I'm in the same boat, I chose dredging, not because i own one, but i've done it a handful of times to know there's nothing like chasing bedrock cracks.
Metal detecting is an interesting topic. I've been fortunate enough to swing coils in the Desert SW many times. All the hours and miles of walking, digging trash, digging good targets only to be highly disappointed surely add up. But i've been fortunate enough to get a coil over two nuggets, my first one was 1.34 grams several years back and that was surely fun, but just recently i scored a 0.26ozt nugget, 14" deep. It was just a faint whisper when i first heard it, then digging down 2-3 inches, a louder signal, then getting deeper and deeper into undisturbed ground, signal getting louder and louder, wanting to swing the pick frantically but being patient so as to not damage the nugget, to getting the pinpointer out, to finally unearthing the nugget.....that was the single biggest rush by far, in my prospecting/rockhounding life. All in all the process took about 20 minutes or so, a nice quick workout for the ol' heartbeat.....then back to frustration knowing there's more on the same hillside, just can't seem to find em