On a serious note, the best time to go metal detecting on the beach can vary form beach to beach. Some beaches can be great for more recent finds at the top of the beach, so you don’t have to worry about the tides being to big. As long as the top of the beach is exposed you are in with a chance to find those recent goodies.
On some beaches, having smaller tides can concentrate the beach goers into a smaller area of the beach and thus concentrate the finds.
For myself, the best time to go is on those bigger tides as this exposes parts of the beach that only become visible at certain times of the month. I especially plan for the really big tides and if these fall during the night, make the most of them and get to the beach with a headlamp.
I also pick the bigger tides that fall at a time during the day when the beach will not be packed with holiday makers., early morning or later in the day / evening. There’s nothing worse than trying to metal detect on the beach, only to be hounded by people asking what you have found.
Why the bigger tides?
As mentioned, I like metal detecting on the bigger tides for the following reasons. The larger tides exposes parts of the beach that are normally covered. These area are also not covered by other metal detectorists as often, due to the fact that these areas are only uncovered on larger tides. These lower areas often have less trash buried and targets can often be better. I find that if you get a good signal in the lower areas of the beach, it’s often worth digging.
The images here show just one of the older coins found while metal detecting the lower beach area of Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay. An area of beach that is only uncovered on the bigger tides.
To conclude, in my experience over the last 30 years metal detecting, the best time to go metal detecting on the beach is an early morning before the beach starts to fill up, later in the day as the beach starts to empty or at night.
Any of these times that fall on a big tide is great as you have the option of metal detecting at the top of the beach for more recent finds or the lower areas of the beach that are only uncovered on bigger tides.
Combine this with metal detecting after a big storm when the beach has been battered, is even better, but that’s for another blog post.