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Officials catch cheating angler; beaver bites fisherman

A professional angler found to have stuffed lead sinkers down the throats of fish he submitted for weigh-ins was banned from competitions.

Mike Hart, a successful Southern California pro whose career earnings total more than $200,000, was accused of cheating during the recent $100,000 U.S. Open held at Lake Mead.

An official with the Western Outdoor News bass tour said Hart confessed after he was caught, reports.

In all, nine sinkers were removed from bass that Hart turned in - each sinker was torpedo-shaped and weighed 2 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 be detected if the bass was cut open.

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Meanwhile, a recreational angler found a different kind of trouble - getting attacked by an angry beaver.

Russ McTindal, of Atlanta, was fishing last week when he was bitten on his leg and arm by the large beaver.

"It was attacking me," McTindal told a local TV station. "He was actually attacking me. I hadn't provoked him or anything."

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