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Of the 284 pups that I've tagged this year I've had 20 returns already. I've had a few interesting tags returns for pups that I tagged inside Lynnhaven inlet recently.

A fish that I tagged on 8/19 was recaptured on 8/26 at the Sandbridge pier.

A fish that I tagged on 8/25 was recaptured on 9/2 in the surf at Buxton, NC.

A fish that I tagged on 8/30 was recatured on 9/2 in the surf at Carova, NC.

My point here is that if you catch a tagged fish, especially a puppy drum, PLEASE call in the data. I tagged a little over 200 of these fish in a 6 day period inside Lynnhaven inlet. That school of fish is now moving out of the inlet so be on the lookout.
 
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Rob,

Very interesting post you have here! Amazing how those fish move quick. If I catch any of your tagged fish, be assured that I will call in any data for you.

Keep up the good work!
 

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This shows just one of the benefits that come from tagging. Thanks to Rob's efforts, we know that the reds are definitely on the move.

That Buxton fish was hauling butt!
 

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A guy I fish with in the VA Beach Anglers Club told me of a puppy he tagged at Sand Bridge that was caught in Buxton the VERY next day!! Amazing!! I'm not sure how far that is, but I bet its close to 100 miles. That fish would have had to average 4 miles / hour to make the trip. He must've had a strong tail current.
 

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Rob,

Just saw this post. I was one of the ones that caught a puppy drum you tagged. You tagged the fish on Monday, 9/2, at Lynnhaven and I caught it in Nags Head next to Jeanette's Pier on Friday, 9/6. I was amazed when I got the letter from the lady at the tagging office.

It just proves you can obtain very useful information from tagging fish and reporting the ones recaught!
 

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We don't get too many puppy drum, but I've tagged 30 this year to go along with 300 flounder for 2002.

I've gotten two of the tags back from puppy drum that I tagged along Ocean View on September 8th.

The one was recaptured in the Duck, NC Surf on September 12th. The other one had moved across the water to Ft. Monroe for his 4-day trip.

On another tagging note.

I recaught a flounder that I caught & tagged in June of 2001 at 13 1/2" on the Willoughby Jetties in May of this year.

In those 310-days, it had grown to 16 1/2", but then I recaught the same fish again, in the same spot about 90-days later and this time it was 17 1/2".

That's 400-days and 4-inches of growth. I use the tape measure on every fish, so I feel pretty good about the numbers being accurate.

But I guess the neatest part is that he kept coming back ... and feeding right in the same spot ... which continues to tell you that if you throw them back, you can catch them again.

Conversely you could beleive that if you kept them all from one spot, that they might not replenish ... just a theory.

THROW MORE BACK

JAKE ACE
 

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What I find most interesting is the puppy drum that are moving freely between VA and NC waters. I recently have read some studies that indicated red drum migrate in a predominately east / west pattern. Meaning that they winter over a couple of miles off-shore around the near-shore wrecks in about 50 - 75 feet of water and they move inshore when winds / temps / bait conditions are right and they mover further still up into the sounds and tributaries to spawn and summer over.

The studies further went on to speculate that there were distinct VA, NC, SC, GA, etc schools of redfish that didn't really intermingle. I'm thinking that maybe this holds true for larger mature fish, but not so much for the puppies / yearlings. Any ideas?

Any tag returns on larger fish? Inquiring minds want to know......
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been tagging drum for 5 years now...all of my returns have been either from the same place I tagged it or from NC waters. I have only had 1 return from a large fish of the 40 or so that I've tagged, it was recaptured a few weeks later in the same location.

I've now tagged 401 puppies this year and had 45 returns. Most were still in the same location but 10 or so have already moved to NC waters.
 

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I've tagged 300 Flounder this year and had 25 returns so far with NO movement yet.

Of the 550 from last year, I had about 70 returns with little to no movement during the season, and I've had about 6 tags from last year get caught again this year with some movement.

On the larger fish, this year, of the 300 tagged/released flounder, we've let go 100 that would have been keepers last year (15 1/2" or better) and of those 100, at least 50 of them were keepers this year (17 1/2" or better).

So, we let a lot of larger fish go, but then seem to catch them in the same location repeatedly.

THROW MORE BACK

JAKE ACE
 

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At first glance this really shows how valuable tagging can be. For instance, given that red drum appear to be highly migratory it would make sense for a multi-state management plan within a given range. Flounder, however, may be more effectively managed on a state-by-state level given their sedentary nature.

It'd be cool if these agencies posted this data to a website. I'd love to see more information on their migration and capture patterns.
 
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