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Do I have to spend $6000 to find a dang nugget?


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Hello everyone! This is the first gold prospecting forum I have joined and this will be my first

post. Entitled: Download and decompress....

My name is Luke. I live in Phoenix, and a 39 year 'native' of Arizona. I've spent countless hours

reading the posts here and anywhere else where people with valuable experience so generously share

their hard won wisdom. Thank you for that.

A few years back I bought a Goldmaster V/sat on Craigslist for $325 and it came with a sluice and

old version of the Fox gold spiral. Pretty good deal... I went up to the Cow Creek area a few

times. Found garbage and a few rattlesnakes. I discovered that I needed to learn to use my

detector better. Ground balancing, at that time, was still a mystery.

Soon after aquiring the detector, my son was born. No time for a hobby. Daddy duty. Now I have a

4.5 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. Been busy these last few years. Just recently I have

been able to get some personal time, and metal detecting for gold is how I would like to spend that


So, this last September I joined the GPAA. I also bought a used GMT last fall. I also have a

Shooter coil and actually prefer the V/sat-Shooter combo over the GMT. I seem to find more with

that detector combo and spend less time chasing ghosts.

I've been to several of the local GPAA claims. The Nugget Flow claims at the junction of San

Domingo wash and San Domingo peak, is the area I go most often. I understand that this is a tough

area and some may say there's no gold left. I believe that there is still gold there, it's just

really difficult to get. The only gold I've found was with my Dewalt vac, crevicing the wash that

flows south on the eastern side of San Domingo peak. (see attached pic) I'm pretty happy with

these little bits. However, what I would really like to do, is learn how to find gold with my


I have read 'Zip Zip' and 'Finding Gold Nuggets II' at least a dozen times. Amongst other well

know publications. It all seems to make perfect sense sitting on my couch reading about Larry and

Jimmy's adventures. I have tried to put into practice as many tips and tricks as possible. I

understand ground balancing now. I am starting to waste less time on Hot rocks and Iron stones. I

have been out prospecting one day a week for the last 5 months, minus a couple weekends. With this

increased knowledge and experience I am building an impressive collection of bird shot and brass

tacks. Not to mention all the rusted bits of iron out there. I still cherish these finds because

I believe they are steps on the path to success. I believe I'm "paying my dues", so to speak.

Still no nugget. I know that frustration is something everyone experiences. I am realistic and

don't expect riches. If I could find a BB sized piece of gold every other time I go out, I would

feel very successful and have something to show for the effort. It would be nice to quiet the

naysayers as well.

BY NO MEANS, would I expect anyone to take my hand and point me to their nugget patch. Somewhere

between what I've read in books and watched in videos, and experienced myself, something is

missing. I find it difficult to look at a landscape and chose a particular spot to hunt. The

longer I spend looking the more I can make a case for why gold should be there. Anywhere. "Gold

is where you find it", right? Then it's sometimes found in places it shouldn't be too. Is it the

red dirt, the brown dirt, or the base of the basalt flows? In the washes, gulches, gullies, or

ridges? A combination of all these things? I keep thinking and saying that once I find that first

nugget I will have something to build upon. When will that day come?!?!?!!!!!

Sorry for blowing up the forum with this long post. I figured I would introduce myself and give

some insight as to who I am and where I'm coming from. I thought it would be best to put it all

out there at one time.

I will perservere and continue the search for the elusive first nugget. I feel a bit honored to

address a group of experienced Detectorists, who have, learned these lessons the hard way and in

the exact same areas I have described. Thank you to anyone who took the time to read through all

this. I would like to stop by and say hello at the LSD event being planned. Just don't want to be

the stranger at the 'family reunion'. Thanks again. Any response is welcome.

Luke J.


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Luke, first off welcome aboard. There are ALOT of great folks on here that have top notch knowledge of metal detecting. Other than a lucky few, it seems to take FOREVER to find that first nugg with a detector. Took me just over 2 years with the gb2. And that was detecting almost every weekend during the spring, summer and fall. Have you picked up any lead shot while detecting? Do you have a test nugget? If not, the biggest nugget in your pic should be sufficient enough to see how it sounds on your machine. I know it's not really what you want to hear but it really takes time, practice and the willingness to not quit. Seems like right when I was about to throw my detector in the trash I banged my first nv nugget. Patience and boots on the ground in known gold areas is the best place to start. Like i said, there are some GREAT folks here so stick around. Good luck and welcome.

