(This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.)
One of the most common places to find gold is creeks. There are many ways to look for gold. One of them is to use a metal detector.
Table of Contents
What is the best metal detector for creeks?
In order to look for gold in creeks, you do not need a fully waterproof metal detector because creeks are usually shallow.
You only need a device with a waterproof search coil. If this is the case, the detector is, usually, waterproof up to the control box. (so be careful, don’t drop your device into the water because the control box will be damaged)
This depth is enough to be able to metal detect in creeks or in shallow lakes.
Fully submersible metal detectors may be super helpful. You can use them up to 200 feet under water. You can use them also in salt water too.
But, you don’t need this type of detectors. Because, first, creeks are not usually that deep. Second, water in creeks is not salt. Finally, they are very expensive.
So to hunt creeks, use Fisher F 22, which is a popular entry level metal detector and it is affordable.
What makes it good for creeks?
The control box of the Fisher F 22 is weatherproof, not waterproof, which means that you can use the metal detector while it is raining. But it is not submersible.
The headphone jack has a rubber cover to protect it from the water. If you choose to use headphones, you will have to remove it.
In this case, the control housing will not be fully protected against water. So in order to have the maximum protection against water, use only the onboard speakers.
It has a waterproof search coil. Its size is 9 inches. You can submerge the detector up to the control housing.
Keep in mind that the control housing and the coil’s plug connection into the control box cannot be submerged.
Can it find gold in creeks?
Gold is a metal. Therefore, any metal detector can find nuggets if they have a reasonable size, not very deep and away from trash and mineralization.
The Fisher F 22 isn’t an exception.
The Fisher F 22 has four discrimination modes that allow the detector to emit different audio signals when it detects different types of metals and to eliminate other types.
To eliminate means that you will not hear a beep nor see the target ID of the unwanted metals if they are detected.
This feature is a time saver. Because it allows the user to forget about trashy items and focus only on interesting ones (rings, necklaces, coins…).
If you do not enable this feature, the metal detector will emit an audio signal whenever it detects any type of metal.
This includes nails, bolts, pull-tabs, bottle caps…and other worthless objects. And you only want to find gold in creeks.
The screen of the Fisher F 22
The detector has an LCD screen. On the right, it displays the selected discrimination mode.
There are four of them: jewelry, coin, artifact, and custom. As already explained in the previous paragraph…
A discrimination mode tells the detector to ignore certain types of metal and emit an audio signal only if the wanted metals are detected.
For example, if you choose the jewelry mode, iron will be ignored. And since you are looking for gold, this discrimination mode is good for you.
On the upper part of the screen, you will find a scale (from zero (Fe) to nine) with three segments. And the in the center, the display shows a target ID.
The scale and the target ID tells you the probable nature of the buried metal.
I said “probable” because it is not accurate. For example, the second part of the scale is named “gold”. But if an object is within this range it doesn’t mean necessarily that is gold. It may be aluminum foil.
The screen displays the depth of the buried object. You can know whether it is 3, 6 or 9 inches deep.
The depth indicator is calibrated with coins. This means that if the buried item is close in size to a coin, the detector measuring will be accurate.
Otherwise, it will be far from reality depending on the size of the object.
The battery level indicator is on the left side with the menu: volume, sensitivity, and notch.
Pinpointing allows you to locate exactly where the metal is. That way you don’t have to dig a big hole and to waste time to find the metal object.
Since the Fisher F 22 is an entry level detector. Ground balancing is automatic. This is good for beginners because you don’t have to keep tuning a knob to get it right.
But more experienced users may want to adjust ground balancing manually.
Ground balancing let you ignore signals caused by ground minerals.
All soils differ and each one of them has its own composition. The fisher F 22 can handle them automatically.
But it can not work with wet salt sand or with a soil containing a lot of iron dioxide (rust).
Are there any other good models?
The Garrett ACE 300 does a good job too. It can be used in creeks since its search coil is waterproof. It is submersible up to the control housing.
It is one of my favorite metal detectors. I find it easy to use and good for beginners.
But the control box isn’t weatherproof like the Fisher F 22.
And in environments like creeks and lakes, the detector could easily get wet. So you need to make sure the detector is protected.
You do not want to lose a metal detector for few gold grains.
Are there other methods to find gold in creeks without using a metal detector?
One of the most popular ways to do that is gold panning. I think you mostly heard about this method along with other famous terms like gold rush.
It is a popular method because it is easy and you only need simple tools.
Tips for gold prospecting in creeks
Not all the creeks or rivers have gold. Some of them have others don’t. Spend some time gathering information before you go metal detecting in a creek.
Creeks are long, so instead of wasting your time looking all over the place. Pick spots strategically.
Gold is a dense element. It is heavier than water and than other metals.
If you find a hole in the creek (sudden drop in the depth), start metal detecting there.
Gold may be also found where the current is slower. Look near boulders and near the base of a waterfall (if there is any)