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My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)

Posted by Daniel Tn 
My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 17, 2017 04:53PM
Well another year has came and gone for our fall beach trip. This was probably the best one ever as far as having fun and doing a lot of things. I wont bore you with all the stuff we did, but will share some of the more interesting (to me).

I brought two detectors along with me, the CTX and AT Max. The first thing I noticed was there was more beach. I'm not sure if the hurricane brought in a ton of sand or if they expanded the beach by dredging sand onto the shore and made it bigger....I am actually leaning towards it being a bit of both. What this meant is...the sand in the water is like walking on a marshmallow. Very smushy and you will actually bury way up past your ankles if you stepped in the right spot. This also means that there is little to nothing to be found IN the water. I spent most of my time hunting the damp/wet sand between the dry sand and the water. Which, was only doable at night since the area is so occupied with "depositors" during the day. So every night, about 10 or so, I would venture down and hunt to about 3 or 4 in the morning. During the day I would observe where most of the people were congregated. During the night, I would select a section in front of each condo and grid search it. I done quite well doing it. The CTX was rocking it. Interestingly, I got into what I first thought were fishing weights/sinkers. When I got to the condo and saw everything in the light...I saw they were actually bullets. The next night I found a spent 30.06 rifle casing with the bullets and when I cleaned it, I saw the head stamp was F A 33. Which means it is a military round, from 1933. So they must have done training in the area during WW2, and the sand they brought in is loaded with bullets. I love WW2 history so, leave it up to me to start relic hunting on the beach when I should have been jewelry hunting.

I found a lot of coins...didn't count it all but I have a crap ton of what I assume are pennies but did not take a final pic of them all. Got a $1 coin, and a Cabelas token too. One junk ring with hearts on it, fishing weights, fishing lures, etc.

I used the CTX most of the time. I brought the AT Max for my wife but she did not have an interest in detecting. I brought it down one evening to play with to see how it handled wet salt sand. It did not do well at all. The gulf beaches are not mineralized, but I had to reduce overall sensitivity on the Max, down to about 2 bars to make it somewhat stable. In the dry sand, you could crank it up.


We did an inshore fishing trip one day. That was the fun time for me...best of the whole trip. We had a private charter that was awesome...he put us on a good topwater bite for redfish and speckled trout. We caught a bunch but nothing really big. He said November was when the big bull red fish come in the bays. I also hooked and fought a shark for several minutes but it ended up straightening the hooks out on the lure. I got to see it though...was about 5-6 feet long. Later in the day we hit another area and caught some flounder, grouper, snapper, etc. My guide was big on the spotted trout. I didn't even know what they were but in one spot, he was trying to put my wife on a redfish he had spotted, and I saw a fin come up over on my side of the boat. I threw the topwater over there and began working it back and a big explosion erupted. We thought I had found a red but it ended up being a big trout. I dunno whether my guide was just being nice or if he was really that excited, but he said it was the best trout anybody had caught this season on his boat. He measured it at 24.5 inches long. We released everything we caught.


Eating is another favorite of mine. Most people go to the gulf to eat seafood but my wife and I aren't really big into seafood. Some people go down there and eat seafood every day....not me. The favorite place to go is Big Mikes....it's actually a steakhouse but I have had steaks all over the country and haven't found one better than what you find at Big Mikes. Lambert's Cafe is also nice...it is a bit of a busy touristy place now though...home of the throwed rolls. Yes they throw rolls if you want one. You better go hungry if you go there. We ended up there 2x during the week...I had a big pile of frog legs, white beans, fried taters and onion, cornbread...whew I am still stuffed from that. The next time, I got a BBQ Pork steak...which I had never had before, but heard they were good. They were wrong...it wasn't good. It was phenomenal!!

I saw a "relic" in there that I about flipped out over. I am a bit of a Skynyrd fan....well the pre plane crash Skynyrd...not the cover band that goes by the same name today. Anyway, in a display case, was a guitar that caught my eye. Signed by Ed King!! For those of you that don't know, Ed was a big writer and composer for Skynyrd and helped do most of their big hits.


Next year, things may be a bit different. My wife and I have begun the process of adoption for a little girl. I don't know how big of a waiting period we are in for, but since we aren't waiting for an infant, it might not be as long. That's what we are hoping for. Hopefully by October next year, I will be getting to pass some of this stuff along to a young one.

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 17, 2017 05:40PM
That sounds like a way cool vacation to me. Thanks for sharing, Daniel.

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 17, 2017 06:36PM
Nice post, Daniel.

We just completed a beach trip as well, to Destin, FL. I detected the beach (first time beach hunting) for a few hours per day, for the week we were there. I took a friend's E-Trac (my Explorer was in the shop at Minelab being repaired), and it ran quite well -- dry sand, or wet.

My finds pile for the week looks strikingly similar to yours, minus the bullets. Strikingly similar. A couple of pieces of junk jewelry, some clad, and a good pile of low-tone junk. Funny that I see a few zipper pulls in your pile...I got several of those, too. Never dug one before, but on the beach, digging nearly all low-tone targets, I got several... I also got one of those big pyramid-shaped fishing weights, a few of those same washers, etc. etc. It looks like you even got one of those little copper pieces -- the square piece directly below the bullets in your pic. I dug several of those -- I am thinking they came from either the chairs or the umbrellas that were set out each day by the resorts; all the ones I found were along the "chair line."

Anyway, beach hunting (at least, understanding how/where to hunt so as to "up your odds") is even harder than I expected.

