After the ease of the COVID-19 restrictions, many people have been looking for something fun, safe, and different to do. Among the hobbies that have attracted a lot of new enthusiasts is magnet fishing.
If you want to venture into this activity, but you are not sure what it entails, you are in the right place. In this guide, we will discuss everything there is to know about magnet fishing. By the time you are done, you can begin the magnet fishing journey.
What is Magnet Fishing?
Magnet fishing should not be confused with normal fishing, where we use tackles and hooks. They might be sharing the same name, but their goal is different. In normal fishing, you go out to catch living species, more especially fish such as catfish and salmons.
In magnet fishing, you go out to catch metallic things with the help of a magnet and a strong rope. Deep in the waters, there are many metallic things in the waters, and in as much as most are just scrap, you can find some worthy and expensive stuff. However, most magnet fishers do it for the environment.
Common Terminologies in Magnet Fishing
Magnet fishing does not use any fancy and confusing terms. The terms in the hobby are basic and things we already know. But for the sake of those who might be new to fishing entirely, here are some terms you will come across in your magnet fishing journey.
- Bucket: A bucket is simply a container you can put your finds. It is a similar bucket to the ones we all use at home.
- Neodymium Magnet: A magnet is a piece of iron with components that allows it to attract iron-containing objects and other metallic objects. Neodymium fishing magnets are considered the best in the business. A neodymium magnet is made of an alloy of iron, boron, and neodymium, and it has a permanent magnetic strength.
- Rope: Instead of using a fishing line like in normal fishing, you will use a rope. The rope is attached to the magnet, and you use it to pull your finds.
- Tackle Box: A tackle box is simply a storage area where you can place all the most important equipment like magnet, knives, antiques, and rope while going out.
- Knot: A knot is simply the fastening of the rope you will make to attach the rope to the magnet. You must learn how to make strong knots to ensure you don’t lose your magnet in the water.
- Magneteers: Magneteers is the collective name for magnet fishing enthusiasts like you and me.
Magnet Fishing Code of Conducts
There are some unwritten magnet fishing laws that we all should try to adhere to. It is following these rules that make this new hobby exciting and safe. Here are some of these rules we should all adhere to:
- Consider other individuals, including other magneteers and the public in general.
- Don’t leave the removed scrap metals and litter on the water body’s side or return them into the water.
- Report things classified under the treasure act law in your locality
- Don’t interfere with suspicious finds like ammunition and bombs.Reportthem to the local authorities.
- Don’t fish in a private property if you don’t have the permission of the landowner.
- Respect the wildlife while magnet fishing.
- Make a record of your finds and the location you find them for historical use in the future.
Magnet Fishing Finds
One of the most common questions in this activity is what you can find in magnet fishing. Well, almost 99 percent of your finds will be scrap metals, but you can still find a few magnet fishing treasures. However, you should see it as an environmental act of cleaning our water bodies and making them safe for swimming and the water species. That said, here is some of the best magnet fishing finds:
The most common finds include boats, fishing gears, shopping trollies, beer cans, coins, motorbikes, and parts, bicycles, and parts.
If you are lucky enough and fish in the right place, you can find yourself some guns, cashboxes, bombs, grenades, safes, and cars.
Most people don’t find unique finds like Iron Age swords and tools, but that does not mean they don’t exist.
Apart from the financial benefits, magnet fishing comes with other perks that include:
- It is a great exercise for burning calories and keeping fit.
- You get to contribute to making the environment better than it is today.
- It is a great hobby for your mental health. Studies show that being near water reduces your anxiety and stress levels.
- You get to learn more history with your finds like world war guns and ammunition, eventually increasing your interest in learning more history, which is fun.
- Many kids are enjoying this new hobby, and it can be a great bonding time for you and your kid.
Typically, you will require several tools and equipment to start your journey as a magneteer. Luckily, the hobby does not require too much equipment, nor are they too expensive. I will recommend some of the best magnet fishing gear to make your work easier. Here is what you will need.
A magnet is the most crucial part of magnet fishing that you must have. There are many types of fishing magnets, so choosing the right magnet is not as easy as going to a store and asking for a magnet. You need to research, take your time, and buy something worth the price.
Typically, neodymium magnets, also known as rare-earth magnets, are the most used in this business. Neodymium magnets are powerful, and they maintain their magnetic strength for the longest time. They are available in different sizes and strengths. The right size and pulling strength for you will depend on your ambitions.
One of the best fishing magnets for beginners is the Neosmuk 2.5 magnets. It is a versatile magnet that you can use for more than fishing, plus it is strong enough to pull most things you will find underwater. It is also relatively affordable. I recommend it to all new magneteers.
