I had the pleasure to metal detect Daytona beach for a few days this summer. I had my GTI 2500 this year, last year I also made a trip to the beach and I used my Fisher 1280-X aquanaut.
Both machines are VLF type machines and neither worked in the wet salt sand. I tried all sorts of settings on the GTI like salt elimination mode and lowering the sensitivity. I also tried the trick of swinging the coil several inches above the ground to minimize the effects of the mineralized soil. Although, I could get the GTI 2500 to work in wet sand everything I did severally limited its depth. At least, that’s what I think was going on, I wasn’t successfully in finding many targets in the wet sand and when I did they were normally right on top of the ground! I would walk for an hour and maybe find one or two targets. The dry sand was another story, so keep reading.
I also lost a day to weather and the entire day was spent inside because of thunderstorms almost the entire day. In addition, our trip was cut short when my father-in-law passed away and we headed home a day early.
Once I figured out VLF machines are terrible in wet salty sand, I detected only the dry sand at the top of the beach. What’s great about Daytona is the fact that cars and pick-up trucks are allowed on the beach, so there is plenty of activity everywhere on the beach. Also anything dropped in the dry sand is instantly lost, where items dropped in the compact wet sand are visible until the surf consumes them. So, the dry sand has a lot of potential for great finds and here are my finds for between 4-8 hours of metal detecting Daytona beach FL:
A pulse type machine such as the White’s TDI beachhunter is the way to go in salt water beaches. Pulse machines are completely unaffected by mineralization including wet salt. They don’t offer discrimination, but the White’s TDI beachhunter does offer two tones (low and high) based on the setting of the pulse delay which can be used as rough discrimination.
As you can see I didn’t find any gold this trip, but I had a great time and my wife would join me so that was big plus too. Metal detecting Daytona is fun, great exercise and I did find a few junk jewelry items. Not everyone wears 14kt gold, but I did find gold in spending time with my family and enjoying what life gives us.