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Basic CTX 3030 shallow water hunting tips

July 19, 2012 04:00pm

Gary Drayton
Gary Drayton beach metal detecting with Minelab Sovereign GT metal detector

Here are a few basic tips to help you get the best out of your CTX 3030 when treasure hunting in the shallow water. Before venturing into the shallow water to metal detect, I suggest that you first learn how to use your CTX 3030 on the beach and become comfortable using the CTX 3030 in the basic preset beach mode.

When you are familiar with the basic audio target tones of common beach finds and can manually adjust the Sensitivity control to suit the conditions present, it is time to hit the water. With my CTX 3030 turned on, the very first thing I do when I enter the water to metal detect is nothing. I wade into the water to the approximate depth that I intend to search and simply chill out for a few minutes. This gives the CTX 3030 and Smart Coil time to stabilize to the temperature of the water. It is quite normal for you to have to lower your sensitivity level inside the water because the water is now surrounding your search coil, unlike on the beach with the sand only below your search coil. As you begin to metal detect in the water your CTX 3030 will let you know what adjustments to the sensitivity level need to be made. If each sweep of the search coil results in multiple false signals, you have your sensitivity level set too high. If there are no false signals at all, you may have the sensitivity level too low and are missing feint deep targets.

CTX 3030 shallow water detecting

For those new to beach hunting I suggest you manually adjust your Sensitivity control in small increments until you get to a point where your CTX 3030 is just running smoothly. Experienced water hunters may want to raise the sensitivity slightly above that point where slight or occasional false signals occur occasionally, but are quite easy to distinguish from good signals. Using this approach, any changes in the conditions can be better heard, you can hear if things get noisier or quieter and adjust the sensitivity level to maximize depth.

Most beaches are non mineralized and the CTX 3030 is best operated in Manual Sensitivity, as Auto Sensitivity can drift without any mineralization to lock onto. If you are on a mineralized beach and running in Auto Sensitivity you may not have to make any adjustments to the Sensitivity control.

CTX 3030 shallow water detecting

Make sure you shorten your sweep and sweep speed in the water because a fast sweep speed in the surf may cause you to miss targets if you do not give the CTX 3030 enough time to read the ground. On the off chance that you still get significant chatter, try turning deep off or changing any other options that may be causing the CTX 3030 to work harder processing targets in the water. From my experiences shallow water hunting in all kinds of surf I have found the CTX 3030 will run very smoothly once you have completed your initial adjustments to the Sensitivity control.

It is important to remember that although you can use your preset modes and favorite settings on any water hunt, the Sensitivity control is not a set and forget type of control.

In my opinion to be a successful treasure hunter, you have to do your final adjustments or fine tuning on the CTX 3030 after you enter the water.

This waterproof CTX 3030 is a versatile piece of treasure hunting equipment with so many cool features that improve your chances of being successful, no matter what you are searching for. From relic hunting in the water with a wide open pattern and using deep seeking options to jewelry hunting in the beach mode with a large array of discrimination tools, the CTX 3030 rules the waves.

CTX 3030 shallow water detecting finds

All of these pieces of gold jewelry were found in the shallow waters of South Florida using the CTX 3030 beach mode in various Manual and Auto sensitivity levels. Some of these gold finds were hidden deep in the sand and some pieces of gold were found hidden relatively shallow amongst the trash. You too can find a variety of gold jewelry finds in the shallow water with this incredible water hunting machine by fine tuning your CTX 3030 to suit the conditions present in the water.

Happy CTXing!

Gary Drayton


Awesome blog again Gary and some excellent tips that will come in handy as I venture off the land and into the water more this coming summer. Is there any chance you could do a blog in relation to the best equipment eg wet suits, scoops, footwear, gloves for and against etc
Posted By: MarkW on July 20, 2012 12:11pm
Hi Mark
Thank you and I wish you success in your water hunting adventures this summer. I think your idea of a blog about water hunting equipment is a very good idea because having the correct equipment really does makes a difference. To a water hunter, the design of your long handled water scoop, thickness of your wet suit, style of finds pouch and even your foot wear can make the difference between going home with a valuable find or going home early and empty handed.
Good luck
Posted By: Gary Drayton on July 20, 2012 12:51pm
Hey Gary, very informative post. And very helpful. My CTX 3030 is arriving in a few days and I am anxious to try it out. Fortunately I read your post above before I got it because I was going to hit the surf right away. I might have done ok since I am not inexperienced but your advice makes alot of sense and is the best way to do things I think. I have been doing alot of reading about the CTX 3030 since I decided to get one. Actually...everything I could find written about it.