While purchasing a rope, make sure that it has the strength to support the magnet’s pulling strength. For example, if the magnet has a pulling force of 575 pounds, the rope should have a pull strength of at least 600 pounds. That way, your rope will not snap while retrieving. Also, the rope should be long enough and as static as possible. That’s why many people prefer nylon and paracord ropes.
Among the best ropes for magnet fishing on Amazon is the HomTop Magnet Fishing Rope with Carabiner. The rope is made of nylon, and it is sun, water, and chemical-resistant, making it a very durable rope. Furthermore, HomTop provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee for their product, meaning you can always get their services free of charge if the rope develops a problem.
A threadlock is specifically designed to secure your magnet. This makes it difficult for the magnet to come undone. This saves you the money you would have used to purchase another magnet if you lost it in the water.
You will need something to put your finds, and a bucket is always recommended. Put all your finds in the bucket, and you will sort them at home, the best finds from the scraps.
The finds in the water could be slippery and sharp. Handling them with your bare hands could prove to be dangerous. That’s why it is crucial to always have the best magnet fishing gloves before going out. Underneath the safety gloves, be sure to wear surgical gloves to protect your hands from diseases that may be associated with your finds.
First Aid Kit
One thing you will never miss in the best magnet fishing equipment list is a first aid kit. Having a first aid kit ensures you can stop any bleeding whenever it occurs or any other accidents that require the use of a first aid kit. These kits are inexpensive, so there is no reason you shouldn’t have one with you. Furthermore, you will use the kit in your daily activities.
Other Important Equipment You Might Need
The basic magnet fishing setup includes a magnet, rope, threadlock, and you will need to be wearing gloves. However, there are other important things you can include, including:
- Waterproof boots
- Cleaning towels
- A portable chair
- Heavy-duty garbage bag
- Water in a water bottle
- Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun
The above things are not bulky, so it shouldn’t be a problem to include them in your magnet fishing tools. Some of them may not seem to be vital on paper but wait until you are out on a fishing trip.
Magnet Fishing Tips for Beginners
When going out for magnet fishing for the first time, you will need as much information as possible. Having little information can land you into problems, and it can get dangerous if you don’t do some things right. That said, here are a few tips to help you on this journey.
Don’t Use A Too Powerful Magnet
There is no problem with using a powerful magnet, but you should begin with magnets with average pulling strength as a beginner. Typically, the stronger the magnet, the more things it will catch things underwater.
This means it will become more difficult to retrieve the finds as they might be too heavy. Mind you, most of the findings will just be scraps and debris. That said, as a beginner, aim for a high-quality magnet with a maximum pulling strength of 1400 pounds. You can graduate to a more powerful magnet as the days go by.
Don’t Put Scraps Back Into the Water
Always arrange for transportation for the scraps you find, even though you won’t be using them. Putting them back into the water is inhumane and wrong. We are trying to clear the impurities in the waters, and putting back the scrap metals into the water will not help that cause. Take the scraps back home and give or sell them to your local metal yard for recycling.
Have a Grappling Hook with You
Sometimes we catch larger items than we expect. For example, if your magnet attracts a bicycle, it will be quite difficult to retrieve it without a high-quality hook due to the many hindrances underwater. But with a grappling hook, it becomes much easier to retrieve even the heavier items. The hooks help you pull up to thrice your weight.
Know What to Do with Potentially Dangerous Findings
It is not common to find things like unexploded bombs and other dangerous findings, but it is not entirely impossible. In such cases, always contact the local authorities as soon as possible. Don’t try to examine the bomb because you might unintentionally explode it. The authorities will know what to do with your findings.
Always Wear Safety Gloves
One of the vital magnet fishing safety tips is never to forget to carry your safety gloves when going out since you will always find slippery and sharp objects. The objects may not cut you deep, but they may be containing bacteria and viruses that may cause the wound to become serious. That’s why I always recommend wearing heavy-duty plastic gloves that rarely gets penetrated into by your findings.
Know Your Place
Before going out, conduct some research and choose the places with the highest probability of getting something. Choose a place where many people go to or pass through, for example, near a dock or beach. The chances of landing something valuable in these areas are higher than near the private dams and ponds.
Don’t get into the hobby, thinking you will find yourself a 24k gold somewhere in the waters. No, it does not work like that. Ninety-nine percent of the things you will find will be scrap metals, and if you are lucky, you can find yourself some priceless coins and ancient swords.
