Is Magnet Fishing Legal?

Is Magnet Fishing Legal?
Is Magnet Fishing Legal?

Over the years, a lot of people have decided to take fishing to a whole new level.

One way they do this is by partaking in an activity known as magnet fishing or magnetic fishing. Just remember that this doesn’t actually have anything to do with fish. Instead, you’re going to be searching for something far more valuable.

Nevertheless, a lot of people are worried that it might be illegal.

There are no laws whatsoever that state magnetic fishing is illegal. However, you have to be careful about choosing the right location. If you do magnet fish on private property, there is a good chance that you’re going to get yourself into trouble.

To avoid such problems, you should get in touch with the landowner first! Make sure it is okay for you to magnet fish on their land. You may want to refer to the local laws in your city too. They may require you to get a special permit or license.

What Is Magnet Fishing?

Magnet Fishing in A Lake

Now, you should learn exactly what magnet fishing is. When you hear the term fishing, you’re immediately going to think about fish swimming in the water. This is not the case here. Instead, it is something completely different.

You’re not going to be fishing for fish at all. Again, you’re going to be hunting for something much more valuable. As the name suggests, you’re going to be using a magnet. Your magnet will be your bait and not a worm.

When the high powered magnet is tossed into the water, there is always a chance that you’re going to retrieve something. The activity is very similar to fishing. The only difference is that you’re looking for metal objects beneath the water’s surface.

Some people believe that this might be illegal. After all, you’re going to be retrieving magnetic items from the water and those items may have belonged to someone in the past. Well, there are no laws that state magnet fishing is illegal.

Magnet Fishing Laws

Before getting too far in, you should familiarize yourself with the laws regarding magnet fishing. In the United States, there are actually no laws whatsoever. To date, no states have put measures in place to prevent Americans from fishing with magnets.

However, some people from other countries aren’t going to be so lucky. In the United Kingdom, the Canal & River Trust does not allow magnet fishing. They consider it to be extremely dangerous.

The law states that you cannot dredge or removal coal or other materials from any canal. With that being said, it is somewhat risky to fish in this manner in the United Kingdom.

If you’re going to risk it, it is best to stick on private property. Magnet fishing is something that should never take place on land managed by the Canal & River Trust.

Tips For Remaining Legal

Now, you should understand that things can easily go wrong along the way. For instance, you might collect something that could be considered illegal. If this happens, you need to act according.

First and foremost, you should put safety first. Take steps to ensure that you and others are going to be protected to the fullest. If you discover guns, bombs, or other items that could be used as weapons, it is pertinent to report them to the authorities right away.

At the same time, it is pertinent to care for the environment. If you find something and do not want it, you should still take it with you. Never throw it back into the water.

Also, it is a good idea to get permission for attempting to fish on someone’s land. Otherwise, you could be trespassing and you might get yourself into big trouble.

Finally, make sure that you follow all laws in your area. If you do not, you’re just asking for trouble.

Do You Need Permission?

Many people do not understand that they need permission for magnet fishing. However, this is sometimes true, but not always. In some cases, you will not need permission whatsoever.

It really depends on the current situation. If you’re going to be fishing on your own land, you can basically do whatever you want. In the United States, you can magnet fish on public land as well.

However, there are several instances when you’re going to run into gray areas. For instance, you may end up deciding to fish in a pond three blocks from your house.

In this type of situation, you’ll need to get permission first. In the United Kingdom, you need permission pretty much every single time.

In the UK, you can only fish without permission if you’re doing so on your own land. Otherwise, you should get authorization in advance.

Can You Collect Coins?

A lot of people are interested in magnet fishing because they want to collect valuable coins. Well, you are in luck. Some coins are indeed magnetic. However, there are some that are not magnetic at all. If you’re fishing in the United States, you’re not going to find many valuable coins.

After all, quarters, nickels, and other coins in the United States are not magnetic. In other countries, the coins are indeed magnetic. This is the case for Canada. You’ll also be able to fish for coins in Brazil and England.

