Magnet Fishing Dangers

is magnet fishing safe

Magnet fishing is a fun hobby as long as you keep up with some best practices. We’re going to show you how to avoid the dangers, so you can keep magnet fishing for years to come.

While magnet fishing, you may find sharp objects, stolen items, such as safes, money boxes, and weapons. You may find a gun that was involved in a crime or a knife that is sharp enough to cut you. You need to handle items with care and if you find a suspicious item, report it to the authorities.

You never know what you’re going to pull up out of the water. Mostly, it’s going to be scrap metal, like, railroad spikes, bike parts, and maybe even some fishing gear. However, there will also be times when you pull up weapons and suspicious items.

Sometimes you may find war relics, such as civil war-era weapons, guns, knives, and swords. You may even find unexploded munitions, which can be very dangerous. America and England, both have a history with war relics.

So let’s take a look at some of the dangers, and answer some important questions along the way.

Is Magnet Fishing Safe?

You may be wondering, is magnet fishing safe? The answer is, that magnet fishing can be safe as long as you follow some best practices outlined in this article. You can make this hobby as risky, or as safe, as you want it to be.

Many people do not like to handle rusty metal objects or be around dangerous weapons, but those types of items do come up out of the water, from time to time. So, there is an element of danger to magnet fishing.

Having the right kind of gear and a little common sense is going to go a long way with this hobby. As long as you are prepared for anything you may find, it can be a safe hobby. However, most of the time, you’re only going to find scrap metal. Find out more here.

Why is Magnet Fishing so Dangerous?

The most dangerous element to magnet fishing is the possibility of finding weapons or items that are tied to a crime. It’s a fact, that some shady things happen in the waterways. People dump weapons they used in a crime, or things they have stolen, that they want to dispose of.

You also have sharp objects that come out of the water, like sharp scrap metal, fishing hooks, and even razor blades. As long as you wear proper gloves that are cut-proof, you will avoid getting hurt by the objects.

Magnet fishing list of dangerous items:

  • Guns
  • Knives
  • Sharp metal
  • Razorblades
  • Munitions
  • Swords
  • Stolen property
  • The magnet

In rare cases, you are going to find weapons. It has also been reported that people have found munitions/explosive devices such as bombs left over from world war 2, and also grenades. Source.

Stolen property can be a problem if you pull up something tied to a crime, and then get your fingerprints all over it. You should always try to avoid touching items with your bare hands if you think they could be tied to a crime. How do you know if it is? Use your best judgment.

The magnet can also be dangerous. Magnet fishing uses Neodymium magnets, which are the strongest magnets you can get. With these magnets, you risk getting your skin caught between the magnet and objects. They can also damage electronic devices and get stuck onto things, causing damage.

Magnet Fishing Dangerous Items

Can You Go Magnet Fishing Anywhere?

You can go magnet fishing in any public water where there is no local law keeping you from doing so. This includes rivers, ponds, lakes, sewers, wells, and more. You do not want to trespass, as this is against the law. Always research the place you plan on magnet fishing at.

Rivers are great places to magnet fish, since they are usually public, and people lose all kinds of cool stuff while swimming. Lakes are also great places since people lose jewelry, fishing gear, and all types of valuable things.

Believe it or not, you can also find things in sewers. Most people don’t want to get dirty, so these spots are usually untouched by other magnet fishers. Strange items fall into the sewer, such as jewelry, sunglasses, and other rare finds.

Magnet Fishing Drowning

Another danger for magnet fishing is drowning. Water safety should be a top concern when magnet fishing. Treasure hunting can sometimes be risky, and for some, the risk is worth it, but you should never purposely put yourself in danger.

Drownings are a common occurrence when swimming, fishing, and doing any other water-related activity. So, if you are on a boat, use the same safety standards you would normally use. Wear a life jacket. If you are hovering over a bridge to drop your line, you may use a safety harness to attach yourself.

If there is dangerous weather, such as flooding, call it a day, and go home. There have been reports of people drowning while magnet fishing, so always keep safety in mind, when you are out enjoying this hobby. Source.

Magnet Fishing Safety and Best Practices

Here are some best practices I’ve put together concerning safety and magnet fishing. Keep in mind that you need to use common sense.

Have the right gear when magnet fishing. If you are going to be pulling up rope, and handling sharp items, wear a good pair of gloves. They make cut-proof gloves, which are perfect for magnet fishing. Consider safety gear like harnesses.

Use the buddy system. Having someone with you, while magnet fishing, can give you a second set of hands, to pull up items. The hobby is more fun when you share the experience with someone anyway.

Have access to a cellphone for calling 911. You may have to call 911 for safety concerns or to call the police if you find something that looks shady. Carrying a phone on you lets you have access to those emergency contacts.

Follow the same safety and best practices that you would follow for swimming, boating, or other water activities. Even if you are magnet fishing from the shore or a bridge, there is the potential danger of falling into the water.

Magnet Fishing Tips

I’ve spent countless hours magnet fishing, and I’ve learned a few things concerning safety. Here are some tips to help you find the good stuff while staying safe. Learn how to magnet fish here.

Tip 1 – Bring a bucket or container to put your scrap metal into. This will save space and make it easier to transport.

Tip 2 – Bring a backup magnet and a backup rope. The magnet may get stuck, so you may need to get it loose by using another magnet. Grappling hooks also help.

Tip 3 – Don’t hesitate to call the authorities if you find something dangerous. If you do pull something up that looks dangerous do not touch it any further.

Tip 4 – Do as much research as possible. First, you need to find out if magnet fishing is allowed in your local area. Doing research can help you find older items.  

What To Do With Magnet Fishing Finds

You can keep some of your magnet fishing finds as scrap metal, that can be later taken to a scrapyard to cash in. You may find relics that can be kept for a collection. Remember that there are laws concerning archeology, so do not disturb any archaeological site, and if you find some type of artifact, you need to report it.

Weapons, and items that could be stolen, should be reported to the authorities. In many cases, if they are cleared of a crime, you will be allowed to keep them. Other weapons, such as civil war weapons may be kept for your collection.

The man who attracts luck carries with him the magnet of preparation.

Clifton Fadiman


Magnet fishing can be a gray area when it comes to safety. It really comes down to common sense, and how safe you want it to be. Many activities have dangers that come along with them. Anyone who jumps from cliffs into water is taking a risk. Boating can be considered risky.

Just keep up with the best practices mentioned here and try to be as safe as possible. Next to having fun with it, safety is the most important factor. So get out there and pull up something great!

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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