Magnet Fishing: Does the Virgin River Hold Treasures?
Magnet fishing is all the rage on YouTube. It's where you take an industrial strength magnet, hook it to a rope and throw it into a body of water. By dragging the magnet across the bottom of the lake or river, you hope to catch any objects that have been dropped there by mistake.
After watching people drag tools, metal housewares and even bicycles out of bodies of water all over the world, I decided to try my hand at magnet fishing here in Southern Utah. I purchased a strong magnet from Harbor Freight, attached a cable to it and I was ready.
When magnet fishing, you’re looking for a dock, or a bridge, or maybe a canal near a place people often pass. If people have lost anything in the water that is metal, the magnet should retrieve it. We certainly have plenty of bodies of water here in Southern Utah and I pondered the best place to try.
I decided to visit the Virgin River where residents often visit to skim board. There is a diversion dam here and I figured anything washed down the river would end up behind the cement of the dam or below it. What I didn’t factor in is how fast the river is moving with our massive spring runoff.
Standing on the side of the diversion dam, I threw the magnet into the raging torrent. The water was moving so swiftly, I nearly lost hold of the cable when the magnet went in. The current carried my magnet over the diversion dam until it finally hit the bottom underneath. I carefully dragged it across the bottom and up the side. As I pulled it free of the water, I was surprised to discover... there was absolutely nothing attached to the end.
With the help of some young men, we continued to toss the magnet in and fish for lost treasures. After about a half hour of dropping the magnet in different locations along the bank, we still had not even caught anything metal. After many attempts, we gave up and headed home.
The water is raging in the Virgin and would probably pull off anything the magnet picked up. It has probably also pushed anything dropped in the river down to Lake Mead by now.
I’m not giving up though. I’ll try again at one of the reservoirs where people load their boats or maybe on the end of a pier.
I am starting to think some of those videos of magnet fishing on You Tube could be rigged. But even if magnet fishing turns out to be a bust, it’s fun hanging out by large bodies of water in Southern Utah.