Is Magnet Fishing Legal? The Complete Answer

Is magnet fishing legal

You might be interested in learning more about the laws surrounding magnet fishing. In this guide, we are going to take a look at magnet fishing laws and determine the overall legality of magnet fishing across various regions of the world.

Magnet fishing is legal in most of the United States. South Carolina is the only state where it is illegal. Different cities and counties may have local rules on magnet fishing, so make sure you research whether it is allowed in your local area. The United Kingdom has banned magnet fishing, while Australia currently has no laws against it.

It can be challenging to understand the legality of magnet fishing, especially if you are a newcomer to the hobby. We are going to cover everything you need to know to help you get started so that you can be sure that magnet fishing is legal where you live.

Is Magnet Fishing Legal in the United States?

Magnet fishing is legal in the United States where many hobbyists look forward to magnet fishing in their local regions. The only exception happens to be South Carolina where magnet fishing has been declared illegal. We will take a look at why South Carolina made it illegal to go magnet fishing and whether or not other states may follow their lead in the future. 

The good news is that there are still 49 other states in the country where magnet fishing is legal. There are some protected regions and local landmarks that may not allow magnet fishing at their locations and you should check these locations for specific laws before taking part in the activity of magnet fishing, as well as local rules.

Magnet fishing is a fun hobby! As long as it is legal where you live, and you follow best practices, you will find a ton of cool stuff! Check out my first magnet fishing kit here.

Why Did South Carolina Ban Magnet Fishing?

Many factors ultimately played a role in the ban on magnet fishing in South Carolina. One of the main factors is the possibility of harming a submerged object at the bottom of a body of water. 

Magnet fishing could damage treasures, ships, or boats that have yet to be discovered by divers or archeologists. This is certainly one of the reasons that a ban has been set into place within the state of South Carolina but it’s quite interesting that it remains the only state that currently holds a ban on magnet fishing. 

Penalties for disobeying the law could result in a fine or warning. In severe cases where magnet fishing does cause damage to an object beneath the water, you could even face jail time, although this is extremely unlikely. Even still, there’s no excuse for breaking the law on magnet fishing in South Carolina and you should look to travel to a region that allows magnet fishing before taking part in the activity. Source. See SECTION 54-7-630.

Is Magnet Fishing Legal in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom has banned magnet fishing in public locations. Citizens are only allowed to magnet fish on private properties and they must have the authorization to do so. It is extremely difficult to go magnet fishing in the United Kingdom with the current laws in effect and that ultimately means that there aren’t that many people there that take part in the activity of magnet fishing. Source.

Is Magnet Fishing Legal in Australia?

As of now, there don’t appear to be any laws that prohibit magnet fishing in the country of Australia. This means that magnet fishing is currently allowed in most locations. Some locations may not allow magnet fishing and local jurisdictions should be checked for specific laws at local locations. 

Are Other Regions Planning to Ban Magnet Fishing?

You might be wondering if any other major jurisdictions are planning to ban magnet fishing in the future. There doesn’t appear to be any major legislation that plans to place a ban on magnet fishing at this point. Local regions like cities or towns may have specific laws for their territories though. 

It’s also likely that most private properties and national parks are not going to allow magnet fishing in their regions unless you have permission. You should understand all of the rules and laws in these regions before visiting their locations to magnet fish. 

What If You Find An Illegal Object While Magnet Fishing?

There have been stories where magnet fishermen have found old bombs from World War 2 and others have found firearms and weapons. It might be illegal to keep these objects if you find them and it can actually be quite dangerous if you find something as dangerous as a World War 2 bomb that has been hidden in the water for almost 80 years. 

The best thing to do when you find one of these objects is to call the appropriate law enforcement agency and be completely honest and transparent. Keeping a firearm or gun that you find while magnet fishing will likely be illegal and you could hold the key to an unsolved crime investigation if you don’t tell anyone about what you found. If the object is cleared of any crimes and danger, you may be able to keep the item after it goes through processing.

See our article for Magnet Fishing Dangers

Final Thoughts

Magnet fishing continues to be a popular hobby with lots of people who are interested in finding new ways to enjoy the outdoors. Seeking treasure and relics is sometimes the motivation for individuals that want to go magnet fishing.

 It’s important to understand the legality of magnet fishing depending on where you live in the world and to make sure that you aren’t subject to any penalties or fines in your local jurisdiction. The good news is that most regions allow for magnet fishing and there may be a few exceptions that you need to keep in mind. For the most part, you can enjoy magnet fishing at many locations as long as you bring the appropriate equipment to get started. 

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an expert treasure hunter who is experienced in metal detecting, magnet fishing, and geocaching. He enjoys the outdoors, making new discoveries, and helping people get started.

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