What is Magnet Fishing and is it legal?

What is Magnet Fishing and is it legal?

Magnet Fishing is a red-hot trend. There are many YouTube videos and Facebook groups that show its popularity and reveal how people are adopting it to find the latent treasures and clean up the waterways.

With magnet fishing, you never know what you can catch until you try.

Just like fishing, it involves throwing a powerful neodymium magnet attached to a rope into a waterhole. The magnet searches and attracts metal treasure for you to bring up to the surface.

It allows you to catch different kinds of things, such as:

  • Coins
  • Bicycles
  • Guns
  • Auto Parts
  • Safes

Your success counts on where you are tossing the magnet. It can be a lake, river, pond, or some other waterway. If you are lucky, you can find rare and valuable items also like antique military helmets, swords, and weapons that can help you earn thousands of dollars.

How To Magnet Fish

It starts with choosing the right magnet and rope.

If you have a larger budget, we suggest you buy other accessories too – Locking Carabiner, Heavy-Duty Gloves, Plastic Bucket, and Gravity Hook.

Below are a few steps on how to start from scratch with magnet fishing.

Step #1: Make The Best Knot

It is pertinent to learn the most awesome magnet fishing knot if you don’t want to lose your precious magnet in the waterhole. A good knot is firmly fastened and doesn’t loosen especially when the magnet holds the heavyweights. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best knot is ‘Palomar Knot’; it is very strong and resists slipping. The Uni Knot and Figure 8 Loops are also reliable, since the more you pull on them, the tighter they get.

Step #2: Learn The Technique

We have many techniques for magnet fishing. For example, the up and down technique, throw and pull technique, and throw, pull, and walk technique. Each technique has its own benefits. For instance, the up and down technique is to catch everything that magnet touches, but you cover a lot of smaller areas with this method.

The throw and pull technique is a tad different. In this method, you don’t lift the magnet up and down to touch multiple small areas. Instead, you throw the magnet away from the bridge and pull it in. You lose a few things that attach to your magnet, but you cover a big area.

In the last technique which is a bit complex too, you throw the magnet parallel with the bridge, pull it until you feel something is attached to it and then pull it up from the bridge, as you don’t want to waste it by dragging it against the bottom.

Step #3: Remove The Rust

The next step is to remove the rust from your magnet fishing finds. Due to the rust, sometime it won’t be possible for you to perceive their actual worth. There are many methods that you can try, such as Apple or White Vinegar Method, Lemon And Salt Method, and The Baking Soda Method. Oxalic Acid is a powerful chemical cleaner also; it cleans the rust off immediately, for that reason, it is imperative to use it carefully.

In case you are thinking about what metals are attracted to a powerful magnet, it strongly attracts the ‘Ferromagnetic Metals’ (iron, nickel, cobalt, gadolinium, and steel).

Pure gold or silver doesn’t attract magnets.

Is Magnet Fishing Legal?

So far there aren’t restrictions in the U.S.

However, in the UK, magnet fishing is prohibited in many locations as some people pulled up dangerous items like World War II hand grenade.

The UK Canal And River Trust law state that ‘No person unless authorized by the board is allowed to remove coal or any other material from any canal’. In other words, this hobby isn’t allowed on any property controlled by the trust.

The only option you have is to do it on private property.

Even if you get the authorization first in the UK, it is good to use common sense and follow the rules. Report to the police right away if you find any guns, grenade, ammo, or other weapons. Besides, keep in mind, the canals are commonly used as a dumping ground for criminal activities. It is the easiest access point for the criminals to get rid of the evidence.

We understand, with magnet fishing, you don’t harm people or land, but according to experts, even in the United States, there are some arguments that make this hobby controversial. For example, all rivers and canals have owners. Therefore, the owners own what is on the river bed. To be safe, if you feel you are in a controversial area, it is better to just ask the owner, the government, or the environment agency.

If you are practicing this hobby on private property, the owner can also compel you to make a deal like sharing the value of the expensive items.

You can also seek the advice of a lawyer, if you are a professional magnet fisher and have any doubt about the legality of magnet fishing in a specific area. Though unlike actual fishing, you don’t require a license, a lawyer can help you understand the regulations of the wildlife agency which can affect the legality of this hobby and push you into disillusionment.

We can’t give any official permission or advice. But, to us, it is a pretty benign activity that not only benefits the magnet fishers but also cleans the waterways by removing rusty items.

There isn’t any reason for law enforcement to mount a campaign against it to raise funds through issuing licenses. However, the popularity of magnet fishing shows that it may happen at some point down the road.


All in all, in magnet fishing, as something hits your magnet, it goes ‘clink’.

You get the feeling on the rope that you have got something. Mostly it is junk, but sometimes you will pull up the treasures which antique dealers love to buy.

Most beginners get in gold fever. In reality, the typical findings at the start are ‘the classic ones’. If you are lucky, with professional equipment and the right location, you can catch bigger and immensely valuable things too, such as first cash boxes and vaults.

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