Still, don’t keep your hopes too high and do it for the fun of it, not for finding expensive stuff. But if you find some invaluable things, jokes will be on those who think magnet fishing is not worth the time.
Magnet Fishing Knots
As you need to tie a strong knot while fishing not to lose your fishing hooks, you need to tie an even stronger knot not to secure your expensive magnet. There are several knots you can use for magnet fishing, and here I will show you how to tie one of the most common knots.
- Make a loop at one end of the rope like you do with your fishing line.
- Insert the loop through the eyebolt of the magnet.
- Loop the rope over itself again
- Insert the rope through the newly made loop and tighten it just a little.
- Wrap the rope over the eyebolt.
- Pull the two sides of the line to tighten the knot and adjust the extra rope.
- Attach the eyebolt to your fishing magnet, and that’s it.
If you run into trouble tying a strong knot, you can always check videos on YouTube to help you do it better. This video is particularly very articulate on how to tie a strong knot for magnet fishing.
Magnet Fishing Dangers and How to Avoid Them
Magnet fishing is a generally safe activity. However, like fishing and other activities, there are some risks associated with it. Most are not life-threatening. Here are a few risks associated with the activity and what you can do to avoid them.
While magnet fishing, you get really close to the water body, meaning there will be a little risk of slipping and falling into the water. If you fall into a too-deep water body, it can become life-threatening, especially if you don’t know how to swim.
To be safe, always fish in a place where you can be able to get yourself out if you slip into the water. You should also stand on ground that is strong enough to support your weight and whatever you retrieve from the waters. Furthermore, make it a habit to fish with a partner. It will be more fun, and the partner can always rescue you if you slip into the water.
Like with normal fishing, there is always a problem with tangles and twists. You can avoid rope tangles problem by using a static and high-quality rope. Typically, nylon ropes have the least risk of tangles. Nylon is also strong and can last for a long time.
Problems with the Authorities
Magnet fishing is legal, but it is not legal in every state. You might find yourself in trouble with authorities if you go out fishing without a Hobby License in places where the activity is not allowed. Also, fishing in private properties without the approval of the owner can land you in trouble.
That said, always consult the department of natural resources in your locality, and they will tell you everything you need to know. Also, if you will be fishing in private properties, always ask for permission from the landowner.
Although unlikely, you can find dangerous things underwater, including unexploded bombs and ammunition. You cannot choose not to find these things since the magnet will attract them, but you can remain safe by reporting the findings to the local authorities.
An old explosive is as dangerous as a new one, so don’t joke with it. There is also the risk of cutting yourself, and that’s why it is always important to wear a glove.
Magnet Fishing Places
Magnet fishing is legal in most states in the United States, and if you have been searching for “best place for magnet fishing near me,” you are in the right place. I will discuss areas in different states where you can find the best catches.
Magnet Fishing Michigan
Typically, the high footfall areas in Michigan will give you the highest chances of landing something worth your time Places with a constant flow of water also increase your chances of landing something. That said, here are places you are likely to land something worthy:
The longest river in the state is sure a great place to start your magnet fishing journey. In the early days, it was a major means of transport, which led to a lot of pollution. The pollution made it almost impossible for normal fishing, but it is surely an excellent location for magnet fishing. People have found valuable items such as antiques and bicycles in the river.
Lakes of the Inland Waterway
The inland waterway was once a regular path for Native Americans to avoid powerful waves near Lake Michigan. The surrounding area is also a tourist attraction, so there are a lot of things thrown into the water daily.
There are also a few private campgrounds in the area. Make sure to avoid these private campgrounds or get permission to fish there. Ideally, fish in the numerous lakes along the waterway, and you will find a variety of objects.
Lake Michigan is one of the most popular lakes in the country and one of the largest ones too. It has a lot of historical significance that dates to hundreds of years. It is more popular for normal fishing, but that does not mean you can’t use it for magnet fishing. Prioritize your fishing in areas with most visitors because that’s where you are likely to land something of importance.
Grand Haven State Park Beach
The Great Haven State Park Beach is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the state, which increases your chances of retrieving something of significance.
Lake Cadillac is a common spot for magnet fishing, and many people have landed sizeable catches, especially during the winters. Some people have lost drones in this area, and you could be the one to recover them through magnet fishing.
Kindly make sure to follow the Michigan magnet fishing laws for the best experience. Also, don’t fish in private properties if you don’t have the permission.
Magnet Fishing Laws in Georgia
Magnet fishing is completely legal in Georgia. In fact, in September last year, two brothers retrieved over 20 guns in a Georgia River. They found these guns near Athens in the North Oconee River. They reported the guns to the police, and the guns were identified as missing firearms.
