BORDER WARS: As the wind turns, leader chases fish of different water

Published 3:07 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

The dip in temperatures from a Tuesday afternoon high of 79 was nothing short of noticeable, but that along with sharp winds did not change Dwayne Eschete’s plan of attack in the Elite Redfish Series’ Border Wars.

“It was cold riding, I can tell you that,” the recent newcomer to Texas said. “I left out with a rain suit on, and it felt good, but when I got to where I was fishing, I took it off and it got cold.”

It was more the influx of freshwater that helped Eschete find a different hotspot.

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“With all the freshwater coming from Toledo Bend, we’re getting so much freshwater,” Eschete said. “Those redfish, they like freshwater but not 100 percent freshwater, so it’s pushing them [into the Gulf of Mexico through the Sabine River]. You’re having to find places where they don’t have as much freshwater.”

Eschete went west to get a little further away from the freshwater and caught a three-fish total of 17.29 to take the first-day lead on an overcast, 69-degree Thursday.

The top 10 anglers out of a field of 17 will advance to Saturday’s final weigh-in at 3 p.m. at Lamar State College Port Arthur’s Carl Parker Center. The winner will receive $7,500 and the top five anglers will earn an automatic berth to the May Elite All-Star Tour stop at a location to be announced.

Eschete, last year’s Western Division points runner-up to Lumberton’s Jimmy Lloyd, is going for his second win in almost a year exactly. The New Orleans native had just moved to Pearland for a job in the oil field when he won a tournament in Kemah last April 22.

“You miss home, but home is where you’re family’s at,” Eschete said.

This was originally to be the weekend for the Bassmaster Elite tournament at the Sabine River, with weigh-ins in Orange. That has been rescheduled for June 7-10 because of heavy rains and unsafe boating conditions in the Sabine River watershed during the last week.

Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tad McKee said in a statement his organization was excited that they and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, the governing body for the Bassmaster Elite Series, worked together to reschedule the tournament.

“Orange County has suffered a huge loss in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and this tournament will offer a significant economic boost to the businesses in our area,” McKee said. “We look forward to the welcomed distraction from the everyday recovery process. We value our continued partnership with B.A.S.S. for years to come.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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