What is Magnet Fishing and How to Get Started?
Treasure hunters and fishing enthusiasts! Let’s dive into the world of magnet fishing, where the only bait you need is a hefty fishing magnet and some trusty magnet rope.
This isn’t your grandpa’s leisurely pastime. It’s a modern-day treasure-hunting game that involves tossing a magnet into bodies of water and hauling up whatever metallic objects are lurking below. Your catch of the day could be anything from rusty nails to lost wedding rings.
Fishing on a sunny day in your precious boat is one of the numerous pleasures of the outdoors.
You’re at peace, waiting for your catch, so you can head home and devour all that deliciousness.
Magnet fishing is pretty much the same. Just replace the yummy White Bass with a piece of rusted metal that’s either scrap or worth thousands. Not sure what I’m talking about? You’ve come to the right place.
But first things first, you’ll need the right magnet fishing tools to get started.
In this article, I’ll talk about magnet fishing – why it’s fun, how to do it, and more. So, read on!
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What’s It About?
Magnet fishing is a niche hobby for people who like to try their luck. You do it by tying a rope to a strong magnet and throwing it in the water, just like you’d do when fishing. The magnet will eventually find a metal object buried in the depths of the water, and that’s your catch.
Whether or not the metal object is any worth depends on your luck. You could find a catch worth hundreds and even thousands or end up with a rotten can.
Why Go Magnet Fishing?
While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, magnet fishing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here’s why you may want to try it out:
Gambling with Luck
Maybe you don’t have the pocket for trying your luck in Vegas. But if you have a knack for it, you can go for magnet fishing in the hope of finding some hidden treasures underwater.
Plus, you won’t even have to give up much money for it. Just buy a bunch of equipment, and that’s pretty much it.
You Like Boating
While you’re out in a boat with lots of time on your hands, you might as well give magnet fishing a go. Not only will you have an excuse to go boating, but you’ll also have a chance to catch something valuable, and make some cash.
A Good Cause
Every year, tons of metal is dumped into water bodies. This includes the stuff thrown out from boats and ships, which ends up polluting the water and poisoning a lot of aquatic life. While you can’t clean an entire river or lake, you can do your part by fishing out ferrous metals.
Think about it: you’re out in a beautiful lake, you’re having a good time, you have a chance at finding treasures, and you’re contributing to cleaning the waterbed. If exercised safely, what’s there to lose?
Not everyone finds antiques and treasures while magnet fishing. Sometimes all you’ll get is coins, nails, and other insignificant finds, and you’ll end up thinking, ‘Is this even worth it?’ But don’t get disheartened because patience is key.
If you find yourself losing hope at the sight of useless scraps of metal, consider all the instances in the past where people discovered hidden treasures, buried hundreds of years ago.
Here’s some motivation:
- In 2019, a 13-year-old kid, George Tindale, found several old grenades, knives, and guns, including an ancient pinfire revolver 1880. His finds were spread in different waterways in the UK.
- Also in 2023, a man found a WW1 artifact – a mortar grenade – while magnet fishing in the Grand River, Michigan.
- Other remarkable finds include a WW2 submachine-gun, which was found in Hungary, and a Civil war Cannonball in Leicester.
Remember: in the end, all that should matter is that you had a fun day out!
Where to Go Magnet Fishing?
While your finds mainly depend on your luck, it helps to fish in certain areas where you’re more likely to find exciting things. Here’s where you can try magnet fishing:
You’re more likely to find some hidden gems near a place with a rich history. For instance, you can Google a historic battle site in your region and any streams or rivers near it.
Even though your chances are low, if you do find something, it’s highly possible that it’s an old artifact, artillery, etc. Exciting, isn’t it?
Villages and Old Towns
Traveling to some old villages and towns for magnet fishing is a good idea. This is because it’s less likely someone else has previously fished here, leaving you with higher chances of finding some age-old stuff that’s waiting to be discovered.
Look up canals near populated areas. Do you live near one? It’s worth trying your luck in canals because so many people drop their stuff in there! Even if you don’t find anything, you can still enjoy a pleasant evening stroll near it.
Note: keep an eye out for drains, pipes, valves, etc. Your magnet can get stuck on these metal structures.
A commonplace for magnet fishing, footbridges can bring you some interesting finds. You can try the ones near a tourist attraction, where lots of people pass by each day. Or, you can go for a less frequently used footbridge, and try your luck in finding something no one has looked for before.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend going to a fishing dock near your area. You most probably won’t find anything valuable, but it’s suitable for practice.
Is Magnet Fishing Legal?
You’re probably wondering whether you need a license to go magnet fishing or if it’s even permissible in your area. The answer is not too easy, and it depends on where you live.
For the most part, no, you don’t need a license to go magnet fishing. But whether it’s legal depends on where you live. For instance, in the US, magnet fishing is a well-tolerated activity and is permitted in most states.
However, in the UK, there are some laws and restrictions for magnet fishers; for example, you’re only allowed to fish on private properties in some areas. In other places, magnet fishers are entirely prohibited from carrying out their activities.
Generally, though, magnet fishing is not illegal in most countries. Even so, do check with your state’s laws before going ahead with it.
Okay, now that you have some knowledge and background info about magnet fishing, it’s time to get moving. You can get into magnet fishing just buying a magnet but the best way is to buy a magnet fishing kit. If you’re serious about it, read on the steps below regarding supplies and methods to become a successful magnet fisher:
Gather Your Equipment
Here’s all you need to buy before you head out:
Any old magnet won’t work for this kind of job. You’ll have to get yourself a neodymium magnet, one of the strongest ones mankind knows of.
