Underwater Gold Sniping: a Low-Cost Approach to Getting the Gold (Part 7)

(A snorkel, face mask, 5-gal. bucket, pans, some hand tools, and a beer...what more do you need?!)

Entering the Stream Itself to "Snipe"

When you're using a "snipe" tube or similar type of underwater viewer to search for gold, you'll be wading in shallow water the bulk of the time. In the second approach to underwater sniping, however, you'll actually be entering a stream itself to dive, pull yourself along, or float downstream in a "controlled" fashion.

In addition to a few of the tools listed earlier, you're going to have a few additional items, including the following:

Face mask and snorkel: Since you'll be underwater or with your face planted in the water looking down, these items are absolutely mandatory if you decide to employ this gold sniping approach and still like to see and breathe. A word of advice here: Don't be a cheap ass when it comes to buying a face mask and snorkel. These are the MOST important items employed in this type of underwater sniping...using inferior products will not only cut down on your ultimate gold take but could pose a risk to your safety and health.

Gold Pans
Gold Concentrators
Wet suit: If you're a real animal and can stand lots of cold and pain, you can forgo this item. For the rest of us mere mortals, however, a decent wet suit is a must. Not only will it keep you reasonably warm in the cold waters that most gold-bearing streams contain, but it will protect you from countless scrapes, scratches, and contusions that'll otherwise mar your body when sniping for gold in this manner. The type of wet suit you want is the same as those used by scuba divers or surfers.

 (A good wet suit is a must.)

Booties, water shoes, or tennis shoes: Of these choices, I'd recommend either the water shoes or a pair of tennies that resemble the old "deck shoe" styles of yesteryear. Wet suit booties are great for gripping rock and keeping your feet warm but they won't hold up over the long haul in terms of the abuse they'll take. The "deck shoe" type tennies tend to have good gripping soles as do so-called "water shoes." The other types of shoes such as expensive runners or walkers don't do as well in the water in my opinion and they'll get trashed fairly quickly.

Wolverine Boots
Dickies Work Clothes  

Weight belt: You'll need this item for certain. Otherwise, if you're wearing a wet suit (or have lots of natural buoyancy) you'll be floating downstream like an inner tube or won't be able to hold your position well when trying to dive or snipe for gold. Different belt weight amounts are needed for different streams and locations, so be prepared to add or remove weight from the belt as the situation dictates.

There's more to come next post, so stay tuned.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Underwater Gold Sniping: a Low-Cost Approach to Getting the Gold (Part 2)"
(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012


  1. Thanks for this series of articles. Panning,sluicing high banking always seemes to get first mention as methods, but gold isn't always going to be found in workable areas that require a shovel or pick.

  2. You're most welcome. You are also absolutely correct in your keen observation here. Thanks for commenting. J.R.

  3. One thing about this, theres no "surface disturbance" to get the forest nazis on your tail. The trouble is though, there is no reachable bedrock anyplace I've looked around here, and the gold is small. about this size (.) to about this size(o).a realy big "chunk" around here is like this (O).The few nuggets I've found, are not true nuggets, but mercury coated clumps of fine dust stuck together into a "nugget". Oh well, still fun to look for. Thanks again Jim, Gary

    1. Yep Gary, with gold that small it would be hard to see regardless unless you found a little pocket. How about other areas nearby? Anything with shallow bedrock? J.R.

    2. Not so far, but I'll keep looking!! Heck, that's half the fun anyhow. thanks again.

    3. No problem Gary. Good luck! J.R.


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