What is Magnet Fishing?
Magnet fishing may be a mystery term to many but the hobby has been growing rapidly in the UK and the US over recent years and it’s quickly catching on in South Africa too.
Magnet fishing uses a strong magnet to try and grab ferrous metal objects that are hidden or lost underwater. If you want to try grabbing something lost on the bottom of a lake, pond, well or river, a magnet on a rope might do the trick.
Like treasure hunting with a metal detector, magnet fishing is not for the impatient. It’s a big lake and a small magnet, so you might not find much very quickly. We also learned that there’s lots of iron junk on the bottom of a lake! Rusted bits of metal, steel cable, and many rocks that contain iron often stick to the magnets. Periodically, we scraped off iron-bearing dirt and rocks from the magnets. If you’re going magnet fishing, bring a pair of sturdy work gloves to scrape the mess off without cutting yourself on something rusty.
Why would anyone want to do this?
The magnet fishers we hear from seem to fall into two groups: Treasure Hunters and Tool Droppers. Treasure Hunters hope to find interesting things. Sometimes the found objects can be historically interesting. There are even a few lucky “magnetfishers” who have pulled out safes out of the water which contained cash and jewellery.
You need a strong magnet you are able to attach the rope to. I did the beginner mistake and thought that a 50 kg magnet was more than enough to start with. To be honest, it couldn’t lift that much and I lost many things. Therefore, I highly advise you to buy a strong magnet even though it is your first one.
Pick Your Location
When it comes to magnet fishing, you can cast your magnet and rope safety into most bodies of water. From a pier, bridge or boat on the open water, drop your magnet into the unknown and see what you discover.
Our Top Location Tips:
- Try to pick a spot people use. You have more chance of finding something worthwhile.
- Pick a location with a good water depth. Deep waters offer more mystery.
- Locations with bridges create a great, safe cast-off spot.
- Pick a location that is safe and not near fast flowing currents.
- Watch out for local wildlife.
What To Find
Beneath the surface of the water lies the unknown and you could be on the verge of unearthing a hidden treasure. You’re certain to find old scrap metal and fish hooks but people in the past have discovered historic coins, firearms and WWII artefacts! What will you find? Other people use magnetic fishing to help retrieve tools that have fallen into the water. With a rope length of 10 metres, you stand a strong chance of retrieving your equipment.
Are you hooked? Want to buy magnet fishing equipment in South Africa?