Azdigger, I can't help you much as I'm very new to this game as well and also ask myself what the heck am I looking for everytime I'm out. Red dirt in some areas and white patches in others. Differences and junctions of the soil colors, signs of fractures...streams appearing or slipping underground indicators of fault lines and the almighty quartz float and serpentine zones, gets my head spinning. I'm looking for them all and they seem to be everywhere, fortunately (depending on how you look at it) a lot or most of the gold proudicing ones I think have been discovered and some trace of their location marked by previous activity and in saying this know I'm not saying anything you and most everyone already knows, this is question as much as statement... in saying this all of my nuggets have been found by confidence. All have been found in heavily pounded ground and only after forcing myself to pick an area and slow down searching inch by inch for the remaining spread out nuggets in worked ground. I just got back from rye patch and 4 full days of hunting reallly good looking ground and on the third day hit one .7g nugget for the trip and I'm happy as hell, my last two trips were skunks. The shiny flat gold, coins and Opel were from the club rye patch outing, the one covered in calcite is the .7g after a bath in CLR I found. The jeep tire was just another part of the adventure and a chance to make a new friend at big-o-tires in winnemucca, also stopped in to see Peg Leg John on the way back to rye patch, john's always a friendly face and a few good stories. Anyway I diverge, again all my nuggets I've found going slow, really slow and in spots I've cornered before that I missed more than once on previous trips. Another half of those in tight spots, under obstructions that make it tough for good coil swings and thus more likely missed. I'm new, this my disclaimer if I lead you astray... hunt worked areas, I look for old and new dug ground and I follow any tracks I find and go slow. Not saying that this isn't what you are doing now, probably you are, really most all my time is enjoying the hunt with scarce seconds of euphoria...great isn't it.
Best of luck, clark