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5 Things you should know about Magnet Fishing

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Do you enjoy hunting for treasure? There is a unique hobby for outdoor enthusiasts called Magnet Fishing. Is it dangerous? It can be – but that’s part of the thrill! In this article, I will provide you with information on 5 things you should know about magnet fishing. This will include what to do and what NOT to do since the laws regarding this new sport have many gray areas. I will also discuss how to prepare yourself, the items to bring, and where to go.

What is Magnet Fishing?

Magnet fishing is very similar to metal detecting, but instead of searching on land, you search in the water. To do this, you need a strong magnet attached to a rope. The magnet is thrown into a body of water and slowly pulled up to see what is dredged up. This hobby originated in Europe and has become quite popular in America. Many people have taken to the shorelines of rivers, creeks, and swamps in search of interesting and odd catches, such as old tools, rifles, cannonballs, and other objects.

Is Magnet Fishing Legal in Myrtle Beach?

There is conflicting information regarding the legality of magnet fishing, and it varies from state to state. From my online research, I have found that magnet fishing is not permitted on state land, and any historic artifact you find belongs to the state. However, it doesn’t explicitly state that magnet fishing is illegal.

According to the South Carolina State Legislature’s webpage, the South Carolina Underwater Antiquities Act (SCUAA) states: “(A) All submerged archaeological historic property and artifacts and all submerged paleontological property located on or recovered from submerged lands over which the State has sovereign control are declared to be the property of the State.”

The South Carolina Underwater Antiquities Act of 1991 states that “underwater artifacts may only be collected if they are resting on the bottom sediments.” So, if you spot some old rusty structures beneath the water, you cannot pull them up.

Where Can You Go Magnet Fishing?

Many people choose to go magnet fishing in small canals, swamps off the roadways, and creeks. However, you need to be cautious that you are not trespassing on someone else’s property. If you own the land or have permission from the landowner, then it’s perfect – go for it! Alternatively, you can ask friends if they have a lake, old well, or pond on their property where you can go magnet fishing.

I live in a complex that has several ponds, and it’s about 20 years old. Would I be allowed to magnet fish there? Probably. Since I pay an HOA and it’s not owned by the state, I most likely would find nails, old fishing hooks, and similar items.

What to Bring When Magnet Fishing?

Magnet Fishing is very simple to do. You attach the magnet to a long rope and throw it into a lake, river, or pond. Then, drag it along the bottom until you feel a “clink,” indicating that you’ve caught something!

  1. Neodymium Magnet
  2. Water Bottle
  3. Threadlocker
  4. Bucket

5. Strong Rope

  1. Brush
  2. Hat
  3. Knife
  4. Sunscreen
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Gloves

What to Do If You Find Something Valuable While Magnet Fishing?

Well, you can pretty much keep most things that you find while magnet fishing. However, there are a few exceptions. You should not keep guns, rifles, grenades (though it’s unlikely you will find too many of those), old cannonballs, or long swords.

If you find a gun, the police should find a serial number if the firearm is not too old, and they may be able to solve a crime. In the case of an old safe, there may be historical information or important artifacts inside. However, if the safe is older than 50 years old, the state of South Carolina would own it.

Reminders to Be Courteous of Others and the Land:

1. Safety should always be your top priority for yourself and other people.

2. Be kind to the environment – clean up rubbish and take your finds with you.

3. Get authorization first before going on private property.

4. Use good common sense.

If you decide to try out magnet fishing, let me know what you find!


Kathy T.

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