I agree that a blog about water hunting and types of gear suitable for treasure hunting in the water in any particular area would be really helpful. For me as well. Well especially for me. So..when are you going to start it? Last week or last month would have been great.
Posted By: cyberpip on July 21, 2012 10:05pm
There are some really good informative CTX 3030 blogs on this site and I am sure you can put that information to good use when your CTX 3030 arrives.
I have started working on a water hunting equipment type blog and hope to have it ready in the near future. I appreciate your input and share your enthusiasm for gathering as much knowledge about the metal detector I am using as possible. The more you learn about the CTX 3030 the more you are going to love it.
Cheers Gary.
Posted By: Gary Drayton on July 23, 2012 11:48am
Thanks Gary. Some good tips there, and great finds! I particular like the look of that cross, very unusual design. Nice work
Posted By: Nenad on July 23, 2012 08:35pm
great information.

I took my CTX 3030 to the beach for the 4th of July and noticed the sensitivity adjusting you are talking about, with one difference. The wet/dry line on the shore is where i would have to adjust the sensitivity. I would run auto +1 or 2 on dry and if i crossed the wet line i would have to drop to auto -1 to quiet down the chatter.

The other thing i noticed came 2 weeks later. corrosion! I took the time to rinse off the detector every use, but then i took it out yesterday there was grren corrosion on one of the battery terminals and contact inside the battery compartment. the screws also showed some signs of salt exposure. I quickly cleaned off the corrosion dismantled the dectector looking for more. I will keep checking and cleaning. I hope that this was just an isolated occurance and won't take it to salt again without taking more percautions.
Posted By: dwatson4 on July 24, 2012 07:51am
Hi dwatson4,

For information about your screws showing salt exposure have a look at our product notice

If water has entered the battery compartment you should double check the waterproof seal. Watch this video for more information.

Brenton O'Brien
Posted By: Brenton. on July 26, 2012 05:18pm
There are several things that can have an effect on what sensitivity level you are able to run on your CTX 3030 when beach or shallow water hunting, it sounds to me like you have some tough beach conditions.
The white powdery substance trapped inside the screw heads on the control box screws are salt deposits and nothing to be concerned about.
I now use a soft bristle brush to make sure all of those little nooks and crannies are salt free on the CTX 3030 when rinsing off with fresh water.
I would retrace my steps on the battery terminal issue, making sure that it never occurs again. To see if my O-ring was sand free and in place the last time the battery was replaced, battery compartment latches fully closed and no moisture was on the battery before it was installed. I have had spent many hours with my control box under water and have not had any issues with my CTX 3030, hopefully your problem was just an isolated incident and by taking extra precautions it will not happen again.
Best of luck
Posted By: Gary Drayton on July 26, 2012 09:51pm
I got a msg on the CTX 3030 saying "coil not detected". My large coil works fine. Minelab is sending me a new coil and even paying for me sending mine back.
Two times out I have found a 8.2 gr plat. wedding band and a 14 K 5.2 gold wedding band. I think it might be the coil. It makes me go slower and I cover more. What do you think Gary?
Second, I think that O ring is a weak link of the CTX 3030. Every time I have to charge it I must clean out sand. No water, but everytime I have had sand. It is hard getting the O ring out and in the field it would be hard to change batteries.
I love the machine and I agree with you that the biggest plus of the CTX 3030 is the discrimanation. Once I have the faith to not dig 12 35 I will probably do better. Ken McCluskey
Posted By: kenova153 on August 22, 2012 02:35am
Hi Ken
Minelab customer service is extremely good, it is always reassuring to know that if you have a problem Minelab will take care of it.
It is so important to practice good search coil control when using any large search coil on the beach or in the shallow water and by the sound of it you are, congratulations on your platinum and gold finds. I have always considered it better to cover less ground correctly than more ground incorrectly, no matter what size search coil being used on the CTX 3030.
I have hunted in your area over on the West Coast of Florida and I remember that fine powdery sand, my advice would be to change your batteries only after your CTX 3030 is completely dry and you can blow any fine sand away from the battery compartment before unfastening the battery. When I store my CTX 3030 I always leave the battery off until just before leaving the house to go detecting. In the Florida heat and humidity I find that I get a tighter fit when the battery is installed prior to water hunting. Hopefully both of these tips will take care of your problems with sand around the O ring.
I still dig the odd 12-36 but it is always a penny, the CTX 3030 penny target identification on the beach is so reliable that I do not bother to reject pennies anymore. Best of luck Ken
Cheers Gary
Posted By: Gary Drayton on August 22, 2012 09:49am
Gary, out of interest, is that an actual gold coin set in that silver ring that's sitting on the coil? This is regularly done with Half Sovereigns here in Australia, and full Sovereigns are often set in pendants.
Posted By: Nenad on August 23, 2012 10:47am
Hi Nenad
Yes it is a small gold coin similar to maundy money in the UK, I found a similar ring in the same area several years ago, that ring was gold and the coin was silver. The great thing about shallow water hunting for modern jewelry is every so often you find a nice old coin mounted in a pendant or a ring, this is my second gold coin ring. This is another reason why you should not get too carried away when "cherry picking" for low tone gold targets with a CTX 3030, you do not want to risk missing out on a potentially valuable find by not digging any high tones at all.
Cheers Gary
Posted By: Gary Drayton on August 23, 2012 12:43pm
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