How to Use a Fishing Magnet Safely
If you’ve been watching the news lately, you might have noticed some coverage on permanent magnet fishing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hobby appears to have exploded in popularity in recent years. Why is this the case? Many of us are looking for new ways to keep ourselves busy, and getting to spend time outside is a plus!
But how does this work? Is there any truth to the claims that this hobby is dangerous, and what can we do to reduce the risks? Fortunately, despite some of the responses from governments worldwide, there are numerous ways to stay safe while still enjoying this activity. More information can be found here.
What exactly is it?
Let’s start with a definition of magnetic fishing. Though you might think it has something to do with catching fish, it combines treasure hunting and environmental stewardship. You take magnets and attach a rope to them, then drag them through a body of water to find items beneath the surface.
Why do they do it? They are primarily concerned with removing trash from local ecosystems. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of waste ends up in our streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans. Unfortunately, these objects are frequently made of metal.
It is easy to believe that picturesque waters remain untouched, but this is not the case. This is one of the reasons why so many people have taken up the mantle of attempting to remove pollutants. But what are the specifics of that?
What Will We Discover?
The tools you use will have an impact on this to some extent. I’m mainly referring to the magnet’s strength. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, you can find some examples of magnet fishing here. Magnets designed for this purpose are typically five hundred pounds or greater.
So, what can we discover? Coins are a surprisingly common find. They could be from anywhere worldwide, and we occasionally run into them.
Aside from coins, most people find them can be classified as trash or scrap. Bicycle rims, scrap metal, and other odds and ends will be influenced by where we go. For example, you may encounter railroad spikes if you do this activity near a railroad.
It’s worth noting that this is where security concerns arise. Going magnet fishing on a historical battleground might get a little more than you bargained for. Many people, for example, underestimate how long unexploded ammunition can survive.
Why do people go to these places to try to attract fish if it is dangerous? One of the answers is probably due to some of the stories about discovering ancient vaults of weapons and solving old mysteries. These things sound appealing and entice people to take a chance. Is it, however, worthwhile?
Most of the time, the answer is a resounding no. It is never worth putting yourself or others in danger for the slim chance of discovering something unique. More than likely, you will find ammunition or something else hazardous.
How Can We Stay Safe?
This is not to say that we can’t stay safe while also having a good time magnet fishing in the meantime. I want to emphasize that we should avoid potentially volatile areas. How can we maintain ourselves out of trouble (or, at the very least, try)?
One strategy is to research our destination. Investigate some of the local histories. Because there are so many historical battlefields in places like France in Europe, in which the hobby has gained a great deal of notoriety, this is a little more difficult. There are slightly fewer instances of this in the United States.
Of course, this does not imply that we should be brazen in our location choices. There are, for example, old Civil War battlefields and others. Nonetheless, the geographical space in the United States means that many more areas are unlikely to contain live rounds of munitions.
How else can we protect ourselves?
While this is not a fishing hobby, some of the equipment we can invest in is. For example, getting a warm jacket and waders is probably a good idea. I am not suggesting that you go out into the water all the time (far from it), but they are still helpful in protecting your feet.
If you’re anything like me, you’re likely familiar with how unpleasant rope burn feels – I recall it from childhood tug-of-war games. That is why I wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves when I go magnet fishing. We need to thread ropes through the magnets to do the hobby, so you’ll handle them a lot.
Is this a worthwhile hobby?
In all honesty, it depends on your definition of “worthwhile.” You are unlikely to strike gold and discover something worth billions of dollars. However, if you find trying to remove litter from our waters enjoyable, the answer is most likely yes.