I wasn’t sure where Capt. Danny Barrow was going with the story when he pointed out that if a fence had a dog in it you might be able to hop the fence, run across the edge of yard, and hop back out. But then he helped me understand.
“Hop the same fence again, run to the middle of the yard and start jumping around, and that dog is going to bite you!” he said. “It’s the same thing with a big snook and a Super Spook.”
A veteran South Florida charter captain who specializes in catching snook with artificial lures, Barrow is a huge fan of Heddon Super Spooks. In fact, when he has a topwater lure tied on, it’s almost always a Super Spook.
“I can do so many different things with that lure that I can make fish so mad they just have to attack, even when they don’t want to eat,” he said.
Mixing up cadences and making the lure do exactly what he wants it to do are critical to Barrow’s Spook success. Occasionally, the fish want the Super Spook walking rhythmically along, but that’s definitely an exception. Barrow mixes the sharpness and length of jerks and pauses from cast to cast in order to figure out what the fish want. He also does some more specialized rod movements to get the lure so behave in specific ways.
One trick Barrow uses when he’s paralleling a seawall with his Spook is to alternate light twitches as the lure is moving away and hard twitches as it’s walking toward the wall. That keeps the lure hugging the structure and directly over the zone where the fish like to lurk.
Another of Barrow’s favorite tricks is to use exceptionally short but hard snaps that cause the lure to do a near about-face with each snap but barely change its location. When he knows a fish is in a spot and it has not responded to traditional retrieves, he’ll do a few of those short, hard snaps to antagonize it and then let the lure pause. When he moves it again, they often annihilate the lure.
A key to Barrow’s entire approach is that he is extremely intentional with every presentation. Some days a certain cadence will turn out to be the ticket for most fish. Other days, any given fish might respond to something different. Therefore, Barrow makes multiple presentations, each different, to corners, current seams, isolated pieces of structure, and other high percentage areas.
As a guide, Barrow loves putting a Super Spook rod into an angler’s hands and teaching him how to make it do its magic.
“Once they figure it out and see how mad they can make a snook or a redfish, they don’t want to fish with anything else,” he said.