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Skeeter Western Division Opener April 20-22

RESULTS:  Day 1 – Day 2Day 3 Finals West Point Totals After This Event              

IMAGES:  Pre TournamentDay 1Day 2Day 3 

Pre Tournament Coverage – YouTube Video

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Dwayne Eschete notches first win on the Elite Redfish Series, more about that in a minute, what is even more impressive is how Dwayne took time out of his limited time to fish on day 3, the final day of competition to make sure a fellow competitor was ok. This is a great story and a terrific commentary on the class of the Elite Series pros… 

As and Elite Redfish Series competitor I wanted to take the time to share something with Elite Nation because it really made me see the type of anglers there are on this tour. On day 3, Saturday, after failing to make the cut to fish in the top 5 on the final day of the Elite Redfish Series in Kemah, TX I decided to fish another tournament, a one day event being held in Galveston. I decided to make the long run, again, to Lake Sabine.

To make a long story short I was running through Sabine Lake and ran by Elite Series pro, Dwayne Eschete on the way to my pond.

Shortly after passing Dwayne, I was forced to stop to make a small repair down on the deck of my boat, so I shut down and climbed down to do so.

Dwayne was headed to his spot when he saw my boat shut down in the middle of the lake. He turned around from where he was going and came to check on me in order to make sure I didn’t need any help.

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I told him I was ok and he went on his way but this just goes to show you that this guy is as “stand up” as it gets.

He’s leading an Elite Redfish Series event on day 3 and on the way to his spot took the time to make sure that a fellow angler was ok knowing it would cost him valuable fishing time and could cost him his first win on the Elite Redfish Series.

I for one, am very proud to say that I get to fish the Elite Redfish Series and with these guys.

Winning is one thing but safety and the well being of your fellow competitors is priority ONE! This was displayed in a huge fashion Saturday. I just wanted to share this story only because people don’t get to see these things when they watch big time tournaments like the Elite Series.

~Alan Thompson

 

 

Wow, what a great story, thank you for sharing Alan and what a testament to the type of Elite people that make up the Elite Redfish Series. Now to the action.

On Day 1 Yamaha Majek pro, Dwayne Eschete vaulted into the lead with a 24.7918077194_1509021572501853_3599994432958542243_o pound, 3 fish limit bag. Dwayne’s marshal for the day was Johnson Outdoor’s rep, Bill Carson who joined Dwayne on stage to help him hold us his over 8 pound average of live redfish. “Today was awesome, this guy really knows how to fish and how to use his electronics”, Carson told the crowd from stage.

In 2nd place Plano tackle pro, Mike Frenette worked the jetties to bring in 22.37 pounds caught on a Strike King 8XD crank bait. 3rd place after day 1’s weigh in went to Elite Redfish Series rookie, Alan Hall with 21.44 pounds well within striking distance with the top 5 for day 1 finishing out with Simmons Custom Rigging pro, Jimmy Lloyd in 4th with 21.21 and LMC Marine Center pro, Ray Malone landed in 5th with 20.78.

A great day 1 weigh in was in the books with 269.51 pounds of redfish weighed in with 40 of the 41 fish brought to the scales alive and released.

18055650_1510393372364673_1586039244447189573_oDay 2 started out a bit windier and that would spell trouble for the 2nd place pro after day 1, Mike Frenette.

While the leader Dwayne Eschete was fishing calmer, more protected, marsh areas and increasing his lead on the field, day 1 leader Mike Frenette was struggling to keep his boat off the rocks and hoping to have the fish turn on sometime during the day.

As the day wore on the bite never materialized for this pro. Coming to the stage on day 2 with just 1 fish, a beautiful 8+ pounder but Mike would drop out of the top 5 and not make the cut to fish on day 3.

However, with just 4 of a possible 6 fish weighed in over the 2 days, Mike still had a top 10 finish.

The “fab 5” after 2 days that did make the cut to move on to fish on day 3 included 2 Elite Redfish Series rookies. Alan Hall backed up his day 1 20 plus pound limit with another strong limit of live redfish for a 2 day total of 37.63. Good enough to secure the 5th and final spot in the top 5 cut to fish on day 3. Fellow rookie fishing his first season on the Elite Redfish Series and landing in 4th place after 2 days is Jake Jordan with 39.86 pounds. At the conclusion of day 3 were 2 pros that were very familiar with the top spots, leading with 48.64 Dwayne Eschete and Jimmy Lloyd in 2nd with 43.87.

Making his first cut on the Elite Redfish Series, 2016 open qualifier winner, Steve Auld would sit among the giants in 3rd with 40.71 pounds. Day 3 would have these 5 all heading out for 1 more day of fishing to see who would take home the title of Elite Redfish Series champion. One thing is for sure, it will be a first time winner on the Elite Redfish Series for one of these guys.

