Pensacola Question

Oscar

Tenderfoot
Feb 13, 2010
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My dad and i may be going to Florida mid march for a week (from michigan) and i was wondering if pensacola beach was open to metal detecting, this will be a metal detecting trip and our first time hunting a salt water beach, so i was wondering if pensacola was a safe place to go, i want to stay at a resort so we can just walk out to the beach and play. also whats the weather like in mid march? the average weather for mid march is about 65, is this acurate? and is the water cold? thanks for any info.
 
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erikk

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Jan 6, 2007
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Punta Gorda FL
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Beaches R open to detect. Weather is a crap shoot as this has been a cold winter and the water is cold. Bring a wet suit 5 mil or better if U R going in the surf.
HH

:icon_thumright:
 

GuerillaBill

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Feb 12, 2008
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Venice, Florida
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When we went to Pensacola beach for a metal detecting trip, we stayed at the Hampton Inn, which is right on the beach, right next to the large public beach and the pier.

It is a very nice hotel, affordable rates, and metal detecting friendly. Plus free fresh baked cookies each day around 5:00PM.

About 50 steps from the hotel parking lot to the main public beach. Then miles of open beach for detecting.

A lot of detectors on the main public beach area when we were there, but still plenty of targets to be found.

I discovered better targets going easy toward the Days Inn (more college students, fewer detectors), and in the water in front of the picnic area of Pensacola Beach Blvd right before the bridge going back to the mainland.

We also discovered targets at the far eastern end of the beach, down in front of the Portofino resort.

When we were there last year, Pensacola beach was safe, family friendly, and affordable.

Bill
 

GibH

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May 17, 2009
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Like erikk said, weather is a crap shoot. It usually starts warming up around March, but last year winter hung in there and we were still getting freezes into March. Miles of beach to detect, but you can't hunt the Gulf Islands National Seashore which starts just east of the Portofino.
 
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Oscar

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Feb 13, 2010
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thanks for the info, if we go we'll probably stay at the days inn, looks like its in the middle of the beach. i was also looking at Tampa for the added warmth but cant decide if it would be worth the extra 5 hr drive. is tampa open to detecting? regarding the wet suit, i never wore one, i understand the 5mm is warmer than a 2mm or a 3mm but how do they work? you get into the water and your body heat warms the water that enters the suit? what about when you get out of the water is it cold or can you stay comfortable and keep going? one more thing, is the water at pensacola rough, meaning will the waves beat you up, how would you compare it to myrtle beach? again thanks for the information.
 

GuerillaBill

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Feb 12, 2008
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If I were going to Pensacola in mid March, I wouldn't plan on getting in the water. The waves at Pensacola can be quite rough, and at that time of the year, the water will be cold.

There are almost 40 miles of wide beaches around Pensacola, plus many bayside parks you can detect in without getting beat up in the cold water.

If you just detected the beaches in front of the Day's Inn going west toward the pier, it could take a week to cover it well.

If it were me, I'd detect in front of the Days Inn, then the public beach.

Then I'd head back toward the bridge, and detect the picnic area before you get over the bridge. A lot of people swim here to avoid the crowds and high surf at the main public beach.

Regarding wet suits . . .

A wet suit will allow a thin layer of water to get in between the suit and your skin, and your body will keep the water fairly warm.

I've been out when the water temp was in the high 40's and the air temp was in the mid 40's, and the wet suit kept me warm.

I did discover that wearing thin nylon pants over the wetsuit kept the crashing waves from forcing water into the suit and sand into the booties.

When it comes to wet suit thickness - a 3mm suit will keep you warm, and will allow movement.

I have a NeoSport Xspan farmer john, which stretches to fit your body. The xspan suit allows freedom of movement, yet fits tight enough to keep you warm.

A 3mm farmer john Neosport xspan will run about $120

Bill
 

DaChief

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Sep 16, 2007
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My family lives in the Panhandle and I visit there often. I have never had much luck there. Been hunting there for years and finally broke the gold drought last year. I am a fairly good hunter in my own humble opinion.

The public beaches there are all open for hunting. There is a protected beach here and there owned by the U.S. Gov't but they are marked well.

You will probably find the weather there to be cold in March and the water will be freeeeezing. You do have a chance of finding stuff though so have fun and enjoy the scenery and if you find something, that is just icing on the cake.

DaChief
 

Caryl

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Feb 2, 2008
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I live here!
Winter tourist season was AWFUL! We were so cold for so long...no one was here. You are allowed to detect the sand from the average high tide and into the water. Stay off the dunes, and you cannot detect the beach in the state park sand. And if I'm swinging and grunt at you bring me coffee. I swing to kill before caffine.
 

