Wartburg’s Dagley Earns First Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Douglas Lake

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Boater winner Jonathan Dagley of of Wartburg, Tennessee, and Strike-King co-angler winner Luke Shrader of Monticello, Kentucky.
Kentucky’s Shrader Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (May 13, 2024) – Boater Jonathan Dagley of Wartburg, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Douglas Lake. Hosted by the Jefferson County Dept. of Tourism, the tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Volunteer Division. Dagley earned $4,037 for his victory.

For Dagley, high water was a big factor in the win, but it took a clue from his co-angler, Darren Kelly, and an audible midway through the morning to unlock the go-to pattern.

“I got on a really good crankbait bite on Thursday, and I tried to force-feed it for an hour and a half today (Saturday),” Dagley said. “Nothing happened. I pulled up in this shallow pocket, and my co-angler caught a fish on a ChatterBait. Then I picked up a spinnerbait and threw it for a little while. He caught another fish on a ChatterBait. Then I dropped everything and started running shallow brush in the first third of cuts.”

Dagley put down the crankbait, picked up the ChatterBait and spent the rest of the day slow-rolling it around flooded brush and yards. He burned through water in an area about 6 miles from takeoff, never fishing the same cut twice. In addition to Dagley earning the win, Kelly finished fourth among co-anglers, and they caught about 35 keepers between them.

All of Dagley’s bass came on a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer fished on a 7-foot, 3-inch rod from Dixie Custom Rods. Dagley’s limit included one nice smallmouth. The rest were largemouth bass, and all were postspawn.

“We had the trolling motor on 9 for almost nine straight hours – eight and a half hours, basically,” Dagley said. “We fished behind a lot of boaters that were flipping. Everybody was flipping, and we just kept that ChatterBait in our hand. I wanted to throw a spinnerbait, but they would not eat it like they would the ChatterBait.

“It was the funnest way to catch them,” he added. “That’s the way I love fishing. I was really disappointed in the crankbait, but the ChatterBait made my day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Jonathan Dagley, Wartburg, Tenn., five bass, 12-9, $4,037
2nd:       Derrick Snavely, Piney Flats, Tenn., five bass, 11-12, $2,019
3rd:       Donavan Carson, Bluff City, Tenn., five bass, 11-5, $1,143
3rd:       Hayden Gaddis, Dandridge, Tenn., five bass, 11-5, $1,143
5th:        Steven Redmond, Sevierville, N.C., five bass, 11-4, $807
6th:        Chip Chambers, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 11-3, $706
6th:        Tyler Altizer, Abingdon, Va., five bass, 11-3, $706
8th:        Timothy Wacker, Clinton, Tenn., five bass, 11-1, $606
9th:        Tim Saylor, Johnson City, Tenn., five bass, 10-15, $504
9th:        Ronnie Getz, Strunk, Ky., five bass, 10-15, $504

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Jordan Mullins of Pikeville, Kentucky, caught a bass that weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $545.



Luke Shrader of Monticello, Kentucky, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,285 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Luke Shrader, Monticello, Ky., five bass, 12-5, $2,285
2nd:       Josh Massengale, Oliver Springs, Tenn., five bass, 11-6, $1,000
3rd:       Cody Krabbe, Palisade, Colo., five bass, 10-2, $666
4th:        Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., five bass, 9-7, $567
5th:        Keith Gunsauls, Dandridge, Tenn., five bass, 9-0, $400
6th:        Billy Farck, Harriman, Tenn., five bass, 8-11, $367
7th:        Tim Martin, Jonesborough, Tenn., five bass, 8-10, $333
8th:        Cody Stokes, Ooltewah, Tenn., five bass, 8-9, $300
9th:        T.J. Blakely, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 8-7, $267
10th:     Bud McKelvey, Knoxville, Tenn., four bass, 8-3, $233

Shrader tied Tyler Andrew of Maryville, Tennessee, for the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award, with each of them catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 12 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day. They each earned $135 for their share of the award.

After three events, Hunter McClaskey of Elizabethton, Tennessee, leads the Fishing Clash Volunteer Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 715 points, while Keith Gunsauls of Dandridge, Tennessee, leads the Fishing Clash Volunteer Division Co-angler of the Year race with 730 points.

The next event for BFL Volunteer Division anglers will be held June 8, at Watts Bar Lake in Spring City, Tennessee. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional tournament on Clarks Hill Lake in Appling, Georgia. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.