The grossest part of catching fish is arguably the touching of the bait or fish. It is fun to rig the lines and determine where the best spots are, but once you reel them in, someone has to touch the fish to unhook them.
Well, not with magnet fishing; it has all the fun of traditional fishing, without the slime or the fish. What is magnet fishing, you ask? Read further to learn the best magnet fishing tips and how to magnet fish like a pro.
What would you say if I told you that you could treasure hunt with your fishing gear? That's right; magnet fishing is exactly what it sounds like, rigging up a magnet and dragging the bottom fishing up anything that sticks.
It sounds odd, but when you try it for yourself, you could find all sorts of treasures like full money clips, phones, glasses, even knives or guns that someone has dropped or thrown into the water.
What Do I Need for Magnet Fishing?
The equipment for magnet fishing is pretty simple and basic. Starting with the magnets themselves, the strategy is to get as large of a magnet as possible without it being too heavy or bulky to be thrown out by hand. Neodymium is the variety of magnets that will work best in the fishing scenario. They will pick up the most objects and not discriminate against varieties of metals.
A single-sided magnet works well if you are vertically dropping the magnet. Because it only needs to attract metals from the bottom, a single-sided will do just fine.
Double-sided magnets are better for casting, dragging, or trolling magnets for treasure. They will adhere to metals on both the top and bottom, so you have a better chance of grabbing ahold of whatever might be hiding underwater.
The rope or line you will want to use should be constructed from nylon or another water-resistant material. The line should not float on its own, as it may hamper the ability of a small magnet to get to its destination. I like to use 550 paracord that is found in camping, hiking, and survival preparation scenarios. This is a thin, nylon cord that is very strong, very durable, and only the diameter of a cell phone charger. This makes casting, retrieving, and storing the rope easy.
Rope burns are bad news. Wearing gloves not only prevents them from happening but can also save your hands when lifting objects that you may be unsure of with the magnet. It is better to be safe than sorry, and you will appreciate having gloves on if you pull a knife or fishing lure with sharp hooks out of the depths below. Remember, these items will be stuck firmly to the magnet since accidents could happen while removing them.
If you have ever wanted to purchase a Batman-style grappling hook, magnet fishing would be the time. Some items will attract your magnet but will not want to leave their watery resting place. A grappling hook can be deployed as an enforcer. This should have a bit heavier chord or rope attached, as it will only need to be used for the challenging recoveries.
Popular Magnet Fishing Locations
The best places to magnet fish are ones where you think people may have thrown or dropped things into the water. Think bridges or bays. You know, in the movies, when the lead role removes his Rolex given to him as a bribe and throws it into the river, start your magnet fishing in those types of places.
Every movie based in Italy shows a character disposing of something expensive in the canals. This is a great place to start. You may find something small, like a diamond ring. Or, you may find yourself a lightly used, somewhat waterlogged bicycle that was discarded in the early 2000s.
The bad guy tosses the evidence off the bridge during the high-speed chase, never to be found by police. Well, they may not have found it, but a magnet angler could easily find it. Fishing from bridges could be a gold mine because tons have people have traveled over that single area throughout history.
Piers & Harbors
Anywhere that is a pinch point or high traffic area for boats is usually a good bet or casting out your magnet. People on boats are constantly losing everything from sunglasses to wallets to fishing equipment. Keep these sorts of places on your radar and try to hit them at night or when traffic is low.
Lakes & Rivers
Have you ever seen boats tied up together and floating around? How about a lazy river full of partiers with beverages in their hands. Another perfect place to drag that magnet. Phones, smartwatches, sunglasses, jewelry. You never know what you may find that someone else didn’t.
People love treasure hunting on land with metal detectors; think of magnet fishing as the same thing. Casting out your magnet in historical areas will not only give you a good shot at pulling up artifacts, like these guys did, but also pulling up treasure that someone else lost when they were in the area checking out the historical attractions. These are gold mines for magnet fishers. Keep in mind, though, that you might not be able to keep what you find based on the local laws for historical sites.