These magnets, specifically designed for magnet fishing, come in different sizes and pull forces. They start from 200 lbs and go up to 1200 lbs, but for beginners, I recommend 300-500lbs. With an eyebolt on top, you can easily tie them to a rope and pull heavy objects from underwater.
There are even some sizes of neodymium magnets that are suitable for kids, so they can safely enjoy magnet fishing as much as adults.
Of course, you need a flexible and robust rope for pulling up objects from underwater. A nylon rope or paracord makes an excellent choice. It’s super strong and abrasion-resistant, which is advantageous since you’ll be dealing with sharp, rusted objects.
The rope’s thickness depends on your preference. With a thin rope, it’ll be easier to tell if your magnet has stuck to something. However, a thicker rope is more comfortable to pull, so keep this in mind while making your purchase.
Lastly, decide on the rope length. If you’re planning to fish from a bridge, you’ll need a 100 feet long rope. For places like a fishing dock, 50 feet is more than enough.
You need something to hold whatever you pull out of the water. A large and sturdy plastic bucket will do, and it will also help carry all the heavy stuff. For small objects like hooks, nails, etc., you’ll want a separate bucket/container/box as they are sharp.
It’s essential that you buy yourself a pair of cut and abrasion-resistant safety gloves. Dealing with sharp rusted objects can be pretty dangerous, so it’s important to wear a thick pair of gloves before you touch such stuff.
Other Protective Gear
To be on the safe side, wear safety glasses. You never know what you’ll pull out from under the surface of the water. Plus, a pair of waterproof boots or shoes will help you a great deal, especially if the weather is cold.
Prepare the Equipment
Follow these steps before you head out into the water for a hassle-free experience:
- First off, apply some strong adhesive or sealant like Loctite, where the eyebolt attaches to the magnet. This will prevent it from loosening.
- Next, tie the rope to the magnet’s eyebolt using either a Palomar knot or a figure-eight knot.
- Wrap the rope around something cylindrical, like a bottle or a can, so it doesn’t get tangled.
How to Fish With Magnets
Ready to go on the treasure hunt? Below are some ways to effectively use your magnet to retrieve buried objects:
Throw and Pull
One of the more commonly used methods is the throw-and-pull action, which works well for lakes. Simply throw the magnet in the water as far as you want and pull it back, dragging the magnet towards yourself. If you’re lucky, the magnet will attach itself to something on its way back.
The downside? Your magnet could get lodged in something and get stuck. If this happens to you, try tugging and pulling in different angles to free the magnet.
Throw and Walk While Pulling
This method is ideal for canals and footbridges. Start by throwing the magnet into the water as far as you want, and walk alongside the canal or over the bridge, dragging the magnet with you. If you feel something, pull it back towards yourself.
In this technique, you want to avoid dragging the magnet. Throw the magnet vertically downwards into the water, unlike the previous methods, where you aimed far away and horizontally. If you don’t feel like it stuck to something, pull it out and plunge it in a few inches away from the first spot.
Your magnet is less likely to get stuck with this method, but you’ll need patience here since it doesn’t cover a lot of areas in one go.
What to Do With Your Findings
So you finally found something interesting? If you’re unsure of what to do with your finds, here’s a quick guide :
Grenades and Artillery
Exciting as it is to find a gun or grenade, you should NOT try to take it home with you. When it comes to guns, always call the police the first thing, and they’ll know what to do. The gun could be a murder weapon, and you don’t want to own that.
The same goes for grenades: the authorities will decide whether it’s safe. If it’s clear, they’ll probably let you take it home. From here, you can choose to either add it to your antique collection or sell it.
If you think you’ve found an unusual coin, or something similar, go ahead and take it to a pawn shop. They’ll be able to tell you what it’s worth if you’re interested in selling it.
Note: make sure you thoroughly clean these objects before storing them. Use vinegar, lime juice, or a commercial rust remover and scrub away the dirt and rust (wear gloves!). Soak in water for a few hours and thoroughly wash before anything else.
If you haven’t struck gold and all you’ve found is scrap metal, please don’t throw it back into the water. It’s important to recycle it, even if they’re small objects like nails, hooks, etc. Call up any local recycling services if you’ve found something particularly big, like a bicycle.
So, you’ve made it to the end, brave explorer. You’ve navigated the murky depths of magnet fishing and emerged, perhaps a little muddier but certainly a whole lot wiser.
Magnet fishing, as we’ve now established, is less about catching fish and more about reeling in whatever metallic treasures lurk beneath the surface of our world’s waters.
It’s like regular fishing but for the Indiana Joneses amongst us – those who crave adventure and the thrill of the unexpected.
To get started on this journey of discovery, you’re going to need some magnet fishing tools. A sturdy fishing magnet to act as your underwater metal detector and a robust magnet rope to reel in your finds are essentials.
Think of your fishing magnet as your trusty sidekick, ready to dive into the unknown at your command. Your magnet rope is your lifeline, connecting you to your submerged associate and ensuring that no treasure gets left behind.
But remember folks, with great magnetic power comes great responsibility. Always stay safe and respect local laws. Now, armed with your newfound knowledge and your essential magnet fishing tools, go forth and conquer those aquatic depths! Who knows what bounty awaits beneath the surface?
While this hobby isn’t for everyone, it’s as close as it gets to treasure hunting without spending much. Okay, maybe it’s not as thrilling as searching for the Lost City, but not knowing what you’ll pull out every time is the beauty of it.
I will say, though, be careful with your magnets, especially in areas where there are moving motorboats. Also, make sure you are fishing in a permitted area.
If you take all these precautions, including wearing protective gear, magnet fishing can be a pretty interesting and exciting pastime for kids and adults alike.
Good luck on your magnet fishing journey!