Mike Hart, the popular and successful professional angler that was banned from Western Outdoor News Bass events for cheating, won numerous competitions at Castaic Lake in the Santa Clarita Valley.
According to a representative at the lake’s pro shop, “Any tournament that happened in Castaic, (he) was most likely in it.”
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Along with various partners over the years, Hart won several tournaments at Castaic Lake, including American Bass Anglers, WON Bass, Angler’s Choice and National Bass West.
Unofficial reports claim Hart’s career winnings total more than $200,000.
On July 21 at the U.S. Open at Lake Mead, Nevada, tournament directors discovered the bass Hart had submitted contained lead weights. The extra ounces tipped the scales in Hart’s favor, moving him up the standings in the tournament and increasing his prize money.
Coincidentally, it was Hart that caused his own undoing. Since the fish he had submitted were dead, they were to be shipped and donated to a charity, as per the tournament’s protocol. Upon cleaning the fish, officials found lead weights in each of them.