Strawberry Plains’ Yocum Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

Photos (L to R): Boater Chase Henley of Kingston, Tennessee, and Strike-King co-angler Joseph Yocum of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 2, 2023) – Boater Chase Henley of Kingston, Tennessee, caught 10 bass weighing 25 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Cherokee Lake in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The tournament, hosted by the Jefferson County Department of Tourism, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division. Henley earned $13,517 for his victory, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus.Henley said he approached the tournament looking to fish what he was most comfortable with – shallow water that would produce quality bass, including pockets with bait and trees he could flip into.“I just went fishing,” said Henley. “I fished what was in front of me and had a good time. Basically, I just flew down the banks and covered as much water as I could with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. I keep it simple.”Henley said he adjusted the weight used with the Sweet Beaver to adjust the fall rate depending on water clarity. He said he didn’t focus on a certain area of Cherokee; he fished from the low end of the lake all the way to the river on the north end.“I’d catch a fish on the lower end and then wouldn’t get another until I got to Highway 25E, then I’d catch one in the river, then I’d be all the way back down to the dam and catch another one,” said Henley. “It was as scattered as scattered gets.”Henley said he stopped fishing at 1 p.m. Saturday because he was confident in his weight, and he spent the rest of the day planning for Sunday’s round of fishing. Sunday morning started off well for Henley with three good keepers, and his confidence was high for the rest of the day against a tough field of competitors.“East Tennessee has some of the best fishermen around,” Henley continued. “They’re versatile. They’re not good at just one thing, they’re good at all of it. So, this win means a lot.”The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:        Chase Henley, Kingston, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-4, $13,517 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)2nd:        Isaac Peavyhouse, Jamestown, Tenn., 10 bass, 24-7, $3,2393rd:         Jacob Woods, Loudon, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-10, $1,9394th:         Jimbo Harris, Soddy Daisy, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-7, $1,3575th:         Nick Huff, Bean Station, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-1, $1,1636th:         Dale Pelfrey, Rockwood, Tenn., eight bass, 20-15, $1,0667th:         Bill Humbard, New Market, Tenn., nine bass, 20-9, $9708th:         Casey Majni, Knoxville, Tenn., 10 bass, 20-3, $8739th:         Corey Neece, Bristol, Tenn., 10 bass, 19-8, $77610th:       Christian Nash, Allons, Tenn., eight bass, 19-0, $679

Complete results can be found at Wright of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $772.Joseph Yocum of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,664 Sunday after catching a two-day total of seven bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Joseph Yocum, Strawberry Plains, Tenn., seven bass, 16-9, $2,6642nd:        Ryan Lee, Pound, Va., five bass, 10-1, $1,3323rd:         Robert Ford, Boones Mill, Va., four bass, 9-0, $1,0894th:         Brandon Hartgrove, Hiltons, Va., two bass, 8-10, $9635th:         Dewayne Drummonds, Gray, Ky., three bass, 7-9, $5336th:         Todd Adkins, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 6-14, $4887th:         John Nickerson, Mooresburg, Tenn., two bass, 6-13, $4448th:         Kevin Powers, Unicoi, Tenn., three bass, 6-12, $6009th:         Ronaldo Garcia, Louisville, Ky., two bass, 6-4, $35510th:       Billy Hughes, Eubank, Ky., four bass, 6-3, $311

Brandon Hartgrove of Hiltons, Virginia, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $341.With the regular season now complete, boater Dillon Falardeau of Hixson, Tennessee, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,260 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Lenny Bays of Dayton, Kentucky, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Volunteer Division AOY race with 1,286 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.Now, the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 12-14 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Dale Hollow Lake in Byrdstown, Tennessee. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury 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 outboard.The 2023 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.The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the pathway to the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.For complete details and updated tournament information, visit For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram and YouTube.About Major League FishingMajor League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.


This press release was provided to Jefferson County Tourism via Major League Fishing.