By DON STINE
Looking for something easy and fun to do while activities are limited due to the coronavirus lockdown? Then try magnet fishing- a new fad that is catching on around the world.
Magnet fishing makes use of a strong magnet to recover magnetic objects from water. The magnet has a loop or eye attached to it. A rope is tied to the loop or eye in order to recover the magnet and the objects that attach themselves to it.
There are many magnet fishing videos posted on the Internet. One father and his six-year-old son in England found an old, World War II bomb while magnet fishing.
And Jake Fogarty, who lives in Asbury Park, has also had a unique find recently.
Fogarty, who lives on Sixth Avenue near Deal Lake, said he saw a video on magnet fishing on the Internet and decided to try it out.
“I thought this was interesting so I bought my own device. I have only used it once so far but, on that day, I found a kid’s bicycle, a three-foot hand saw, an anchor and, of all things, a handgun,” he said.
Fogarty said he was quite surprised when he pulled a handgun out of the lake.
“I called the police and they came and took the gun. I felt it was the right thing to do. It apparently had been in the lake for a long time. It’s the most interesting thing I have found so far,” he said.
After all, people don’t throw away handguns in a lake for no reason, Fogarty pointed out. He said the other items he found ended up in the trash.
Fogarty said he finds magnet fishing a good thing to do while coronavirus restrictions are in place.
“I just do it because it’s interesting and I think it’s good to get this trash out of the lake. Everything else is pretty much closed and this is something I can go and do by myself. It’s something very harmless,” he said.
Fogarty said he just stands on the shoreline and throws the magnet out into Deal Lake.
“It goes about 10 feet out and when the magnet hits something, you gingerly remove it and get it out of the lake,” he said.
Much of what magnet fishermen find is pretty common place stuff, like random scraps of metal, old tools and fishing hooks and lures. But, according to websites on magnet fishing, people have found coins, old guns, cannon balls, weapons, cash boxes and safes.
“They are finding old relics and strange stuff all over the country,” Fogarty said.