After gaining popularity in recent years as a result of video platforms like YouTube, it’s likely you’ve heard of magnet fishing by now. But what exactly is it? Is it legal? And how can someone get started? Our experts have answered the most frequently asked questions around magnet fishing and compiled them into this handy guide.
What is magnet fishing?
Magnet fishing is a hobby that involves attaching a strong magnet to the end of a rope and throwing it into a body of water in the hopes of retrieving lost, metal treasures. For decades, boat owners have used this technique to retrieve lost keys or hooks that have fallen overboard, but in recent years, more people are seeking the thrill of discovering unknown treasures hidden below the water’s surface. Magnet fishing especially gained popularity during lockdown, when outdoor, socially distanced hobbies were encouraged. Many people believe magnet fishing is an eco-friendly hobby, as toxic, metal objects are cleaned from bodies of water, allowing for natural habitats to thrive. However, some people aren’t as enthusiastic about this hobby gaining popularity, as people have been known to leave unwanted finds on the side of river beds or obstructing walkways.
What are the laws around magnet fishing in the UK?
There are currently no laws prohibiting the act of magnet fishing, however it’s essential to receive permission from the land owner if you don’t want to be apprehended for trespassing! The Canal & Rivers Trust state they “don't allow magnet fishing as it can be extremely dangerous”, so you’ll have to find a privately owned waterway if you want to try your hand at some magnet fishing.
What magnet should I buy for magnet fishing?
We recommend using a double sided neodymium magnet due to its high pull strength. To securely attach your rope, a neodymium hook magnet would be most appropriate. Our Complete Magnet Fishing Kit contains everything you need to start your new hobby including a 60mm double-sided neodymium magnet, eyebolt, 10m rope, karabiner and a pair of gloves.
What am I likely to find whilst magnet fishing?
Scrap metal, coins, phones and watches are most commonly found in busy waterways where a passerby has accidentally dropped their valuables in. However, in historic locations, magnet fishers have been known to find old grenades, handguns and knives that were disposed of. If you’re lucky enough to discover a treasure like this, please get in touch with the appropriate authorities to report it, as it may be of help to an ongoing investigation.
If you’re magnet fishing near a pier or bay, you’re likely to find discarded fishing equipment. Once removed from the water, please remember to dispose of such waste correctly.
What are some insider tips for first time magnet fishers?
- Take a bin bag or bucket to the waterways with you or arrange for scrap removal to collect your unwanted findings.
- If you lose your magnet in the water, or are struggling to remove an object due to its heavy weight… let it go! No piece of treasure is worth endangering yourself or others in the process.
- Dress appropriately - be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting ruined by water, dirt and sludge.
- When deciding on your location, choose spots where people are likely to have dropped something into the water, such as under a bridge or along a popular walking path - this will give you the best chance of finding some lost treasures.
- Any rust covered finds can be cleaned with some warm soapy water and a wire brush. Be careful with delicate objects and, if necessary, soak overnight in white vinegar to penetrate any remaining rust.
If you’ve got any more questions for our team, don’t hesitate to contact us!