Interestingly, it was a police officer who suggested the boys fish in that area as many criminals take that path while fleeing the town. This clearly shows that the activity is legal and allowed if a police officer can recommend great fishing places. Just fish in areas with constant water flow and usually has many visitors.
Magnet Fishing Florida
Like in most states, magnet fishing is legal in Florida. However, you will need to get a permit if you plan to fish on private property. Some of the places you can find yourself some worthy catches include:
Saint Johns River
You will surely find something worthy in the longest river in the state of Florida. The river is an important natural resource for the state, and it is used for both recreational and commercial purposes.
Lake George is the second largest lake in the state. It is one of the busiest lakes in the state, so the chances of landing something valuable are high. Just make sure to be careful with what you find and report to the police if it is dangerous.
Lofton Creek is a major tourist attraction. Many people go there for kayaking, and the possibility of retrieving something of significance is high. Just a few days ago, a buddy in a fishing community I’m in retrieved a gun barrel in Lofton Creek.
You can find metallic things in all lakes and rivers in the state, including the Ochlocknee River, Alapaha River, Flint River, and more. Just do your research before going out.
Magnet Fishing Minnesota
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, so you will never run out of fishing locations. Luckily, the hobby is legal in the state. You can fish in any of the 10,000 lakes. You can also fish in rivers and other water bodies. Among the water bodies that people have found worthy items include Cedar Lake, Lake Harriet, and more. Just find a location with enough traffic, and you will surely go home with a catch.
Magnet Fishing Wisconsin
Magnet fishing in Wisconsin is legal, just like in most states in the country. You don’t need to get a permit of any kind to start fishing in the state. However, it is vital to avoid protected government areas and private properties if you don’t have a permit.
Recently, an eight-old boy solved an eight-year-old mystery when he discovered a safe while magnet fishing. Now, the hobby has become pretty popular in the state. You can fish in all water bodies, including Rock River and Milwaukee River, where the magnet fishing enthusiast, Jim Walters, has been fishing for the better part of the last two years.
Magnet Fishing Texas
In Texas, you don’t require a permit to start magnet fishing. Just ensure to do it in public resources such as rivers and lakes. If you have to do it on private property, be sure to speak to the owner of the land and ask for permission. There are various places you can fish in Texas, and here are some of the most common ones.
In Lake McKinney, you will probably find lots of things since it is quite a busy lake. A magneteer in a fishing community, my friend, is in retrieved some rail metals, coins, and parts of a car in one outing in the lake.
There are several picnic grounds in Lake Lavon, campsites, and a grove of trees, which attract a huge number of visitors. If you can fish in these areas, there is a high chance you will go home smiling because of the many things you will find. Kindly organize to carry the scrap metals you won’t need instead of throwing them back into the lake.
The Red River
The Red River is known because of its unique reddish water passing through the red-bed country in its watershed (Wikipedia), but there is a lot to it than just the red color. The river offers over 70 species of fish, and it is one of the busiest rivers in the state. There is a chance that anglers drop things in the river while fishing, and you can retrieve them with a magnet.
Generally, you can fish in any water body in the state. Just make sure to target areas with most users where you are likely to land something of importance.
Magnet Fishing Ohio
Magnet fishing is legal in Ohio, and you can fish in any public natural resource, including rivers and lakes. Some of the locations you can give a try include:
If you are from Southern Ohio near Cincinnati, you can try Burnet Woods. Many people who have gone there for magnet fishing did not leave empty-handed, and I bet you won’t.
In Little Miami, you are likely to find some valuable items as it is near a college, and drunk college students can be quite careless. I know of someone who retrieved a working iPhone 10. He gave it back to the owner, though.
Any place where boats often drop anchor for people to hang out is likely to have lots of treasures in it. One of those places is Caesar Creek. Others include party coves include Brookeville Lake and Harmon Creek party cove.
Magnet Fishing Missouri
Magnet fishing is legal, and it is even allowed in designated beaches and parks in Missouri. However, to fish in these designated areas, you will need to complete a certain form and comply with the provided rules for metal detecting and magnet fishing. These rules include:
- You can use a magnet in the waters of the specified beaches and parks.
- You must exercise care to avoid injuries.
- You should not dislodge plants or disturb their roots.
- You should carry a litter bag to carry all the scraps you find
- You should have proof of registration in your email.
- You should contact the facility manager if you find an artifact worth over ten dollars.
- You must register in every calendar year.
For more information about the designated parks and beaches, visit this official site.
That said, you still fish in public waters and still find things worth your time. Some of the common water bodies you might want to try include Lake Ozarks, Table Rock Lane, and Smithville Lake, among others.
