10/ Grades: “The Big Picture”
The overall grade of a shoreline site is the most important thing to understand. This is critical “make or break” site knowledge. I’ve even seen top pro hunters get into a site and waste time up on ground that was just too high to have any heavy targets–they just weren’t seeing the “big picture.” It’s also important to recognizance the fact that there are different kinds of high ground. First there is high ground that’s part of solid, unchanging grade. In that this ground is stable–there’s a chance of it having some good finds. This material changes slowly and because of this permanency, it gives you access to more time of the site’s functioning. At other locations the grade can be poor–bare coral with no targets, or hard pan inches below the surface–again–critical knowledge, but these facts still have to be discovered .
Second there’s overburden. This is material that has been pushed to a location as silt. Waves or currents have dislodged material and caused it to build up in a particular area. By its nature it cannot contain anything heavy and usually the only metal objects in will be flat sided ones–dimes, caps and tabs that are tossed and rolled with the sand. This is an important principle to understand–the distinction between items that can be moved with the current and those that can’t. Many sites present this way in spring–winter storms have classified targets according to how they respond to the actual waves–by weight and shape. Where you see this type of targets–with a few pennies and dimes mixed in–this is overburden sand. Clues that will allow you to understand the overall grade are:
- -how it “eye’s up” in relation to the rest of the grade. How low is the ground? I often look at how high the water and sand levels are by looking at swimmers at different parts of the beach–where you see people is waist or chest-deep water close to the shoreline–go there right away!
- -correspondingly–how close to shore you are. You are always more likely to access more solid material in close to shore. In a previous book I suggested that readers look for “the deepest water, closest to shore”–worth repeating here.
- -the kind of targets coming up—as mentioned above—tabs, caps and pennies area bad sign, quarters, fishing sinkers and iron are good signs.
- -the consistency of the material you hit when you dig. Black, grey sand, gravel, shells are good signs, wood, leaves, “bog” material are bad signs.
These ‘tools” for assessing the overall grade of the sites you hunt should
shape your entire strategy–directing you to focus upon a particular section or–keep scouting around for better ground.
From : “Water Hunting: Secrets of the Pros, V olume II”
(2017) by Clive James Clynick