2016 TFO Challenge Championship

2016 TFO Challenge


1st Place
Carl Waddington

ILF Angler Carl Waddington Champion

2nd Place
Josh McDermott

ILF Angler Josh McDermott

3rd Place
Josh Ray

ILF Angler Josh Ray

Carl's 4 Pounder

Josh McDermott / Josh Ray Different Strategies

ILF Boat Official Team

David Doran, George Dugger, BJ Butcher, Gena Lynam
Ted McClintick, Mike Botos, Neale Dugger and Jim Shaw

June 26, 2016 on Winona Lake, Warsaw IN.

8 Anglers competed in the TFO Challenge Series Championship bringing this series to a close. The 8 anglers, Carl Waddington, Josh McDermott, Josh Ray, Mike Ehlers, Mike Dove, Wes Thomas, Rob Kelley and Mike Horning, earned their way to the Championship by competing in a series of Qualifying and Wildcard Rounds. Championship Payout: 1st $3,000; 2nd $1,000; 3rd $500.

The Lake: The Championship was held June 26, 2016 on Winona Lake in Warsaw, IN. The 8 Anglers were not told the lake location until 2 days before the competition and the lake was deemed off limits. The unique thing about this lake choice is that none of the 8 Anglers had ever been on the lake so this clearly started everyone on a level playing field. We did not set any zones or off limits on the lake allowing the Anglers to fish all areas of the lake with the exception of a small channel close to the launch site.

Conditions: Very hot day in the upper 80’s to 90’s mostly full sun and blue skies. Water temp ranged from 76 – 82 degrees. Water clarity was 2 – 3 feet and winds 10 -15mph out of the west. These conditions held pretty much most of the day. For the Championship the periods were extended to 2 ½ hours.

Period 1: There were 18 fish caught and the bite started early with Josh Ray recording a catch on the Leaderboard first. Carl Waddington sprung out ahead of the field with a 1st period weight total of 8lbs 10ozs followed by Josh Ray at 6lbs 11ozs and Mike Dove 6lbs 3ozs. Mike Ehlers landed a 3lb 10oz fish putting him in 4th place at the end of the first period. Seven Anglers made the Leaderboard in the first period with the exception of Wes Thomas.

Period 2: There were an additional 16 fish caught in the 2nd period with Carl Waddington putting the hammer down on the field catching a 4lb 5oz fish keeping him clearly in the lead with a total of 17lbs 11ozs. Even though no one is ever out of it, a race for 2nd and 3rd was beginning to develop. Mike Dove moved into 2nd place with 10lbs 14ozs followed by Josh Ray at 9lbs 7ozs. Rob Kelly began to figure things out and moved into 4th place with 6lbs 11ozs. All 8 Anglers are now on the Leaderboard.

Period 3 Carl Waddington maintained his lead and finished in 1st place as the ILF/TFO Champion with 20lbs 8ozs. Things heated up with various Anglers making a move. Half way though the final 3rd period there were four Anglers fighting for the 2nd and 3rd spots all within a few ounces from one another and as usual in an ILF event things were settled in the final minutes. Josh McDermott who had been sitting back in 6th place made a huge move to finish 2nd place over all with 14lbs 4ozs. Josh Ray finished 3rd with 12lbs even and followed by Mike Ehlers and Mike Dove only a few ounces behind. Wes Thomas started finding fish in the 3rd but it was just to late finishing 6th.

The Strategies: Carl Waddington stuck to one plan and one area of the lake most of the day using a Senko. He is becoming known for this and has won other ILF events with the same strategy. In the 3rd period Josh McDermott and Josh Ray were fishing some of the same area but using a different approach. Josh McDermott was fishing docks keying on the outer ends and Josh Ray with fishing close to the bank between the same docks keying on grass matts that were blown in by the wind.

Penalties: Six Anglers were accessed penalties during the round for fish handling or life jacket violations.

Special thanks to ILF Boat Officials: David Doran, George Dugger BJ Butcher, Gena Lynam, Ted McClintick, Mike Botos, Neale Dugger and Jim Shaw, also to Ethan Shaw for recording live videos and photos and posting on our Facebook page.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors for this Series: Kahlo Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram | TFO Rods | Red Dirt Bait Company | Soremouth Tackle.

Mike Dove & Boat Official BJ Butcher

Ethan Shaw Video & Photos

TFO Challenge Series Championship Results

Place Angler Weight Average Biggest Fish # of Fish Penalties
1st Carl Waddington 20 lb 08 oz 1 lb 14 oz 4 lb 05 oz 11 2 minutes
2nd Josh McDermott 14 lb 04 oz 1 lb 09 oz 2 lb 01 oz 9 6 minutes
3rd Josh Ray 12 lb 00 oz 1 lb 08 oz 2 lb 08 oz 8 7 minutes
4th Mike Ehlers 11 lb 06 oz 2 lb 04 oz 3 lb 10 oz 5 0 minutes
5th Mike Dove 10 lb 14 oz 1 lb 09 oz 2 lb 00 oz 7 2 minutes
6th Wes Thomas 7 lb 14 oz 1 lb 05 oz 2 lb 00 oz 6 2 minutes
7th Rob Kelley 6 lb 11 oz 1 lb 11 oz 3 lb 01 oz 4 2 minutes
8th Mike Horning 5 lb 12 oz 1 lb 07 oz 1 lb 09 oz 4 0 minutes