If you’re the type of individual who loves collection old coins, you should definitely try your hand at magnet fishing. With a little luck, you’ll retrieve a few valuable coins from the water.

Either way, there are no laws in the United States that say you cannot collect coins in this manner. So, if you manage to fish them out of the water, you should definitely keep them.

Can You Fish For Gold?

Many people believe that gold is magnetic. This is not actually the case. In reality, true gold is not going to be magnetic at all. Therefore, you’re not going to be able to fish for 24k gold watches and rings.

However, there is a chance that you’ll be lucky enough to catch some 14k and 18k gold jewelry. After all, this type of gold is not pure gold. It has been mixed with other metals before the jewelry was made.

Therefore, the other material that was used may very well be magnetic. If this is the case, you’ll be able to fish for it when you head out to the water.

This is really one of the best things about magnetic fishing. You just never know what you’re going to find out there. It could be something amazing or it might be a dud. Either way, the experience will be enjoyable from start to finish.

Again, there are no laws saying you cannot keep the gold you fish out of the water. However, things might be a little different in Canada and the United Kingdom. Therefore, you should check with the laws in your specific area before moving forward.

What Can’t You Keep?

Ultimately, it is up to you what to keep and what to toss. However, there are some items that should never be kept.

For instance, you should report weapons and potentially dangerous items. Some items are thrown into lakes and streams after crimes have been committed.

If you find anything of the sort, you should report it to the authorities immediately! If you do not, you could wind up being charged as an accessory.

What Magnets Can You Use?

The activity of magnet fishing is somewhat unregulated in the United States. Therefore, there are really no laws telling you what magnets you can and cannot use. If you want to make the most out of the experience, you should definitely use the strongest magnets you can possibly find.

There are certain magnets that are capable of lifting 750 pounds or more. This means that you can lift bicycles and other items right out of the water. Nevertheless, you probably won’t be strong enough to pull out some of the heaviest items.

You would need special equipment for that. Still, you’ll definitely want to use a strong magnet that is actually capable of attracting and hauling in those heavier items.

Doing so will make your day so much more enjoyable and profitable in the long run.

Stay Legal And Be Successful

If you really want to be successful, you need to know what you’re doing in advance. Otherwise, you may end up wasting your time out there on the water. To get started, you need to make sure that you have permission.

Speak with the property owner and make sure it is okay for you to magnet fish on their property. If you’re on your own property, this is something that you can ignore. After that, you should refer to the tips below.

  • Location, Location – First, you need to make sure that you choose a good location. Many times, people are going to throw stuff into the water. If you want the greatest chance of striking it big, you should choose an area that experiences heavy traffic.
  • Protect Yourself – Ultimately, you have to go above and beyond to protect yourself. Make sure that you wear gloves and other protective equipment. This is the best way to ensure that the experience is going to be enjoyable and safe.
  • Use Suitable Rope – Since you’re going to be lifting heavy objects from the water, you need to make sure that your rope or fishing line will hold up. Choose the stronger line you can to avoid potential problems.
  • Use A Good Knot – Finally, you need to make sure that you’re using a good knot. Check it once and check it again. If the knot isn’t up to par, you’re going to lose your treasure! Make sure it isn’t going to loosen.

Some people have mastered the art of magnet fishing. They’ve become immensely effective at it. There is no doubt that you want to do the same. Well, you need to get comfortable with the basics first.

Then, it is just a matter of experience. Take your time and enjoy the activity. As long as you can do that, you can guarantee that your time is going to be well spent.


Ultimately, fishing with magnets is definitely very fun and exciting. With a little luck, your adventure might even be profitable. Nevertheless, you have to understand that there are gray areas surrounding magnet fishing.

Before doing it, you should make sure that you’re not going to end up getting into trouble. Familiarize yourself with your local and federal laws.

Obey these laws to avoid turning your fun trip into a nightmare.


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