Magnet Fishing South Carolina
Unfortunately, if you are from South Carolina, magnet fishing is not legal in your state. According to the legislation act, The South Carolina Antiquities Act of 1991, any historical artifact and property uncovered in the waters through the use of a magnet belongs to the state.
However, if you get yourself a Hobby License, you can still enjoy this fun-filled activity. You can get the Hobby License from the state. However, you should note that you are not allowed to collect more than ten items a day. Ignorance of this law by collecting more than ten items or not getting a Hobby License can lead to imprisonment.
Magnet fishing is not illegal in private property, though. However, you should always get permission from the landowner before you start fishing.
Magnet Fishing in the Ocean
If you are wondering if you can magnet fish in the ocean, you can. In fact, you are in a position of landing more treasures in the ocean than in the other water bodies. The ocean is a leading option for vacations due to the beaches.
However, you need to be careful where you treasure hunt and don’t go too deep. Ideally, fish near the beaches. Also, avoid fishing near sunken ships, ocean disposal sites, and the reefs. Please keep it in mind that most items will be seriously corroded due to the saltwater in the ocean.
Magnet Fishing Hudson River
In most Magnet fishing reviews, you will always find a section talking about Hudson River, NY. This is because the river has a lot to find. It is almost impossible to go out in the river and return home without a worthy find. Magneteers have found all sorts of things, including anchors, car parts, bicycles, and more. Furthermore, it is one of the locations that people started practicing magnet fishing.
How to Clean Treasures You Find When Magnet Fishing
After retrieving a few worthy treasures, you will definitely need to clean them. Most of them will have rusted due to a long time they will have spent in the water. Luckily, the rust can still be removed. Here are a few excellent ways to clean your magnet fishing finds.
Use Oxalic Acid
Oxalic acid is very effective in removing rust, but you will need to be careful while using it because it is a little harsh to the skin. Wear gloves and goggles. Use about two tablespoons for a quart of hot water for the best experience. You can find oxalic acid in your local store.
Unrust remover comes in powder form that you mix with warm water. It is tough on rust but does not work as fast as oxalic acid. You will need to soak your findings in warm water with the rust remover for at least 24 hours.
If the rust is still there, soak them again for another 24 hours. The good thing is it is not too tough on the skin, so you won’t need to be too careful. Don’t use it for tough rust, though. It is best used for light rust.
Boeshield Rust Free
This one comes in the form of a spray, and it is quite effective. You won’t even need to wait for more than 30 minutes for it to work. Before spraying the finding, wash it with soap and dry it with a towel. Then, spray it and wait for about twenty minutes to scrub the rust.
You can still remove rust the traditional way using sandpaper. The sandpaper does not use any chemicals, and it is quite easy to use. However, the sandpaper may scratch your finding and make it feel coarse. It will also require you to put in some work since it is manual work. Still, it gets the job done.
If you are looking for a natural rust remover, you should definitely consider the white vinegar. The common household cleaner has high amounts of acid that can help remove rust. Just soak your findings in warm water with vinegar for at least 24 hours and leave it to do its work. However, you should not depend on vinegar if you are removing tough rust like from findings from the ocean.
You can also remove rust with other household cleaners such as Coke, citric acid from lemons, baking soda, and dish soap. These cleaners are for light rust, though. For tough rust removal, go for chemicals and oxalic acid.
Frequently Asked Questions About Magnet Fishing
Here are the answers to FAQs on this topic.
Is Magnet Fishing Legal?
Magnet fishing is legal in most places, but you should always consult with the department of human resources in your area to be pointed in the right direction.
Is Magnet Fishing Legal in the US?
In the US, it is legal in all states except South Carolina. You can still magnet fish in South Carolina if you have a Hobby License, though. In other states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, and Texas, you don’t require any permit to start fishing.
Why is Magnet Fishing Dangerous?
Magnet fishing is not dangerous per se. However, it comes with an added risk compared to normal fishing in that you don’t know what you will find in the waters. You might end up finding an unexploded bomb, which could be dangerous. That’s very rare, though.
Can You Catch Fish with a Magnet?
No. fish are not made of ferocious materials, so there is no way they will be attracted to the magnet.
Magnet fishing is an excellent hobby that you can venture in to clean the environment and maybe make some money out of it. It is easy and does not require any special training to start. You just need a high-quality magnet, strong rope, gloves, and a bucket to put your findings. However, you will need to follow magnet fishing laws and the code of ethics for the best experience. In this guide, you learn all there is to learn about this exciting hobby. Good luck.