs in the closet due to frustration. A recent post by another hunter asked if he could expect to pay for his motel room during the week he was going to hunt. This shows that he has not grasped the reality. Buying a $2400 machine is not going to change a thing. Good luck on your hunts! Summer is coming, maybe the beach will cooperate but only mother nature knows.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:59 AM
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I went to Florida 5 years ago for the first time. 3 weeks and 4 different condo's on beaches. I found a total of 688 coins and one gold ring. I hunted at least 12 hours a day. I didn't find any cuts in the sand but had a lot of fun.

I did manage one wheat penny on land but didn't find one piece of silver.

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:08 AM
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I remember that ornate silver ring with the marble last week. Very cool.

Nothing could be closer to truth. The beaches on the left coast are sanded too. Im still looking for 1) that beach where others haven't hunted as much and 2) a spot where erosion has stripped the beach so I can experience digging the hard pan.

Every time someone asks me what I find, I always tell them I dig a lot of trash, get a buck or two in coin, and if I'm lucky I get a piece of silver or gold. When their eyes light up I remind them that the melt value of a nice silver ring is just a few bucks and no one is getting rich doing this. The two pieces of gold I found WERE less than $50 each in melt value... now even less. What I find interesting are the foreign coins and ornate jewelry like that ring of yours.

Pay for your detector in a day? Maybe one day... if you're lucky. I dug enough clad in my first year to pay for my detector, but gas, car maintenance, and batteries? Not a chance. Lucky for me, I park for free.

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:44 AM
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IMA, very good post. What everyone is looking for on most FL beaches was gone 5+ years ago. Hunting will NEVER be like it once was, however detector sales and detecting vacation for FL continue to increase. The golden pie can only be sliced so thin to where there is not much to go around. A few crumbs now and then, as you just found with the number of beaches you hunted. Just my opinion, for my area, and what it use to be like.

When we traveled northeast last year, I was amazed at the number of targets on the beaches up there. Here I can hunt a week and not dig that many targets as a 4 hour hunt up there.

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  #5  
Old 04-17-2013, 11:45 AM
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You are right as rain. I hunt up and down gulf coast beaches because I live here. I put time in Parks and other places as well. You will not get rich here! I have some good finds but if it was a job I would make .12cents an hour. Come enjoy our beaches but dont expect to get rich.

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:50 AM
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Days like these you have to have lady luck on your side. i've tried everything in the book and then some. The water is so bad if you watch to see where the Pelicans are using an upwards draft to glide in formation as written in the book "Gold beneath the waves" you'll be hunting up in the dunes! Older heavy stuff has all but disappeared. The couple bright spots i had can't even be reached with a PI machine right now. Bad to wish for nasty weather. But that is what we need. We didn't even have any winter storms. Never saw the bluebottle jellyfish, seaweed, or seabeans all winter. When will it get better? If you are impatient detecting can break you hunting beaches. Detect for beach clean up and you may be rewarded with a fresh drop.

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Old 04-17-2013, 12:09 PM
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Yep, after 10 days away to Colorado, I hit the beach and water last night with high hopes only to quickly be brought back to earth. Best and biggest find was a boat skeg to an I/O drive and it was to big for the pouch so no pics.

Bleak isn't a good enough adjective!

Cliff
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:29 PM
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Florida seems similar to California beaches except for one thing. In the winter we get huge swells, that pull a ton of sand out to the hard pan. In Florida you don't seem to get those huge waves constantly during the winter, so you must wait for a hurricane. You would think that us in Ca clean up in the winter because of exposed hardpan, but the hardpan is exposed every year, so it has been cherry picked as well... and we only have about 100 years of American history around here, compared to 300+ years of history on the east coast.

But there is one huge plus in Florida, if your beaches do manage to get to the hardpan, there is the chance at finding some amazing treasures. Here in Ca, there aren't many spanish shipwrecks off shore...

Could always bring a bobcat onto the beach at midnight, and pull off a few feet of sand yourself.

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Old 04-17-2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Crumble View post
But there is one huge plus in Florida, if your beaches do manage to get to the hardpan, there is the chance at finding some amazing treasures. Here in Ca, there aren't many spanish shipwrecks off shore...
If we ever get erosion like you do then there are lots to be found. Most beaches here are replenished so we never see the bottom. When it gets thin the dredge pipes take care of that. I have noticed a lot of nice finds coming from your side. Even though the hard pan has been picked the sand is stirring. Here the beach is hard. No movement, just a long slope to the water.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:26 PM
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We also have a while before the kids are out of school and people hit the beach because of warmer weather. Bad spring break this year ..... colder weather and water and pushed in sand. This year should be interesting to see how many because of gold prices and the lack of finds on the beach give it up. Personally ..... i think people believe this is a real form of exercise and are going to stick with cleaning the dry sand at least. Not certain what its going to do for those that want to travel 2 hours or more to get to a beach..... only to find out there isnt a thing there. Do that for a week or so and pay for gas that should damper your detecting desire. I love the hobby.... but much like buying those loto tickets dont bet the house on it making you a living. An occasional pretty piece to me is worth the time..... to others we shall see by summer time.

