Metal Detecting Daytona Beach FL — Summer 2020

Trina, Taylor and I found a whopping memorial penny, a tent stake and a few trash items like foil, bottle caps and other typical beach trash on day one.

We did a little better on day 2. I found two quarters and two zinc pennies. Trina found a quarter and Taylor unfortunately struck out and we never found any of her targets. This year we were using my dad’s Garrett AT Max while detecting Daytona. Last year I was using my GTI 2500. To setup the AT Max for salt water beach detecting, I’ve been ground balancing the machine, turning the sensitivity down three notches and also turning down the threshold to negative six. The machine is fairly stable and a couple of the quarters were 6-8 inches deep, but most of the coins found are new drops. We did have numerous signals that might have been ghost signals. They read 81-82 or 40-45 on the meter and were very repeatable, but after digging about 12-15 inches, I gave up on the targets. I guess that could have cans or other trash super deep but I never found them, so we’ll never know.

The rest of our trip, I only went 2-3 more time with finds similar to day 2. On my last metal detecting excursion, I decided to try and eliminate the falsing from the salt water, so after ground balancing, I set the Iron Discrimination setting to maximum which is 44. My thinking was this setting would eliminate the falsing that was in the 40-45 range on the meter. The setting worked, no more falsing but I feel like I was definitely missing small gold (discriminating the signals out).

On my last hunt, I was working the dry sand and I was way on the south end of the beach. Near the life guard tower, I got a nice repeatable signal that read 45-47 on the Garrett AT Max. I bent over and retrieved the target on the first scoop, as I’m shaking out the sand I spot a gold colored chain sticking out one of the holes of the scoop. It turned out to be a men’s bracelet marked 14KT! Good finds always pop up when you least expect them!

Metal detecting finds using Garrett AT Max on Daytona Beach Summer 2020 (5-6 hours of metal detecting)

The AT Max seems to be a great VLF machine for beach hunting, but I think I need to get a good pulse induction machine to really hit it hard or metal detect directly in the ocean or salt water.

Metal detecting Daytona Beach FL summer 2019

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.