When all else fails, yes, I wing it out there. For pups, I generally throw in close; a high low mid trough or just behind the breakers (or both when I fish with my son). I have had far more success with larger Drum at greater distance. Naturally this is from my own personal experiences but the question posed was tilted towards the empirical.
That said, fish like structure and the bar (whether it be riddled with cuts/bowls/depressions, or continuous) offers a feeding opportunity. My first preference is a natural break in the bar my next is At The Bar.
Spring is a different ballgame from my experience as I have had blackies and SBs hook up in the wash or just behind the break. Do large Drum feed in the trough and break? Most certainly. I simply feel the larger ones are inclined to cruise the bar in search of an outflow and an easy meal.