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Pro Angler Mike Hart Busted For Cheating

by Sarah Handel
Aug 4, 2010

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Sarah Handel

The world of politics isn't the only sphere being rocked by charges of ethical violations right now.  So, too, is the world of sport fishing.  Yup, I said it: Sport fishing. Professional angler Mike Hart, who's earned more than $200,000 in his career, was caught "virtually red-handed" cheating at weigh-in. At the $100,000 U.S. Open held at Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona border, he turned in his full allotment of five bass. All five were found to contain lead sinkers, reports Pete Thomas of

In all, nine sinkers were removed from bass turned in by Hart. [Tournament official Harvey] Naslund said each sinker was torpedo-shaped and weighed two ounces. Each was attached to a short line and tied to a small treble hook, presumably to catch in the throat and hopefully keep the weights from entering the belly and being detected if the bass were cut open.

Cheater! But there's an upside.

"On the one hand it was a day of infamy for organized bass fishing in America," said Harvey Naslund, director of the WON circuit. "But on the other hand it was a major victory for all who have long cared for, and taken steps to protect the integrity of bass-fishing tournaments."

When money talks, ethics walk, in Washington and on the water.  Offiicials banned Hart from that tournament and all WON (Western Outdoor News) tournaments for life.

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