Magnet fishing involves dropping a strong Neodymium magnet attached to a rope into a river, creek, lake or other body of water. The magnet can find and recover things like jewelry (if it contains iron), weapons, bicycles, and more.
It’s an exciting experience to find something that’s been hidden for a long time, and if it’s made of ferrous material, which means it’s made with iron, a Neodymium magnet will find it. That includes things made with steel, cast iron, wrought iron, cobalt and alloy steel.
If you plan on magnet fishing in the ocean, do it off a pier or along the coast. Beaches are the most popular vacation destination, which means lots of people! And the more people there are, the more likely you are to find dropped treasures.
Remember that magnets will only pick up ferrous things. You won’t find gold or silver, just things made with iron. Some non-U.S. coins are ferrous, and the American penny is, too.
How to Magnet Fish
Once you’ve selected your location, set up all your gear. You’ll need your magnet, a long rope and a pair of gloves. The gloves will keep the rope from hurting your hands, and will also prevent you from getting cut or poked by the metal items you recover. Nobody wants to go magnet fishing and come home with Tetanus.
There are different methods for magnet fishing. The up and down method involves throwing the magnet into the water and not dragging it. Just drop it in and lift it up.
The throw and pull method involves throwing the magnet out as far as you can, then pulling it back in. If there are people out swimming, this probably isn’t the best way. It could work well for you in the off season, though!
To use the throw, pull and walk method, throw the magnet in, then take a walk along the coast as you drag the magnet along.
Other hobbyists prefer the “hop” method. That avoids dragging the magnet and instead drops the magnet in, lifts it up, and sets it back down just a few inches away.
Where to Go
If you magnet fish just a few feet off the coastline, you’ll hit areas that most people with metal detectors miss. Consider swimming out to a sandbar, too, and magnet fishing from there!
Take a walk around a fishing pier and drag your magnet around as you go. You’ll find a few things, even if it’s just old fishing gear. Watch out for fishermen and avoid getting your magnet tangled in their lines.
Check the depth before you start fishing to make sure your line is long enough to reach the ocean floor.
You could also magnet fish from a boat as your cruise over the water. This can get tricky though. Watch out for ocean dumping sites, reefs, and even sunken ships. Your magnet could quickly get attached to larger pieces of metal and become impossible to remove. Don’t do this in a metal boat, either.
While most people metal detect at the beach, magnet fishing can be a lot of fun, too. You’ll recover different types of things than a metal detector would, and it’s cheaper! A metal detector will find more coins and jewelry in the ocean and along the coast, but a magnet can go further into the sea if you don’t have a waterproof detector.