Before we get started today, let me just answer the question "Why agate hunting?"
Agate hunting is a wonderful excuse to crouch and squat along the shore of Lake Superior, looking at millions and millions of pretty stones. A word of warning though, these stones are only pretty when wet, peered at with a careful eye, and then only up until the moment you collect them, at which point they will pretty much look like random stones and you will have no idea what possessed you to pick them up. Of course you also could, theoretically, hypothetically, in a probably-it's-technically-possible way, find a big, gorgeous, prize winning Lake Superior Agate valued at over $40 on Ebay. But, honestly, if that's your game I suggest the lottery, or trying to make it big by writing a three-part blog post about agate hunting.
Okay then, let's get started.
1. When should I go agate hunting?
I suppose ideally the best time is on a calm day after stormy weather, but I say that the true best time for agate hunting is when you just happen to be up at the Lake Superior shoreline for other reasons altogether. That way if someone asks "Are you agate hunting?" You can sulkily answer "No, I'm just here for a friend's wedding. Do I look like I'm agate hunting? Not that there's anything wrong with agate hunting. I hear it's a very respectable hobby." At which point you'll probably be left alone.
2. What do I need to have to go agate hunting?
You should have:
A. The heaviest grade fishing waders.
B. Good quality diving gloves.
C. A full set (at least seven gradations) of stone sizing screens.
D. A standard, professional level geologist's kit, restocked yearly, replaced every five years for obvious reasons.
E. Some kind of sonar set up. It doesn't need to be fancy.
F. Collecting buckets and pack.
Alternately you could just have pants or shorts with pockets. If they're the kind of pockets where things fall out of them when you squat that's probably for the best.
Now that you're all prepared, take a deep breath. Exciting isn't it? Tomorrow we go collecting.