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A GMT would have found that larger nugget on the dime. Don't be discouraged as gold is the hardest element for a detector to see. You should consider dropping by the outing in March, around evening time when most are back in camp. It may be deserted during the day....If you are finding nice color in your wash , try removing the overburden and only detecting the bedrock. Your chances will increase significantly. And, no , you do not need to spend 6K to find gold with a detector

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Hey, I'm right there with you on the skunk. If it wasn't for me having such a blast riding my Rokon and exploring new places looking for those elusive nuggets, I'd have probably given up already. You'll find your gold eventually, I know I will, so I don't let it bother me. Main thing is to have fun doing it! :thumbsupanim

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Thank you guys for the greetings. Nugget108, attached is a picture of what I've found the last two times out. I throw away all the iron, nails and such when I get home and hold onto the lead, brass, etc. I'm not going to give up. It actually felt pretty good just to compose that post and publish it here. Adam, my friend and I have discussed taking the time to move an area of overburden in the wash and we probably will at some point. If I'm not mistaken, you and boulder dash have some videos on YouTube...? I'm a big fan. Azblackbird, gold or not, I still enjoy getting out for the experience of nature. I'm always fatigued and a little frustrated when it's time to go home, then I'm ready to go again by the time I pull into the driveway. It's fun no matter what.

I will plan on dropping by the outing with a bucket of chicken or something. Any preferences on beer?


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LukeJ, Saturday night at the fire ring is a blast and you can pick the brains of anyone you like. We will all be glad to help you out with advise and beer. The chicken and beer sounds good and if you can plan to stay overnight that would be great.

Old Tom

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Luke keep in mind many of these guys have already found the easy nuggets. Now with that said, today will be easier than tomorrow to find a nugget. As time goes on, the pickins will get slimmer and slimmer and slimmer until it's all gone or a source decides to give up some new nugget's. GL Luke, you are on the right path.

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What others have said ... with all the trash targets you have found it is just a matter of getting the coil over the gold ... I know it sounds overly simple ... "just put the coil over the gold" ... but it will happen and then it will happen again and again. We all started where you are right now! Keep at it!

Be sure to look me up at the outing and I will try to help you out with that GMT and even the V/SAT which btw in it's day was the top of the heap for VLF's in my way of looking at it.

Mike F

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I look at the stuff you found and say that it SHOULD HAVE already been retrieved if the area has been detected hard. Experienced hunters do not leave that in the ground.

Lots of room for a nugget there.....

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You guys are awesome! Looking forward to putting some names to faces. It feels pretty good to read your replies and know that I've thought the same things. Every time I go out there is so much excitement and anticipation. Then three hours in, I start to wonder if someone ran their coil over the same places I am searching. Either last month or three years ago. When I start finding the small lead I think that any "pro" would have picked that stuff up. So there still could be a nugget in that area. I know it's just a matter of time. I will go back to some of those spots and search a little more carefully.

I assume there will be a couple beers consumed at the outing. I like craft beers, but will drink Keystone if that's the preference. Tell me what is normally present at the campfire and I'll bring a few too.


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Went out today and found 28 .22 bullets. All were REALLY OLD so I know there hasn't been anybody in there.I was just waiting for one of them to be a nice yellow rock because they all sounded so good. Just over the little draw the old timers ground sluiced and just up from there someone did a half acre dozer push and found 38 ounces of specimens in the late 90's. So I was getting excited. 28 bullets later, mud and a pocket full of trash I was beat Up. You get the ol skunk more than the yellow stuff haha.

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I know the feeling all to well Luke!

Just keep it up. Took me three years to get one, then another 10 months to find more completely on my own.

Your doing yourself a favor by becoming active on here, be patient, post your adventures, and ask questions. Just with this one post you have received two of the best tips out there!

Most of those pieces in your pic that you vac'ed out of crevices could have been found with a GB2...especially if the coil was scraping bedrock :head:

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Hi Luke,

You are doing everything right and best of all you have a sense of humor.

I will bet that your first nugget is very close to being found.

I will also bet that I know what your first thought will be:


Try to go to the outing, there will be lots of great words of advise

from people who know exactly what you are going through right now.

Best of luck

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The first nugget is ALWAYS the hardest. As Flak says, you seem to be doing everything right. MY first nugget was found back in 1981. The first words out of my mouth were "Well, it's ABOUT TIME!" Hang in their, eventually success WILL be yours. HH Jim

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I have to say I'm a bit overwhelmed. I did not expect the number of replies and all the kind words of encouragement. If I had a regret, it would probably be that I didn't speak up earlier. Things happen for a reason I guess..... Thank you all.

Boulder dash..... Keith Stone!! That guy rocks!!!

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RuH Ro...looks like Sat. night might be kind of funny. :yesss:
Guess I better clear all the rocks away from the fire pit and fill the holes some people seem

to fall into :4chsmu1:


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