From what I have understood, the recent hurricanes stirred up the sand big time; the way I heard it explained by some other experienced beach hunters, lots of sand got suspended in the turbulent water, and then "deposited," like snow, in a several inch layer at least across coastal areas. So, that thick layer of very soft sand you are mentioning -- which I also experienced -- is apparently at least partly due to the hurricanes.

In any case, looks like you had a good trip -- as did we. That picture you posted, the night-time beach pic, looks EXACTLY like the beach we were at.

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 17, 2017 09:13PM
That's living. Those food pics actually made me salivate, thanks for that, lol.
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 12:33AM
Good post Daniel

Looks like you’all had a great time thumbs down

Bet it was fun catching that sea trout!
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 12:46AM
Looks like you had fun.thumbs down
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 02:04AM
Good post, the fishing looks great there!

You can have my order of frog legs though, my wife loves them, but then again she's eaten snake too, and other "interesting" tidbits smiling smiley

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 01:01PM
Sweet trip. Looks like you all had a blast!!!
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 01:44PM
The FA 33 is Frankfort arsenal---33 is year of production. Neat find.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2017 01:46PM by doc holiday.
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 02:17PM
Now that's a perfect vacation! Nice spot tail!
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 04:42PM
Both of the casings are FA 33. The one with the grooves is an inert dummy round. That's how I figured the bullets were from WW2 maneuvering/training. I'm curious now as to what some of the big iron signals were that I didn't bother digging. Night hunting was the only way to go down there due to the crowd and heat. There was an unusual large number of people...I think we hit fall break for a lot of people or something. I did get out early one morning and tried water hunting but I knew from the squishy sand that it was a waste of time.

The fishing was my favorite adventure of the trip. I envy the guys that can do that on a regular basis for saltwater fish. I grew up crappie fishing and could probably do well as a guide for those but there is no comparing a redfish to a crappie in terms of explosive fun. From our boat, I could see cannons on the land from Fort Pickens. That's where I hooked the shark. I don't really like seafood...such as the oyster stuff, shrimp, crab cakes, etc. But frog legs...man oh man. I spent many an hour of my early years frog giggin. Nobody will let you go do it anymore...I hadn't had any frog legs in a long time. Couldn't pass them up.
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 09:47PM
Yep, Daniel. Fall break. That's why we were there, and we talked to some merchants that said it was the peak of fall break for the kiddos...

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 18, 2017 10:16PM
Looks like you two had a great trip. I'm with you on frog legs.. Yumm

Nice Trout!


In a democracy, it is difficult to win fellow citizens over to your own side, or to build public support to remedy injustices that remain all too real when you fundamentally misunderstand how they see the world.
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 19, 2017 02:09AM
Sweet trip and you gotta lot in - thanks for showing us how to holiday again winking smiley

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 19, 2017 02:26PM
Daniel, you sure dug up a bunch of stuff! If there was a gold ring in there you would have found it. Surprised there were none....
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 19, 2017 07:08PM
I saw the Original Lynyrd Skynyrd in 77' at Soldier field Chicago. Last concert in Chicago before the plane crash.
Ole' Ronnie Van Zant was Drinking Jack Black on stage and rockin' it. They were playing with Ted Nugent and Ronnie's little Brothers band 38 special.
That's something You can't argue is 70s had best Rock Music period!
PS, Also saw AC/DC with Bon Scott next Year in 78'. Man those were the days.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2017 07:11PM by Harold,ILL..
Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 19, 2017 08:11PM
Cool photo of the city. You could make some money on that one!

Nice finds, Nice fish.

Maybe you could do something with those colorful pull tabs!

Re: My 2017 beach trip (pic heavy)
October 20, 2017 02:09AM
Detectorist -- Those beaches get hunted quite a bit. I was actually surprised that I only saw one other person while I was down there, and it was a girl. She was detecting while I assume it was her husband, was looking for shells. She had a Garrett Ace 250 and was out real early one morning, hunting around the dry sand chairs. It wasn't for lack of trying on my part to get something gold...I didn't leave any non ferrous signal in the sand...if the detector went off on it, I dug it. There were some nights I went down there around 9 o clock, and didn't finish up until 4 in the morning. Which by the way...MOST of the time, I had it all to myself that late/early in the morning. Except one morning around 2 o clock. I had ventured down a few condos from where I was staying and was hunting down there. I had started at the waters edge and was running patterns back and forth, working my way up to the "chair line". A young couple snuck down to the beach chairs and thought since it was 2ish in the morning, that nobody else was down on the beach, and they could have a romantic foray right on the beach. Surprise for them. They didn't know I was in the world until I clicked my head lamp on when I went to dig a quarter less than 30 feet from them. smiling smiley

Harold -- That is AWESOME!! I am a big fan of the Ronnie Van Zant era of Skynyrd, and most all that era of Rock. My radio stations are all Classic Rock stations. There's a guy at work that also got to hear them in the mid 70s and I love hearing him talk about going to those concerts. He said Billy Powell, the piano player, sit there playing that piano like a boss, with a big can of Bud sitting on the piano. haha

Rick N. MI. -- That picture was actually supposed to be of the HUGE moon that was in the sky. Of course on my phone, it looks tiny in the pic and nobody even notices it until I point it out. But in real life, it was the biggest I have ever saw the moon. It is center of the pic if you look close. Those beaches down there, from Gulf Shores to Pensacola, all look the same. Actually, those lights way off in the distance are some of the condos along the beach down near the AL/FL line between Orange Beach and Pensacola. It is literally miles and miles of white sugar sand, turquoise water and condo after condo. It's a lot of territory to cover with a metal detector coil.
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