Is Magnet Fishing Legal?

rusty old wrenches

A new type of fishing has started gaining popularity over the past few years and has quickly become a very growing sport in the US and other countries, and that is MAGNET fishing. The one most important thing that most people ask is if it is legal and can I get in trouble for doing it. This is extremely important because if you normally fish without a license, it can carry some hefty fines.

In all the research that I have done, there are no laws that I could find that says magnet fishing is illegal to do except in South Carolina, where it is illegal. The one thing that is very important is that if you try to fish on private property, you still must gain permission from the owner, or you could be violating trespassing laws. Always check your local fish and game website to make sure that they have not added any new laws that might prevent you from magnet fishing, or requires you to get a special license or permit. You can get a list of each states fish and game site HEREOpens in a new tab..

What Is Magnet Fishing

Magnet fishing involves tying a high powered magnet (not the refrigerator kind) to a fishing line or rope and tossing it out into the water to find anything magnetic. As you pull or reel your line back in, the magnet is scraped across the bottom of the body of water and picks up anything magnetic that it comes across. When you bring the magnet back to you, everything that was found can then be removed from the magnet and you toss it out again in a different spot. This mirrors fishing in the sense that you can have a rod with the line, and on the end of that line instead of a hook, you have a magnet, and when you “catch” something, you reel it in and land your prize. This sport is starting to become very popular, so I would expect to see more profound regulations on it sooner rather than later, and with more structured guidelines than what we are used to seeing. You can really catch a bunch of cool stuff, and I have even seen people that catch things like guns, knives and even safes! The most I have caught are old sunglasses and a ton of fishing lures, but it is a lot of fun.

Are Coins Magnetic

The short answer to this question is, Yes and No, but there is a lot more detail for this. In the United States, coins are not made from magnetic metal, so you will not be able to magnet fish for things like quarters, dimes, nickels, etc. However, there are other places like Canada that do put magnetic metal in their coins and they can be brought up while magnet fishing, so if you are going out fishing for pocket change, you probably will not get anything that you can go out and buy stuff with. Other coins from places like Brazil and Euro coins can also be picked up by magnets. You can buy a different type of magnet, called a rare earth magnet or neodymium magnet, that will, in fact, pick up change, but those are not your typical fishing magnets sold online, and you would have to go to a magic shop to find them. I was able to find one fishing rare earth magnet on Amazon, and you can check it out HEREOpens in a new tab..

Is Gold Attracted To A Magnet
rusty old key

True 24k gold is not magnetic at all, so for the general purpose of gold, then NO, it is not magnetic at all, but there some instances where that could not be the case. As you go to different caret of gold, like 14k, and 18k gold, it is mixed with other metals to make up the complete compound. In most instances gold is mixed with silver to lessen the carets, so you will still not have a magnetic metal because silver is also not magnetic. If you do find a piece of jewelry that is picked up by a magnet then that is most likely because it has been mixed with something else like iron. If you do find jewelry that is magnetic, it would be a good idea to take it to a jeweler and ask them to test it for gold. There is also a trick that fake jewelers are using where they are adding copper and other non-magnetic materials to the gold so that it passes the magnetic test, so always be on the lookout for fakes.

What are Fishing Magnets

Fishing magnets are high strength magnets that are designed to lift 750 pounds or more magnetic material. These magnets have the ability to lift bicycles, and even smaller safes from the water without dropping them, so they are not your typical refrigerator magnets. They are normally inset into a housing that has a loop on the end for you to tie a rope or high strength fishing line to as well. Once the magnet is dropped in the water, it is pulled across the bottom until you feel it attract something, and at that point, you can slowly start to pull the item up out of the water. A great example of a nice fishing magnet HEREOpens in a new tab., and has the ability to lift 1200 pounds without losing strength.

Magnet Fishing Tips

Magnet fishing can be a lot of fun, so we have compiled a list of tips for anyone who is wanting to start magnet fishing, or to just help you improve your magnet fishing game.

  • Pick The Right Spot: Find a place that has high foot traffic. Pick a place that has a lot of swimming, fishing, and boating, and is easily accessed by the public.
  • Always Wear Gloves: You will be bringing up metal, which can be rusty, and very sharp, so always get a thick pair of gloves.
  • Ask Permission: If you have never been to the spot you are fishing, make sure you ask for permission first.
  • Double Check Your Knot: Always double check your knot, or it could slip off. You will be bringing up large items, and you do not want your knot tonylon rope with knot come unraveled.
  • Use High Strength Line: Use very high strength rope, or use a very high strength fishing line or braided line if you are using a fishing rod.

Using these tips will make sure that you are safe from breaking the law and also getting cut by whatever you bring up, and will also be more likely to land something awesome if the area is popular.

Fishing Technique
rusted bike being pulled from water

There are a couple of different techniques you can use when you are magnet fishing depending on where you are and what you are searching for. The first is to get a heavy duty nylon rope with a magnet tied to the end of it. You then throw the rope out making sure that you have the other end secured so it does not go out with it, and then you slowly pull the rope back in, and when you feel a hit, you can then start pulling the item to the surface. The other technique is to use a heavy duty fishing rod, with some high strength line with a magnet tied to the other end. You can then cast out your line like a normal rod, and start reeling it in slowly. Once you feel the magnet bite onto something, you can then reel the rest of your line in to pull the item to the shore. No matter what way you decide to magnet fish with, you have to be careful that you don’t lose the item from the magnet, and when you get it to the shoreline, that you carefully take the magnet off because it could be attached to a rusty artifact, and could cut you, or break the item.

Do You Need A Fishing License To Magnet Fish

At this point, there is no local law that I could find that says you need to have any sort of license when magnet fishing. You must ask and get permission to fish in private areas, or you could be breaking trespassing laws which can carry a fine, and time in jail, so always ask before you throw a magnet out. Laws change very quickly, so it is always a great idea to check with your local fish and game website to see if anything new has been added or changed. You can see all the fish and game websites by state HEREOpens in a new tab. on our site.

Terry Minton

I am the owner of Fast Cast Rods. I live in the mountains of Northern California where I love to be outdoors hunting, fishing, camping and hiking with my wife and three awesome kids.

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