Adequate conditions and equipment for amber fishing
More and more mysterious purple lights are observed on the beaches of the Vistula Spit at night. UFO? Ghosts? None of these things. These are just amber catchers. A few years ago, there were only a handful of them, and they came only from nearby towns. Today, mainly due to the popular program "Gold of the Baltic" broadcast by the History television, people from all over Poland are engaged in searching for amber. The amber El Dorado, i.e. the beach in Mikoszewo, is visited by enthusiasts from Warsaw and even from Krakow. It is enough for a storm to occur at sea, and the next night the beach is illuminated by dozens of UV flashlights. What is this storm about and what is ultraviolet light for? In this post, I will try to describe the amber search process as shortly and accurately as possible.
Four factors influencing the effectiveness of amber fishing
The ideal conditions for fishing for amber occur in autumn, winter and early spring, always after a storm and when the wind is right. Therefore, the effectiveness of searching for Baltic gold is influenced by:
The season of the year. You can avoid fishing for amber in the summer. This is due to several factors. First of all, the water in the Baltic Sea is then relatively warm, and therefore less dense than in winter. Meanwhile, it is in dense, salty water that amber flows most easily to the surface. Secondly, the beaches are overcrowded in summer. The chance of finding an amber shard before one of the hundreds of tourists does is negligible. Third, the strongest and most numerous storms occur from the second half of September to the end of April.
Storm. It is the storm that tears amber nuggets from the bottom of the sea, making them migrate to the surface. Then the gold of the Baltic is carried by the waves and flows ashore. For this to happen, the right wind still needs to blow.
Wind. The system of two successive winds is crucial. It is best if a north-east wind blows during or immediately after a storm. It carries amber from the area of the Kaliningrad Oblast, i.e. from its largest deposits in the Baltic Sea.
This amber still has to be thrown on the beaches. Only the so-called counter, i.e. a strong south or south-west wind blowing directly after the north-east wind. In practice, perfect conditions (storm -> north-east wind -> south wind) occur very rarely, and seekers have to be content with periodically thrown away by the sea, the so-called chaff.
I found the biggest nugget without using a flashlight, landing net or boots. So the equipment is not essential, but it certainly makes it easier to catch amber. If you want to give yourself the maximum chance of finding magnificent nuggets, it is worth equipping yourself with:
- UV flashlight - under ultraviolet light, amber turns white-yellow, while the surroundings glow in shades of purple. This makes it easier to find amber at night, among the so-called trash, i.e. black sticks thrown by the sea.
- An ordinary flashlight, which is worth illuminating the area from time to time to check if there are garbage dumps containing amber on the road. The best is a searchlight, i.e. a flashlight for search operations. Its wide head guarantees a long and - above all - a very wide beam of light.
- Landing net: this is a small mesh and large diameter landing net. It is used to pull the trash swirling at the edge of the water. Then the rubbish is searched already on the beach.
- Waterproof footwear and possibly also pants. If you're fishing for crumbs from the landing net, waders will come in handy. If, on the other hand, you are looking for amber on the beach, galoshes are enough to lift the amber without the risk of the wave flooding your shoes.
In Poland, various treasures can also be found a little further from the sea. We have already written about looking for mountain crystals and gold - read about them in the article in which I discuss, among others, the issue of gold rinsing. Most of Polish precious and semi-precious stones are located in the south, for example in the region of Walbrzych and Jelenia Góra, where there are agates and amethysts. However, since you can go to the sea from Krakow, you can go to the mountains from the Bay of Gdańsk - you just have to want to go on an exploratory adventure.
Author: Kajetan Wilczyński
Editing: Tomasz Świgoń