My season started just like any other.
By late May I was heading West following an overwhelming urge to hit the goldfields to find that elusive yellow metal.
This time though, I had a new tool in the ever-growing collection of detecting accessories. An SDC2300 along with the latest Extreme coils from Coiltek.
As it goes, I had to wait for my permit approval for the area that I'd had my eye on for a while which I had walked over a few years ago and said to myself "perhaps for another time..."Well, that time had come, and this year I was determined to have a swing over it. The first few weeks in the West proved to be a real struggle, working pending ground and only producing a few grams of gold. As the time came to work the permit area, my body had become attuned again to working the ground for a full eight hours a day and that joy of prospecting had taken over from the initial aches and pains suffered at the end of a sometimes fruitless day.
I started out where I had walked over years ago and was thinking that the ground didn't look as promising as I'd remembered, but I was here now, the permit was active and I was keen to have a go.
Well, by the end of the first day I had retrieved a couple of sub-gram nuggets and felt fully enthused for the days ahead.
The next morning I awoke with some vigor and hit the ground running with the trusty GP3500 fitted with the Coiltek 17 x 11 Elite coil. Bingo! I was soon on a patch of nuggets! In the following days I recovered almost an ounce of nuggets ranging in weight from 0.5 of a gram to a nice 12 gram piece.
As with any time out on the goldfields, I had to head back to Kalgoorlie for supplies and a couple days R & R. To some extent, I had to force myself to rest up as the urge to get back on the ground was mighty strong!
Once back to my spot, I continued to pick up gold and as I cleaned up the patch, I thought I would give the SDC2300 a run with the new 11 inch round Coiltek Extreme coil.
I started out by going over an area where I had picked a few of the larger pieces and almost immediately found targets with the SDC2300. These were smaller nuggets found at depth but gold just the same! The gold continued to flow with each passing day and I kind of felt like a gaming addict who just couldn't put down the controller!
On the next journey out, I moved along to an area which was a continuation of a line of gold nuggets. There seemed to be a fault line or shear zone as there was definitely a pattern emerging along a distinct line. Going back to the GP3500 and the Elite coil, it wasn't long before my suspicions were confirmed with a nice 4 ounce (125 gram) nugget! The euphoria of finding this one was indescribable as now I knew I was on a lucrative run!
Alternating between the two machines proved to be a winning combination. The new Extreme coils had proven to work in the situations they were designed for. I had a lot of fun with all three Extreme coils and my only regret is not filming the finds more often as they happened - but its hard to stop and play about with cameras and phones when you're moments away from uncovering another piece of gold.
I decided to name this spot "Peppers Patch" after a dear friend, the producer from Aussie Gold Hunters who sadly passed away a few weeks earlier.
As the weeks and months passed, I am happy to say that gold was won every day on the ground except two.
By mid October, four and a half months after arriving and three months into my winning streak, the weather suddenly warmed up and I found I was wearing myself out. Apparently September was the hottest on record in the Western Australian goldfields being five degrees above average! On my last day detecting I picked up two nuggets totaling 9.5 grams before noon. As I headed back to the Transit van for lunch, I realised that the drive and desire to locate that next nugget had faded and the overwhelming amount of flies was turning this passion into a chore. Besides that, the permit was due to expire.
With 18 ounces of gold weighing me down, I made the decision to call it a day and pack it in.
Missing my family and friends, the time had come to journey home. I gave my regards to my local mates, sold some shrapnel for fuel funds and headed back east.
You know what they say, an off day in the goldfields is always better than the best day at work, and this had been a fantastic season; great mates, plenty of gold, some new insights and not a single flat tyre!
And the best thing? I know exactly where to start again next season.
Aussie Gold Hunter
Rick Fishers is known from Aussie Gold Hunters as seen on the Discovery Channel.