Dry beach hunting Galveston Texas on Stewart beach – Labor day
Metal detecting the dry beach is a lot of fun and quite productive. Last year in the month of July I found jewelry and over one hundred dollars in coins. We hunted about three times a week for two or three hours and we learned a lot about analyzing a beach. When I took my detector to the beach for the first time I did not know how to hunt a beach, when to hunt the beach, or where to hunt. The best months this year have been June and July (June we found over $80 in coins and jewelry). I want to give you some ideas and perhaps save you some time at the beach. I will write on water and wet sand hunting at a later date and just concentrate on the dry sand for now.
Most of the hunters I watch on the beach don’t find much and don’t hunt frequently. For the most part they walk the waters edge and leave the dry sand alone. If you are faced with miles of beach and don’t know where to hunt it you will have to watch the weekend or holiday activities and begin in these areas. Sometimes there are surprises like the huge hotels along the beach where you would expect all of the affluent people to drop the coins and jewelry is not all that good. The cheap beach where the guy with six kids and the old Ford car may be a better beach. The beach umbrella’s may not appear on that beach because these people won’t pay that kind of money but it seems that there are more coins on these beaches.
Look for the hot dog stands where folks walk away with a hand full of coins. Watch the trails that people walk and the stairway down to the beach. People seem to either walk along the waters edge or higher in the sand more or less in the same paths and everywhere that there is a stairway or entrance to the beach is good.
The lifeguard stands are good under them for coins and around them for jewelry (where the girls rub on oil to tease the lifeguard). The very best place to hunt is about twenty five feet above the high water level. Too far away from this area and the finds drop off rapidly. At the back of the beach in the deep dry sand look for flat rocks or logs where people either sit or lay their valuables while they swim. Hunt in all metal mode (if you can) and dig everything. If you do not find coins on the beach then forget jewelry! They seem to go together and many beaches are metal detected and the presence of coins will indicate whether to hunt or not. When you hunt down a new beach keep hunting if you at least pick up pennies fairly frequently and try another beach if you don’t.
Keep a record of the finds on each segment of beach and you will notice strangely enough that there are only certain stretches of beach where you will find the goodies. Continue to return to these beaches until the crowds stop coming. If it is very hot weather then hunt at dawn because the crowds are gone and the other guys that hunt the beach may come later in the day. If you are lucky enough to find a good beach then take it foot by foot and extract as much as you can. Anywhere that anyone can sit down may be a place to look for jewelry because I think it is when they are rubbing on the sun tan oil that they loose the rings and earrings. Look around areas where there is evidence where people have been sitting or laying down like cigarettes or paper trash.
If you are the first to the beach in the morning look for wadded up paper money. At night people sit along the beach and the wadded up money falls out for the enterprising treasure hunter to find in the morning. The beaches that are farther from the highways and that are frequented by locals and not the vacationing people who generally go down to the beach in front of their hotel are sometimes better for jewelry.
The best way to dig these targets is a sand scoop with 1/2 inch galvanized wire. I built my own and it works great! Pickup all of the pulltabs on the beaches that you frequent and then the next time it will be much easier to hunt. If the sand is packed by either very high tide or rain showers then NOTHING will be lost until the beach can dry out and the sand must get dry and loose down several inches where dropped valuables disappear out of sight into the sand.
For the best beach metal detecting be at the beach just before dawn after a weekend or holiday and only hunt the best beaches. Labor day is coming up very soon and I have my fingers crossed that the weather will be hot and dry and the crowds big. I will hunt every day following that until the goodies are all mopped up because I don’t expect to hunt dry sand much until next year after that.
When you get a reading of a small target try lifting the coil a little to see if it disappears. Sometimes foil scraps will waste your time indicating a deep target but are lying just under the sand. Have fun while you can because winters on the way!