If you’re debating Fisher’s Gold Bug against Garrett’s AT Gold there’s no arguing you’re after serious treasure of the golden nugget kind. The Gold Bug and Garrett’s AT Gold are both excellent machines – but how do they differ? Here are all the details you need.

What's Better? Fisher Gold Bug vs Garrett AT Gold

A Detailed Comparison of The Fisher Gold Bug vs The Garrett AT Gold


The Garrett AT Gold runs on 18kHz and the Fisher Gold Bug on 19 kHz so there’s not much in it. They both run hot enough to find grain-sized pieces of gold.


The AT Gold has a clear display with power, target ID from 1-99, battery level, sensitivity adjustment, threshold adjustment, depth indicators, iron discrimination, iron audio, ground balance, and pinpoint buttons.

The Gold Bug has power, disk mode, pinpoint, visual target ID that will give you a numerical readout on signals from 1-100, and GG ‘ground grab’ for effective ground balancing.

Of the two, the Gold Bug is the easiest to understand.

Ground Balance

The Gold Bug has automatic ground balancing while the AT Gold has both manual and automatic. The AT Gold also has a ‘ground balance window’ that makes it easier to search highly mineralized grounds.

Target Identification and Discrimination

Both the Gold Bug and the AT Gold have target identification and discrimination to lock onto tiny gold pieces.

The Bug has two search modes which are all metal and discrimination. The AT Gold has three Pro Audio modes of all-metal and two discrimination settings.

Both machines are capable of searching for all types of metal in all metal-mode, not just gold.

Iron Audio

Both have iron discrimination and audio buttons to filter out trash items.


The AT Gold is submersible up to ten feet making it perfect for deep, shallow, and water’s edge detecting.

The Gold Bug has a waterproof coil up to a few inches, but the control box is not waterproof.


The AT Gold has Pro Audio modes and its audio differentiates between metals with good clarity. The Gold Bug has two-tone VCO audio and also does a good job of alerting you to buried metals without referencing the display screen.


The AT Gold has Garrett’s 5.8 x 8 inch DD PROformace coil and the Bug has Fisher’s 5“ DD coil.

There’s not much in it, but the AT Gold’s larger size will cover more ground in one sweep.

Length and Weight

Again, there’s not much in it. Both have adjustable lengths up to 56” and the weight is comparable. The AT Gold is 2.8lbs and the Gold Bug is 2.5lbs


An AT Gold is usually $100-200 more than a Gold Bug.

The Best Choice

Both these machines are excellent and will find tiny pieces of gold.

The AT Gold is submersible, has Garrett’s ground balancing window to help with mineralized ground, and has an extra discrimination mode but the Gold Bug is loved by detectorists and has a hardcore following. It’s also easier to use.

I’d say if you are a beginner go for the Fisher Gold Bug. If you have more experience the Garrett AT Gold pips the Bug with its ground balancing window and submersible control box.

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