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This new sport offers a chance to reveal the unexpected: 'I got something big!'

Magnet fishing
Posted at 12:34 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 00:37:34-04

SUFFOLK, Va. -- "I got something big, I think," yells Jacob Parr Friday afternoon.

On a bridge above the Nansemond River in Suffolk, Parr and his friends are ready to attract.

"How are ya doing today, Dan?" Parr asks as he reels in his rope. "You never know what's down there."

Each toss is full of anticipation.

"I just stuck to something. OK, let's see," Parr says.

What he is doing is part environmentalism, part hobby.

"It's really a COVID-19-friendly activity, and it's inexpensive to start. You just need a magnet, a five-gallon bucket, gloves, rope and some water," he said.

What he and several others are doing is called "magnet fishing" or "magnet throwing." It's a global sport with a chance to reveal unexpected surprises.

"It's awesome. It's a huge community on YouTube, and we all support each other," Parr said.

Next to Parr is Michael Smith, a magnet thrower who flew 4,000 miles from Alaska to test the waters.

"You throw your magnet out, no clue what you will pull up. My craziest find was a parking meter from the 1970s," Smith said.

For the past four months, Parr has been making a name for himself on his YouTube channel, showing off his sunken treasures.

"I have found knives, DVDs, bikes, shopping carts," Parr said. "My first time out, I pulled up a scooter and was on cloud nine."

Two weeks ago, he pulled up something big in Suffolk: a massive iron anchor from a ship that experts he spoke with believe is from the late 1700s.

"I was like, 'Oh my, this is a pirate ship anchor.' I was shocked," he said.

Relics from the past revealing themselves, serving as confirmation that one man's trash is another man's treasure.