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Metal Detecting in Florida FL

>Before we start our Guide to Metal detecting FL, I want to cover the laws for Metal detecting Fl including underwater, at the beaches and in the state and National Parks. then we will cover Where to go Metal Detecting FL. wether its Treasure or Coins, Hobby or Professional you need to know the Laws OK?

This information is partly from the Metal detecting forum at

Laws for Underwater Metal detecting FL

There are no Florida laws or state statutes that prohibit you from diving with a metal detector. It is true however, that you must stay out of leased sites for example you can dive on Mel Fisher wrecks on the treasure coast if you so desire. However, be advised that you should not have a metal detector in the lease sites, and you must stay 300 feet away from the dive boats that are working the leases This is similar to laws for encroaching on peoples gold leases on land.

Additionally, you must abide by Florida law when Metal detecting Fl. should you find anything on the bottom and recover it. Effective 1 June 2005, the state of Florida did away with the Isolated Finds program. This program gave treasure hunters the opportunity to keep the find as long as they provided the state with the location.

It is now against the law when Metal detecting Fl to recover anything in state waters more than 50 years old. as a diver Metal detecting Fl you are responsible for knowing these laws and locations before you dive with your detector. In Florida state waters include all submerged bottom lands to include lakes, rivers and three miles out into the ocean on the East coast, nine miles out on the Gulf Coast, and twelve miles out from Key West

Laws for  Metal detecting FL inside State Parks

When Metal detecting Fl Inside State parks you are required to get written permission from the Park Ranger before you hunt in the park. However, the State does allow metal detectors in some state parks.

You can check and look up the rules for the park you are going to.

Laws for  Metal detecting FL inside National Parks

The Laws for Metal detecting Fl inside National Parks are STRICT AND SERIOUS!  Do not bring your detector into a Florida National park, and that includes any beaches, or waters adjacent to the National Park. for example the Canaveral Seashore National Park is patrolled by park police by land, sea and air. They have strict orders to keep treasure hunters away.

This is true for many (or all? I am not sure) National Parks thruout the US. They don't want people plundering (and yes people have tried to bring backhoes and bulldozers into national parks to dig up sites that they believed contained treasure) what belongs to all the people of the US and leaving behind a mess for the parks to clean up.  

Laws for  Metal detecting FL Beaches

There is good news on Metal detecting Fl Private Beaches – There are no private beaches in the State of Florida (other than the National Parks), and you are allowed to hunt the beaches from the Dune to the low tide line as you desire, and that includes the beaches adjacent to the 1715 fleet of Spanish shipwrecks UNLESS YOU ARE WITHIN 3000 (or is it 5000?) Yards of a Lease.. the rule on the beach is finders keepers, so don't let any beach side Condo owners or Hotel operators try to run you off, as they do not own the beach, the people of Florida own the beaches so you can go Metal detecting Fl on the beaches.

Metal Detecting Fl – Which Florida Beaches to go Metal detecting on

There are so many public beaches in Florida that you can go Metal detecting Fl on a different one every weekend and never run out! yes there are some private beaches that don't allow detecting but i was NEVER once asked to leave or bothered while metal detecting on public beaches.

BUT be ware that when Metal detecting Fl in small towns the police are the law. Don't argue too much or they will haul you away. i have heard stories of people arguing with them and getting hand cuffed!

Be aware that parking is often a few blocks away unless you get there early in the morning. now if you want to look for treasure then you can research specific sites where ship wreck treasure has been found in or near the beach (Hurricanes and storms will wash treasure up to the shore believe it or not). but that is a topic for another article.

Metal Detecting Fl – When to go Metal Detecting on Florida Beaches

THIS IS SERIOUS – Florida is HOT! In the summer time you can get heat stroke Metal detecting Fl on the beaches! August is like an open frying pan on the beach. yes people are out there tanning and I don't know how they do it. I HIGHLY recommend that you go Metal detecting Fl early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Mid winter it can get cold on the beach. 50's with a wind can chill you down fast, In Spring it rains almost every morning for a half hour or so it seems. So if you plan to go Metal detecting Fl in the spring remember the morning rain.

Metal Detecting Fl – what to Bring Metal Detecting on Florida Beaches

Your Detector (Duh, and yes I have forgotten it on a trip or two Metal detecting Fl) a spare battery pack. I always had a rechargeable battery pack and a alkaline pack as a back up. SUN SCREEN!!! Light long sleeve shirt and hat with a brim to block the sun (you can tilt your head at the right angle and block the sun out of your eyes) and sun glasses (Some of the beaches are white and it is like going snow blind after a while form the sun reflecting off of the sand while Metal detecting Fl) and if you should look at a pretty girl…and there are plenty…you wont look like you are staring. Just don't walk into anyone or anything while doing so. a tool belt with pouches or pants with plenty of pockets (One for the good stuff you find, one for junk, one for an occasional nice shell, etc). a bottle of nearly frozen water and a way of carrying it,. I had mine in a belt around my waste. a SAND SCOOP! I used the long handled model so I didn't have to bend down so much. you can click on this link to read our article on Sand Scoops for Metal detecting

Metal Detecting Fl -Where is the best place on the beach to Metal Detect on Florida Beaches?

99% of the other people I saw metal detecting on the beaches were detecting near the water line to within 10 feet of it. I DISAGREE. The two best places are

  1. In the water where people swim and frolic all day and lose jewelry - but most people don't go in the water because their detector is not water proof OR the waves make it to hard. but guess what? There is a better way…go at low tide! Most of the Florida papers carry the tide charts daily. you can get them on line as well. go an hour before low tide and you can metal detect for 3 hours (an hour before, an hour during low tide and an hour after) often right where people are swimming and wading at high tide!
  1. Half way up the beach where people are sitting and laying and taking off their pants and shirts and putting it all on towels. I can't tell you how many times I would find piles of change along with earrings or a ring all together an inch under the sand where someone had it on a blanket and lost it in the sand and never knew or something!

Metal Detecting Fl  – what is the best detector to use?

I was using an old Whites Eagle and would find stuff down to 10 inches in the sand so I was happy with it (and it was a 15 year old detector at the time!!) So any detector that is designed for the salt and beach will work fine. a detector that is waterproof is a plus if you want to go wading.

OK thats it for our Metal Detecting FL Article!


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