What kind of fishing doesn’t look for fish? Magnet “fishing” is a type of treasure hunting fit for everyone in the family, including those who don’t care to handle bait or live fish. You’ll never know what you can catch until you try.
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Wait A Minute, Magnet Fishing?
When magnet fishing, you never have to be concerned with losing a lure or with a fish breaking your line and getting away. Of course, this is due to the fact that magnet fishing doesn’t require you to use lures, bait, or even fish in order to attract what you are trying to catch. No, your catch of the day will be caught using a rope and a very powerful magnet.
Throughout the years, many people have accidentally lost or purposefully discarded metal goods into rivers, creeks, lakes and streams. These metal items include bicycles, coins, tire rims, guns, and safes. Hunting for lost and discarded metal items has long been a hobby of people the world over. It’s not at all uncommon to see someone strolling along a beach or through a wooded path, metal detector in hand, hoping to find some new treasure.
Magnet fishing is just that, only without the use of the metal detector. Instead, you will drag a powerful magnet along the bed of the body of water, searching for metal treasure for you to bring up to the surface. People who pursue this hobby have “caught” many interesting things. Magnet fishing finds range from golf clubs and arrowheads through to old coins and antique military helmets.
If this is something that sounds interesting to you, keep reading our magnet fishing guide to learn more about how to get started magnet fishing.
What Do You Need To Start?
If you’ve decided you fancy giving magnet fishing a crack, there are a few simple things you need.
Since the whole point of magnet fishing is using a magnet to find various sunken treasures, a magnet is evidently a must. You should choose a strong magnet with an eyebolt to thread the rope through.
While there are many magnets available, the best kind is a neodymium magnet. These are made from rare earth metals and are extremely powerful.
A rope is another necessary piece of magnet fishing equipment. You need this to retrieve your magnet or the metal it catches.
Look for a strong rope made from either nylon or paracord. You’ll want to find a rope that can handle quite a bit more weight than the magnet, so it’s plenty strong enough to bring up both the magnet and the treasure you hopefully find.
Yet another mandatory item in your equipment box, a good, solid pair of work gloves is a must. You’ll obviously want gloves that will keep your hands dry and clean, but also look for some that are resistant to being cut through. Old waterlogged metal is often rusted out and sharp, and you don’t want to get any cuts while you’re on the treasure trail.
Buckets, Cans or Boxes
These are optional, but you definitely want somewhere to place any items you retrieve so you don’t end up misplacing them. Consider keeping buckets of various sizes with your magnet fishing equipment so you can easily sort any items you bring up from the water.
A few other things that aren’t exactly necessary but you might want to have on hand are some cleaning cloths, both to clean yourself as well as to wipe off any of your treasures for closer inspection.
Hand sanitizer is another worthwhile item to keep in your kit. You will definitely get messy while magnet fishing, and having a way to kill off bacteria and germs will keep you safe.
A pair of scissors or a small knife can be good to have on hand as well. Your rope could get tangled in fishing line or brush, and having a way to cut it free could prove invaluable. A decent tackle box could also be beneficial, to keep your tools in order.
Where to Go Magnet Fishing
You must be aware of local laws governing bodies of water where you want to magnet fish. There might be rules regarding what you are allowed to keep from what you pull out of the water, or if you are even allowed in the area at all. To avoid trouble, always get permission from the relevant authority before setting off for a day magnet fishing.
Once you have permission, rivers and lakes can be great areas to magnet fish. People might have dropped things from the side of a boat accidentally or gone to intentionally throw things into the water so that they could get rid of them.
When scouting for an area to fish, look for somewhere with plenty of pedestrian traffic. In a spot with lots of people coming and going, there’s more chance things will have been dropped or forgotten.
Also look for any areas with historical significance. There might be a spot on the shore where families used to gather but no longer do. You might be lucky and find long forgotten treasures in places like this.
Another great place to go magnet fishing is on a beach. Fishermen, families on vacation, and people walking their dogs are all likely to leave things in their wake over the years. Search near piers and drag any shallow waters.
What Can You Find?
Magnet fishing can be a truly exhilarating hobby! You might feel as though you are looking for sunken treasure, and in some ways, you are. Magnet fishers have unearthed some incredible things, and you could, too.
Some people have found things like car wheels and washing machine tubs. Generally, the metal you find will be seemingly useless scrap that will be of no value or interest to you.
You can often find interesting things such as old tools or keys, musket balls from wars long ago or someone’s lost phone or wedding ring. Some magnet fishers in Germany have claimed that they found helmets and weapons from World War II.
Don’t expect to find gold and silver, at least not on its own. The magnets used in magnet fishing only have the ability to pull up ferromagnetic metals, and gold and silver do not belong to this family of metal.
That’s not to say you will never find them, however. Often, if gold or silver are in the water it’s because they were deliberately placed there, and they will be in a container of some sort. If the container has metal in or on it and your magnet is strong enough, it’s likely you will pull them up. Also, a gold locket might not come up on its own, but if it’s suspended on a chain of ferromagnetic metal, it will be quite easily snared.
You can find coins, and these have a strong chance of being older. Today’s coins are not made with magnetic metals, but old coins were often made with iron and other metals that are easily attracted to the magnet.
It’s also possible that you will find weapons or ammunition. If you do come across anything like this, we recommend you try not to handle the gear too much, nor should you just leave it on the shore. Instead, you should call the police and let them handle the situation. Depending on how long they were submerged in the water, the weapons are likely useless, but you can never be too careful.
Cleaning Your Magnet Fishing Finds
Whatever you “catch” from the water’s bottom is likely to be covered in rust and filth. Often, these things have been submerged for so long that they can be nearly impossible to identify.
You want to safely clean your magnet fishing finds so that you know what you’ve got and can then enjoy your treasures fully. You can use a rub of salt with a squeeze of lemon juice, scrubbing it over the rusted areas. Let this soak for a bit and then scrub the juice and salt away with a scouring pad.
Alternatively, you could scrub the piece with a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix a paste and apply to the rusted area. Allow it to penetrate for a few hours before rinsing away.
Magnet fishing can be an enjoyable hobby for many people, so why give it a try. Once you’ve got the magnet fishing equipment that is necessary, it is easy to get started. Enjoy hunting for sunken treasure!