Dew

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Old 04-17-2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cdv View post
Yep, after 10 days away to Colorado, I hit the beach and water last night with high hopes only to quickly be brought back to earth. Best and biggest find was a boat skeg to an I/O drive and it was to big for the pouch so no pics.

Bleak isn't a good enough adjective!

Cliff
I forgot about the silver necklace I found leaving CWB that night! Step Mom confiscated it. It still does not change the price to dig.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Crumble View post
In the winter we get huge swells, that pull a ton of sand out to the hard pan.
I got "Hairpin" last fall and was really looking forward to hunting this winter. We really didn't get many storms or the swells here. When we did get the swells, they were too far apart to make any difference and as a result, we were sanded almost all season. There were a few days during a low tide in January where I had some luck. I saw a few cuts over 2 foot in late February and March, but nothing to spit at. As opposed to So. Cal where someone posted photos of some really deep cuts, and had some good finds to go with it.

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:52 PM
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I feel for you guys. I really do. Id invite all of you to my location to help ease the pain, but there has never been a ship to sail, much less sink in these parts, and even if there was.....itd still be froze in. Haha wish i could get a pic loaded from my view just to show ya. it was snowing this morning. Ill be happy if i could just sit on my porch and find a cup of coffee that will stay hot long enough to swallow, while i dream of hunting in florida!! the grass truly is greener on the other side, especially when viewed from the roots.

Just my perspective from here..lol ..hope your luck changes tho

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Old 04-17-2013, 07:31 PM
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Man oh man. Not sure this post was started to discourage newcomers, or just depress everyone else. LOL if there's a shred of truth to any of this I really feel for you guys

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Old 04-17-2013, 07:33 PM
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I have to say my coffee stays hot at 5:30 AM setting at the edge of the pool..... i can sleep with the sliding doors open at night ..... i NEVER wear long pants or anything but flip flops and tee shirts. Im a slob..... and dont miss the cold at all. Im cranking up the AC as we speak.... Ooooo did i mention i can detect every day? Life is very very good.

Dew

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:03 PM
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I'll put it like this to the new guys reading this. If you can If you can recoup your cost for gas, batteries and parking fees it's a good day.
.
.
.
.
.
I have never had a good day.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:09 PM
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It's the same in every state and setting Iv detected in. As long as I can recoup some of my costs I'm happy. I usually break even at the End of every year. Between clad, gold, and silver, I usually come at least pretty close to breaking even. The key for me is to Take the time and sell my silver jewelry at jewelry prices and not scrap. What other hobby can you recoup part of your expenses? I never make anything going fishing, at least once or twice a year I have a great day Detecting

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by stiggy View post
I feel for you guys. I really do. Id invite all of you to my location to help ease the pain, but there has never been a ship to sail, much less sink in these parts, and even if there was.....itd still be froze in. Haha wish i could get a pic loaded from my view just to show ya. it was snowing this morning. Ill be happy if i could just sit on my porch and find a cup of coffee that will stay hot long enough to swallow, while i dream of hunting in florida!! the grass truly is greener on the other side, especially when viewed from the roots.

Just my perspective from here..lol ..hope your luck changes tho
You have an advantage. Nobody has wiped the beaches clean during the winter. There are targets there waiting. Here they guys are on the beach all the time. Another thing to remember, there are only a few beaches that are shipwreck beaches. They are south of Cape Kennedy only.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:05 PM
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That's a pretty accurate explanation...
Even if the beaches are packed, if conditions are off than it can be bad also... But it's those times when all the fluff is gone and the bottom is nice and hard that make up for it...

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Old 04-17-2013, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by imalookin2 View post
You have an advantage. Nobody has wiped the beaches clean during the winter. There are targets there waiting. Here they guys are on the beach all the time. Another thing to remember, there are only a few beaches that are shipwreck beaches. They are south of Cape Kennedy only.
Im not complaining. Just thought we were telling war stories. Throw that rv in road gear and take a turn on this ice chissel while i split some more firewood for the coffee pot. Theres plenty of items to find up this way

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