Caryl

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Feb 2, 2008
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Oh and as for the surf. Tropical season beat the tar out of us yet again. Cuts from the winter are good. As for the water. IT"S CURRENTLY COLD COLD COLD. 50' in the hip high. The water itself is a crap shoot. We can be dead dead calm one day and 12 foot swells and beating swells the next. Pcola has several webcams trained on the beach, hit one and watch.
 
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Oscar

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Feb 13, 2010
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good info thanks, i'm hoping your definition of cold is different to mine, i'm from michigan and its pretty chilly here now (we just got a foot of snow in the past 2 days) i did get a wet suit just incase. what webcams do you watch? the only one i could find was of navarah beach (sp?) and i've been watching it along with the water temps. too bad about your tourist season, i dont plan to get rich or even pay for the trip, although it would be nice, i'm just looking to have fun and spend some time with my dad, either way it should be a fun trip
 

Caryl

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Feb 2, 2008
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I'm from NorthDakota. I have a good definintion of cold. :tongue3:

Although living here, it's changed. Cold now means I put a windbreaker on over my sleeveless shirt ! I don't own long pants, and only have two shirts with sleeves. I run around like that well into the 20s. Meanwhile the locals are still wearing winter coats and hats at 62'. It's all relative, but when I head to the beach to MD I do cover up the fingers and ears, that wind and cold, and spray and sand will chew right through you.
 

GulfCoastRelix

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Mar 2, 2010
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Hi. I am also from Pensacola and I can tell you right now the area in front of "Casino Beach" next to the pier is hit up almost daily. However it is where most people go till the warmer weather. The picnic areas about a mile west before you get to Gulf Island National seashore near Ft. Picken's entrance has been a good spot for me. I find lots of clad coins and some jewelry on occasion buried there. But beware of trash in that area so bring your smaller coil with you. There are some good spots on Navarre Beach between Beach Colony Resort and Banana Beach. Lots of "snowbirds" shack up there for winter and I seem to always find nice things there. Generally speaking the week before spring break the weather really begins to warm. Expect high in the mid 60's. The water is still too cold for my taste tho. I usually don't venture out into the water till around mid April but that's just me. Anyhow if you have questions hit me up and enjoy yourself and good luck to you. :icon_sunny:


Mike
 

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Oscar

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Feb 13, 2010
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i think we will be staying about a mile east of the pier (i think). just out of curiosity how much beach is exposed during low tide? i was at myrtle beach once and during low tide there must have been about 30-40 yards of beach exposed compared to high tide. i do plan on getting wet so long as i can stand it, the temp here finally hit 40 degrees today and a long sleeve shirt was comfortable so hopefully 60 degrees will be like an oven. thats a nice pic too, is that recent? i've been looking for recent pics of the beach on the net but cant find much, i just look at navarre beach web cam and peg leg petes web cam just to see what things look like there, basically i'm just teasing myself. anywhoo thanks for posting, i'm really looking forward to the trip, and also is there any all you can eat sea food restraunts there or what would you recomend?
 

Old Tom

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Aug 4, 2006
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Oscar

Where in Michigan are you, I grew up in the lansing area.

I have lived in the Pensacola area for about 6 years now. Sounds like most have told you what the area is like.

Can be cold, can have waves .. can have sharks at night ...

There are also other beaches not more than 2 or 3 hours away. Panama City is about 100 miles away and has a big spring break crowd. Gulf shores Alabama is about a hour drive.

When the waves are to high on the gulf side some go to the Bay side (called quiet water side), pretty much just the other side of the road from casino beach (gulf side).

I have a group of friends coming down from Michigan the third week of March .. I think I wil be hititng the beaches soon too. Hope to see you there
 
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Oscar

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Feb 13, 2010
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hey tom,

i live in livonia, just outside of detroit. i'll be down there this week so perhaps ill see you there. i'm ready for the cold, i think i can deal with the waves, but you just had to mention sharks. so how deep do you have to be in order for a shark to notice you? knee deep would be safe i imagine but what about waist deep? what kind of sharks patroll that area? does the water temp affect them?
 

Produce Guy

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Dec 17, 2008
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??? Just a thought isn't that week spring break ???
 

Old Tom

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Aug 4, 2006
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Oscar

Don't worry about sharks ... although I do not go out in the water at night .. but some people do.

When I first got to this part of the gulf coast there were a few shark .. incidents, I remember one of them being a bull shark with a younger boy.

I use to hunt Waikiki beach in Hawaii .. at night and have had hammerheads swim circles around me.

I have never heard of a shark attack on a person metal detecting. I think you have to be doing something other than metal detecting to get a shark interested.

I am 6'3 and when I hunt the water I go out to about shoulder deep. I do get more target closer in, maybe from shoulder to waist deep. You just have to watch where the people are those areas.
 

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