Abandon wells may have old tools or maybe even some discarded contraband. People in the past would throw guns or knives down a well shaft, knowing full-well that nobody in their right mind would look down into them. That was until magnet fishing became popular, and we can now retrieve those items without ever climbing in.
How to Magnet Fish: Beginner Tips & Tricks
Getting started in magnet fishing is pretty simple. Once you have the materials we discussed, start looking for places on the map where you think you may have a good shot at finding some treasure.
When the spots have been narrowed down, create a rig that is designed for you to be efficient. If you have the opportunity and the funding, create a searching rig first. This would consist of a large surfcasting rod and reel with some very heavy braided line. These rods are designed for casting heavy weights, so they work perfectly for casting a magnet.
Tie the magnet onto the line with a fisherman’s knot. Again, act like this rig is meant to cast for and reel in giant fish. Once this is set up, cast a small, lure-sized magnet and cover as much ground as possible.
You can store your magnets in a tackle box, similarly to how you would store lures or plugs for fishing. Keep them separate and have a few sizes for different situations.
Once you retrieve your magnet a few times, you should start having at least some small finds. If you start pulling up items, great. If the items tend to be centralized, even better, you can then narrow down your search area and use a larger magnet on a chord. This will be more efficient for pulling larger treasures.
If you get to a spot where your magnet keeps catching an item, but you can not pull it up with the small magnets you are using, it is probably time to deploy the grapple. Latch on to the item again with your magnet, cast the grappling hook out beyond it, and retrieve until you have contact with the said item. Then, use both tools to slowly try and remove the desired item from the mud.
If that item is large, you may be able to sell it to a pawn shop or online, depending on what type of treasure it is. Many magnet anglers make plenty of money by selling jewellery and other items (even scrap metal!) that they find at the bottom of waterways.
Magnet Fishing Methods & Techniques Explained
Up & down method
Single sided magnets are great for vertical jigging off the bottom. From a bridge or high structure, lower the magnet into the water and raise the magnet up and down across the largest area possible. Once you feel the weight of the magnet increase, you will know you have caught something interesting. If you are vertically jigging from a boat, do the same technique, but let the boat drift as you do so that you can cover the most ground.
Throw & pull method
Like casting a line, use a double sided magnet to drag the bottom of your desired fishing area in search of treasure. As you pull the magnet in, you will feel it start to pick things off the bottom. If you feel like you are retrieving something, slow down and pull gently. It may take a few casts to pull in any particular item.
The best way to cover ground is to troll. Set up your magnet rig so when it does attract something, it will pull it up and away from the bottom rather than dragging it along and potentially losing your catch. Most boats have fish-finding electronics, which can also be used to identify debris on the bottom; use this to your advantage if you can.
Pro Tips for Being Successful at Magnet Fishing
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is magnet fishing legal?
Magnet fishing is not that popular yet, so the act of magnet fishing is still legal. I am sure that once it catches on and people start to realize that there is a treasure to be found, that regulations will soon follow. Even more reason to get out there while the getting is good!
Is magnet fishing dangerous?
Outdoor activities are all somewhat dangerous. Magnet fishing is only as dangerous as walking or hiking, though, so just be cautious of your surroundings and take calculated steps and you will be fine. Wear the gloves, though; you will thank me when you realize that they are necessary.
Can you find coins magnet fishing?
Unfortunately, no North American currency coins are made from metals that will adhere to a magnet. You may find coins from other nations or possibly artifact coins, but nothing new.
Can you magnet fish in the ocean?
For sure! The ocean is a great place to magnet fish because there are always new treasures being washed around between the tides and the waves. You could fish the same piers day after day and constantly find new items with your magnet fishing rig.
What a way to treasure hunt! Rig up a heavy-duty fishing rod with a magnet and see what you can find. Magnet fishing is a fun way to introduce non-anglers to the fishing world or involve friends and family on a fishing trip where they may not want to catch any fish. This hobby has the allure of fishing combined with treasure hunting all in one and is yet another excuse to buy more fishing gear!