Dizzy's HWS (Hidden Weight System) Tips
By: Justin Willmer
Fishing the TT Lures HWS Jigheads with Darren ‘Dizzy’ Borg
‘The secret to the success of the HWS is that it provides the most natural presentation’ Dizzy
I have used the TT Lures HWS (Hidden Weight System) with great success when fishing soft plastics around pontoons for bream. The HWS allows you to conceal the weight of the jighead inside the lure, which has a couple of advantages; the soft plastic appears extremely natural as there is only the eye of the hook and the hook point protruding from the plastic and the soft plastic descends more naturally as the weight is more centred in the plastic so that it wafts seductively to the bottom. As an added bonus the HWS also makes it easy to skip cast you’re plastic across the surface and under jetties or mangrove edges, or hard up against structure such as pontoons or rock walls, allowing a vertical drop into the strike zone. Dizzy believes the plastic skipping across the top resembles a baitfish or prawn skipping and is a like a dinner bell for fish.
I recently spent a few hours out on the water filming with Dizzy and learnt a lot about the HWS and how to fish it around rock walls, across the flats and most surprisingly how successful it can be when fishing deeper drop offs and holes on those glassy ‘perfect days’ on the water when the bite can shut down.
Stay casting distance away from the wall. Cast the soft plastic right against the wall.
You can use the HWS like a surface lure if the fish are feeding high on the wall and twitch and pause it out from the wall, then allow it to slowly sink in case there is a big fish holding lower in the water column.
On a vertical rock wall give the lure some slack line so that it falls naturally and vertically against the wall. If you cast out and then engage the reel or wind up the slack the lure will be dragged toward you as it sinks, which pulls it out of the strike zone and by the time your lure hits the bottom you have missed out on covering a large area of bottom and more importantly probably the most productive section.
Watch the line as the lure sinks and if it speeds up wind up any slack and set the hook as a fish has eaten it. If it stops before reaching the bottom it could be a fish with the lure in its mouth so wind up the slack and set the hook if there is any weight. If the line twitches it could be a bite so monitor the line for more taps, check for any weight and set the hook if a fish has the lure in its mouth. Allow the lure to touch down on the bottom and sit for a few seconds before commencing a twitch, twitch, twitch and pause retrieve. Keep the lure on or near the bottom, watch the line and feel for any taps or the weight of a bream picking up the lure, take up the slack and set the hook.
When fishing a rock wall that tapers outward to the bottom allow the plastic to fall as naturally as possible while retrieving enough line to steer it down the face of the rock wall. Allow the lure to settle on the bottom at the base of the rock wall for a few seconds as many bites will come in this area. Commence a slow twitch, twitch, twitch, pause retrieve out from the wall.
It is often within the first few metres of the wall where a strike will occur, so it is not necessary to retrieve the lure all the way to the boat. When retrieving the lure to the boat, wind the reel a few times and pause, then commence the final retrieve. Have you ever had a fish follow the lure back to the boat? If you wound a few times and then paused this fish may have eaten your lure on the pause.
Throw a long cast with the wind and allow the lure to sink to the bottom on a slack line. Again watch the line for movement. Allow the lure to sit on the bottom for a few seconds then give it a couple of winds, just enough to move the lure and then a couple of twitches, before allowing it to settle again while watching the line and feeling for any bites or fish sucking on the lure. If you feel any movement at the lure end wind up and if you feel weight set the hook. Slow down, pauses give the fish time to find the lure… and eat it!
Hidden weight jigheads are perfect on the flats where stealth is important as they land with a subtle plop, flutter down naturally and rest on top of structure and weed rather than diving head first, deep into the structure, which can be the case with a standard jighead.
Drop Offs & Deeper Holes
The day was an absolute glass out and as the sun climbed higher in the sky the bite got tougher and this is where Dizzy managed to produce bites and hook-ups when many would have scratched their head and headed home. His weapon of choice was a TT Lures 1/16th HWS jighead with a #1/0 light wire hook and he used a variety of soft plastics to land fish. In this situation he believes it’s not the soft plastic that’s important, it’s the natural, slow, wafting presentation provided by the HWS that triggers the strikes.
Dizzy targeted the drop-offs where the water dropped from 1-2m down to 3-5m, as the still day had made the fish spooky and they had dropped back into the holes and were feeding along these ledges. He also threw casts around into open water in the holes and worked the lure back slowly covering plenty of ground and allowing the lure movement to draw cruising fish to the lure. Dizzy emphasised the importance of using scent on tough days. He believes the action of the lure will attract the fish and the scent will make them bite for longer and hang on longer… how many more fish would you have hooked if they had hung onto the lure for just a millisecond longer?!
Throw a long cast with the breeze, if there is any and give the lure some slack line so that it sinks naturally and vertically to the bottom, allowing you to cover maximum area. On a still day like this the fish will feel the lure land and in 3-5m of water they will see the lure gliding slowly toward the bottom, so a lot of the time it will get eaten on the drop or not long after settling on the bottom. Be Patient! Don’t be in a hurry to get the lure back to the boat; you want the lure in the water with the fish. Watch the line for any movement, give the lure a few whips up off the bottom allow it to settle again for a few seconds and then continue.
When bringing the lure back to the boat to cast again give it a few quick winds up off the bottom, pause and allow it to drift back a little and then continue to wind it back up with the occasional pause. This will often trigger a bite as fish think the lure is trying to make a run for it and it may be their last chance to eat it.
There’s no doubt the TT Lures HWS (Hidden Weight System) is one of the most natural ways you can present a soft plastic and when the bite is tough it can turn a shutdown bite into a full bag.
Dizzy’s HWS Tips
- Up your hook size from a 2 or 1 to a 1/0 fine wire to ensure hook exposure when using heavier hidden weights.
- Give the lure some slack line for a vertical sink.
- Watch the line for any movement.
- Slow down – when you think you’re fishing slow, slow down a bit more… be patient!
- Use scent – the lure movement attracts the fish but the scent encourages them to bite longer and hold on long enough for you to set the hook.
Thanks to Dizzy for a cracker morning on the water where I picked up some great tips to apply to my HWS fishing. Hopefully you picked up a couple of tips that help you get hooked up, especially on those tough days.
See you on the water…