No matter what type of metal detecting you do in order to be successful you should always have a plan. As you can see this is a very large beach along the Treasure Coast. It is low tide and the possibility of finding something from the 1715 fleet is there for the taking. I have seen many metal detectorist enter the beach and start wondering around with their metal detector with really no idea of how to approach a beach like this. I am sure others will disagree with me however that being said the best way to find something on a beach like this is to GRID. When should you grid? When you start finding lots of targets in the same area, sinkers, iron, coins, or other objects in a certain area you should start a grid search either going east to west or north to south.
What happens if you discover a pattern of targets such as what some call a coin row which you will start to see as you dig target after target in a row. What should you do? Check on either side of the coin row at least 5 feet on each side to make sure your not leaving a nice ring, or a gold coin. Why should you dig all those pennies on the beach? Because those pennies could very well be masking a beautiful find underneath that your detector coil is not picking up.
How do I know if the beach has good conditions for metal detecting? Look for cuts where the waves have cut into the shoreline and take a large portion of the beach away. Always detect up against the cut and when you find targets that have been washed down from the pounding waves start a grid search.
When is the best time to go to the beach detecting? Most will say low tide but really there is no best time. Even during high tide you can make some really awesome finds in the wet sand and if your a water hunter the same goes for that. I hunt up to my neck in the ocean. You would be surprised to find that a lot of detectorists stay close to shore and don't take advantage of tide, wave and water movement to look further out. People swim out far these days and lose lots of items further from shore. There have been many awesome finds made 100 yards off shore.
What should you look for when detecting in the water? Look for rocky bottoms where the sand has been washed away and moved down the beach. That is the best place to look along with hard sand packed bottoms. Here in Florida with all the beach sand replacement the State of Florida has created huge sand bars along the beach. Sometimes the sand will be mushy and unless someone has lost something recently you won't find much there.
What happens if I don't find much at a particular beach? MOVE ON! Don't linger around the same beach hoping you will get lucky. Find a beach that has better conditions that will give you the chance to find something of value.
Where can I get the best information to help me be more successful? Google maps. Check out the satellite view, look at hotels and public beaches. Setup your day by knowing where you will go before you get there. Watch beach cams online. See where all the activity is the day before and head to the areas that are populated the most. This applies to the water or the dry sand.
Use other tools to know when to go. Try the app Magic Seaweed to know the tides and conditions in your area or the area where you are going. These are just a few tips. Don't forget those towel lines and entry ways. Good luck and Happy Hunting.