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Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Week in Fishing – 8/6/10

Normally when I sit down to write these articles. It’s pretty difficult to come up with a topic to write about. Since I’m not the technical wizard that most of you think I am, most of my topics can be lumped into the “fishing philosophy” category, if there is such a thing. So this week when I was forwarded an article about a pro fisherman cheating during a competition, I couldn’t help but say a quick thank you, since I knew my weekly blog quota would soon be filled.

If you haven’t heard, Mike Hart was caught cheating in a WON Bass competition on Lake Mead (article attached below). Apparently, he stuffed his fish with lead sinkers to make them heavier and hopefully better his rankings and winnings. Now I’m throwing around the word “stuffed” pretty loosely here, because, according to the attached article, the sinkers weighed two ounces each and a total of 9 sinkers were found (one in each fish). I’ll do the math for you – 1lb and 2 ounces is the whooping total he added to his fish (9 sinkers x 2 oz/sinker = 18 oz/16 oz per pound). Now I’m not saying that this shouldn’t be categorized as gross misconduct followed by swift and decisive action. However, if you Google this topic and peruse some articles and other opinions, people are up in arms like this guy poured molten lead down the throats of his fish and they all ended up weighing in at 45 pounds. They’re acting like he cleaned up the tournament, twisted his mustache during an evil laugh, slept with their women, and made off with their cash. There are even discussions of federal and criminal investigations being conducted… A federal fraud investigation to see if Hart fraudulently crossed state lines with the fish in question… am I dreaming?

This guy has already been banned from basically all fishing tournaments and organizations, he has been humiliated on a national level, his reputation is destroyed, he’ll have to find another way earn a living, and he’ll be lucky if he’s able to buy a fishing rod at Dick’s by the time this is all over. Does he really need to be brought up on criminal and federal charges for 1lb – 2oz? I understand that this could mean he cheated during other tournaments and people could’ve lost money to him unjustly. However, the chances of proving that he’s cheated in the past are incredibly slim because most if not all of the fishing tournaments are catch and release. Plus, if he was regularly cheating or doing it to sow up millions of dollars, don’t you think he would’ve used heavier sinkers? This didn’t even put him in the top 10 for the tournament, it probably didn’t even bump him up a tier. So let’s save some taxpayer dollars, forget about the investigations, and let’s all move on with our lives with the consolation prize that this guy has already royally screwed up his life.

I’m already all fired up about this and I haven’t even gotten into the whole double standard issue. Might I even mention the steroids in baseball catastrophe? A lot of good that federal investigation did! How many players admitted to using, buying, or selling steroids? How many of them were stopped from earning a living, jailed, or even slightly punished? How many of them lied right to the faces of Congress and got nothing!! Got nothing for the federal offense of perjury!!!! The worst punishment most of them got was the threat that they won’t be inducted into the hall of fame. Mike Hart should hope that Bud Selig (MLB commissioner), or the United States Congress is on his sentencing board. Hart can probably get some tips on how to cheat better next time. But I digress…

The point here is that maybe the punishment isn’t fitting the crime. You know, that age old amendment in the Bill of Rights. It’s definitely an offense, and a punishable one – but this guy is ruined. Let’s ease off the wind pipe and not go in for the kill on this one.

If there’s one lesson to be learned here. It’s that – if you’re going to do wrong – do it right! Next time, stuff a McDonald’s double cheeseburger down there, or just put a brick in its mouth. Or if you wanted to get creative – inject all your fish with elephant hormones, turn you’re aerator into a pseudo wind tunnel and tie tiny parachutes onto the tails of the fish. Then put rotating Swiss Army knives at the back of the aerator, powered by a 300 horsepower diesel engine (you want Swiss Army knives because there stainless steel and won’t rust in your newly constructed jet engine-esk, aerating tunnel of death). This way if the fish stop swimming they’ll be instantly filleted. And since they don’t want to die, they’ll just keep swimming and they’ll get stronger and stronger because you injected them with elephant hormones. By the time you go to weigh-in, you’ll be pulling little Schwarzeneggers out of your live well.

That reminds me… add Schwarzenegger to America’s all-time bonehead plays. There’s nothing like electing a former championship body builder (aka – steroid king) to the seat of Governor. Where’s that investigation? How many people did the Terminator defraud in his tenure?

Let’s try to keep our heads about us, learn from this guy’s mistake, and better the system so that this doesn’t happen again. We don’t need to crucify this guy to know what he did was wrong. He’s already been stripped of his livelihood, his manhood, and he’s got a tough enough road ahead wearing that Scarlett A on his chest.

Fish on,

As always, if you have comments or suggestions, please email them to


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