Day 3 as the “fab 5” and their cameramen loaded up to head out for the day’s competition, Dwayne Eschete is going to be tough to beat. For anyone in the field to overcome a nearly a 5 pound lead with just 1 day to go is a tough row to hoe for even the best of redfish pros. As the weigh in time approached and with the anglers having been pretty quiet on the internet, broadcasting just 1 or 2 on the water updates at the official fan page of the Elite Redfish Series, one of which was uploaded by Jimmy Lloyd and things looked promising.

The Kemah Boardwalk was ready and the crowds assembled for day 3’s final round and this weigh in would not 18077077_1511395185597825_4517257766001781616_odisappoint. Introducing each pro the crowd in reverse order of finish, first up it was Alan Hall who was in 5th at the start of day 3.

Alan greeted the crowd, high 5’d, hugged and shook hands but it was what he did on stage that took everyone back. Doing his best to hold it together Alan tried to describe what it meant to be standing on the Elite Series stage in such great company of so many pros.

He did a great job thanking those that made it possible and describing what it meant to him to be there. Through tears and a quivering voice he weighed in his fish and took home the 3rd place trophy and a check for $5,000.00. You could feel his relief when he all but collapsed in the arms of his loved ones and for him, this event was over.

18076972_1511398675597476_2568634496799023118_oUp next having gone out in 4th place after 2 days was Jake Jordan. Jake may not have gotten as choked up over it as Alan did but everyone could tell this event and his finish meant a lot to him as well. Also joined by family it was cool man “critter” that stole the show.

When asked to help his dad hold up a fish, this young stud took matters into his own hands… both of them! Jake ended up finishing where he started the day in 4th and received a check for $3,500.00. Not bad after having a fish kicked out at day 3’s measuring station.

“I’m disappointed but I’ll learn and it is what it is, this was a great event”, Jordan told family and friends that had gathered and later posted, “I wouldn’t change anything about this day whatsoever” when seeing this pic on the Elite Redfish Series fan page.

Finishing in the 5th and final spot with 40.71 after a hard day of fishing was Steve Auld. “The fish j18121257_1511396272264383_247161851198617812_oust never bit for me today, but I’ll be back to battle them again”, Auld told the folks in attendance.

Steve will be back and after zeroing on day 3 he still took home $1,500.00. Just 2 remain and first up it was Jimmy Lloyd’s turn. Jimmy through a good weight on the scales to top off his 3 day, 9 fish total live redfish limit at 65.25 pounds.

This meant wire to wire leader Dwayne Eschete would need just 17 pounds to take his first win on the Elite Redfish Series. Jimmy was in the Check It Stik hot seat watching as Dwayne made ready his fish to be weighed. Jimmy joined Dwayne behind the scales to learn the cold hard truth on this day, no one was going to beat Eschete and that included Jimmy.

Dwayne’s weight locked in at a whopping 3 day total of 73.00 pounds even as he took home the top prize check of $16,500.00 cash, the coveted winner’s trophy and 200 valuable points in the Skeeter Boats western division chase for the championship angler of the year prize, a Skeeter 22′ Bay Boat with a Yamaha Outboard sitting on a McClain custom tandem axle trailer.

For 2nd place Lloyd took home $7,500.00 a beautiful award and 190 valuable angler of the year points. Hall received 180 points, Jake Jordan 170 and Steve Auld 160.

All other competitors that weighed in at least 1 fish received 150 angler of the year points and are still very much in the race. Follow the points race here. 

22 pros took place in this event weighing in 95 total redfish for a total weight of 611.70 pounds with 2 just dead fish brought to the scales.

What a great job by the anglers and staff of not only catching great fish but keeping them alive, letting kids and adults alike enjoy them and then releasing them back in the water to be caught again.

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Kids from Houston enjoying the live redfish experience with tour officials Tammy and Lawson Tumey on hand…

 

Thank you to so many who helped so much with this event. Thank you to the City of Kemah! Thank you marshals, the Boardwalk, the Boardwalk Inn, the Aquarium Restaurant, the Kemah Boardwalk Marina, all of the staff and volunteers in and around the Kemah Boardwalk and especially to the anglers, their families, friends and fans that show up event after event to compete in the toughest tournament series in the country. The Elite Redfish Series. A very special thank you to Skeeter Boats and Kevin’s crew for showing up to cook for the guys, give Skeeter Boats demo rides and for all they did to help make this tournament another Head Turning event!

 

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The official host hotel of the Elite Redfish Tournament Series when in Kemah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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