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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I try to spearfish quite a bit during the summer, whether it is for stripers, tog, flounder or whatever. One of the goals that I have set for myself this year is to spear a black drum. I have caught plenty of drum fish whether it is over at slaughters beach or other various places throughout the bay. But as you all would imagine it would be pretty futile to try and spearfish in the bay, you would be lucky to see your hand a foot in front of your face.

The questions that everyone on here can hopefully help me with are where do the drum come from and where do they go? I am assuming that the fish migrate up from the south before entering the bay to spawn, after they spawn where do they go? Do they continue to migrate north or do they head back to the south?

When these fish are migrating from the south to the bay, off of marland and deleware, where do they typically travel? Do they stay in realitively shallow water or do they migrate further off the coast and then follow the deeper channels up into the bay?

After these fish leave the bay where do they head? Once again do they migrate close to shore in shallow water or offshore in deeper water?

I have searched on the internet and cannot seem to find any info on this subject. I know there is not alot of migratory data on these fish and also know that the large fish that are caught in the bay are not typically caught anywhere else. I would like for this thread to start a discussion on what there migratory patterns are.

Tim
 

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Until someone slaps and electronic tracker on one you may never know. I would be willing to bet they sit in the deep channels in the bay and in the shipping channels year round. But we would never know cause I don't think you can fish them the right way to find out. Or they go offshore? I mean if the big ones show up no where else logically they would be in the area all the time right?
 

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I saw a special on tv once that said they dont really know the migration pattern but they have been caught all up and down the east coast, including south america.
 

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Calling Capt. Harv !

He may know a little something about them, But like the others have said , Don't think there is alot of info on them as far as after spawning.
 

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when they enter and leave a plane is something to have. they say you can see them in schools from above as a black mass moving just under the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's amazing with how big this fishery is in the Deleware Bay that know one really knows. I really want to get in the water and try to track one of the big boys down. I plan on running down off the coast of deleware and maryland looking for them this year, but I don't really know where to start. I am hoping that they migrate in shallow water, at this point I am only capable of hunting in about 30' feet of water.

The fish definitely have to enter the bay from the south. Do they come in through the shallows or follow the offshore channels up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
phish4fun said:
when they enter and leave a plane is something to have. they say you can see them in schools from above as a black mass moving just under the surface.
That's interesting, there is a gentleman on our dock that I know well that is an avid pilot, I might have to ask him for some help. This seems to take some of the fun out of it though.
 

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WavRidr said:
That's interesting, there is a gentleman on our dock that I know well that is an avid pilot, I might have to ask him for some help. This seems to take some of the fun out of it though.
spotters often give insight into where the drum are haning in the bay..

i dont think anyone really knows where they go after they leave the bay.
 

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my guess

I would bet they stay in shallower water and just cruise up and down the coastal waters looking for grub and their prefered water temp. But then again what the hell do i know about drum the only one i ever saw was hanging on a telephone pole up the road from BayWayLOF-NL
 

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Opinions

You know the answer, everybody has one.
This is what I have picked up over the years, some from fisherman/waterman, some from books etc..
The blackdrum approach the bay from the south and some years they run in big schools near the surface, while some years they run deeper and are not seen as easily coming inshore and up the coast. The depth that they run may have more to do with temperature than anything else. As they know instinctivly to prepare their bodies to grow the eggs at the correct rate for spawning. I do know a few old timers who have seen large schools followed by scattered schools of smaller fish, thought to tbe the larger females in the front schools and younger or males following them I once talked to a pilot who saw this about 6 miles off of henalopin point, with school after school approaching from the south. They enter the bay and do a clockwise rotation, fanning out across the bay, again temp. will effect their approach and how they fan out thru the bay. When water is colder, they tend to migrate up the del. side when it warms faster they tend to spread out more. Even in the bay, you will find guys that see them just under surface on some years but other years you do not hear much about sightings. They feed even when they are on the spawn.
I have some literature, that I will dig up and post more later, it talks to their exit bay strategy, but I do remember it is offshore or up the beach and their are a number caught by surf fisherman in June along the north jersey coast as they head up, constantly on the move and foraging as they go.
Blackfin
 

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I know they have been spotted off of avalon by planes in june and proof of it was when a netter went out and loaded it up. saw the slaughter laying in the walkin at lunds it was sad:(
 

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They are thick around rocks at CBBT

Pull off at one of the rest areas and you will see them all around the boulders in July and August with boats fishing for them real close by the rocks.
 

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phish4fun said:
when they enter and leave a plane is something to have. they say you can see them in schools from above as a black mass moving just under the surface.
I heard the same thing.

BTW - send me a mail. I lost yours and wanted to update you about the 9th
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the good info, keep it coming!!!

Let me pose another question - If you were looking for drum fish down off the coast of deleware in may what would you be looking for? Water Temp? Depth? Structure?
 

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WavRidr said:
I try to spearfish quite a bit during the summer, whether it is for stripers, tog, flounder or whatever. One of the goals that I have set for myself this year is to spear a black drum. I have caught plenty of drum fish whether it is over at slaughters beach or other various places throughout the bay. But as you all would imagine it would be pretty futile to try and spearfish in the bay, you would be lucky to see your hand a foot in front of your face.

The questions that everyone on here can hopefully help me with are where do the drum come from and where do they go? I am assuming that the fish migrate up from the south before entering the bay to spawn, after they spawn where do they go? Do they continue to migrate north or do they head back to the south?

When these fish are migrating from the south to the bay, off of marland and deleware, where do they typically travel? Do they stay in realitively shallow water or do they migrate further off the coast and then follow the deeper channels up into the bay?

After these fish leave the bay where do they head? Once again do they migrate close to shore in shallow water or offshore in deeper water?

I have searched on the internet and cannot seem to find any info on this subject. I know there is not alot of migratory data on these fish and also know that the large fish that are caught in the bay are not typically caught anywhere else. I would like for this thread to start a discussion on what there migratory patterns are.

Tim
SOME BIG DRUM ARE CAUGHT IN FLA.
THERE ARE A LOT OF DRUM IN THE ICW VERY CLOSE TO WHERE THE CAPE FEAR RIVER MEETS THE ATLANTIC .AT THE MARINA AT ST. JAMES THEY CATCH A LOT OF 5 TO 15LB BLACK DRUM AND SOME MUCH BIGGER. THERE IS ABOUT A 25 YARD WIDE SMALL CONCRET CHANNEL FROM THE ICW INTO THE MARINA IT'S ABOUT 200 YARDS LONG.BAIT WIT WHOLE SHRIMP.
 

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I caught a 50 lber at the tires off LBI last July:confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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2 years ago we were fishing the rips at night in June(thats another story;) ) and they were coming out of the bay. Heard them drummin all night as they went out with the tide.
 

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WavRidr said:
Thanks for all the good info, keep it coming!!!

Let me pose another question - If you were looking for drum fish down off the coast of deleware in may what would you be looking for? Water Temp? Depth? Structure?
slaughter beach is all you need to go in deleware. oops not the right answer but thats where to get em over there.
 
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