Archive for the ‘Bonefishing’ Category

Fishing in Cuba Now Legal!

April 30, 2015

US Citizens can now legally sport fish in Cuba

2015 will be remembered in Angling history as the year it became legal for US Citizens, in possession of a “people to people” travel letter from the non-profit fisheries research and conservation organization Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT), to sport fish in Cuba.

2015 is also the year travel restrictions were lifted, making it legal for US airlines to fly to Cuba, US travel agents to book travelers to Cuba and US insurance companies to offer travel insurance to US Citizens traveling to Cuba.

Angler Adventures has been assisting a limited number of US anglers traveling legally to Cuba for several years. But, the easing of restrictions in general and the travel license from BTT in particular, opens the door for any US angler wanting to fish Cuba.

What hasn’t changed (and will take years to catch up) is the tourist infrastructure within Cuba and the transportation network to Cuba. Traveling to Cuba is still complex. We recommend using a knowledgeable, qualified travel agent, whether it’s your first trip or your twelfth.

In addition to having a staff of fishing experts, Angler Adventures is a full service travel agency, licensed to sell travel insurance. Angler Adventures can assist you in selecting a fishing location in Cuba, prepare you for what to fish for and what to bring, assist you in obtaining the travel letter from the BTT, assist with your Cuban Visa, create the most efficient travel itinerary for you and your group and offer you the protection of travel insurance for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and more.

Call us today at 1-800-628-1447. There is so much more we’d like to share with you about this fascinating country and phenomenal saltwater fishery.

Want to know more about traveling to Cuba and its amazing Fisheries:  Click or Tap below.

Cuba: Now AvailableBonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snook & More

Jardines de la Reina: Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon! Grand Slam!

Cayo Largo: Over 500 Fly Caught Permit!

Cayo Cruz: Big Bones and Tailing Permit

Isla de la JuventudBig Tarpon and Snook

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60 Pound Permit Landed on Fly in the Bahamas

March 3, 2015

We haven’t stopped talking about Bob Cosgriff’s HUGE PERMIT since he sent us the first photo February 25, 2015 on his way home from the Bahamas.  You can read Bob’s write up and see a photo below.  More photos from Bob’s trip can be found on our Facebook Page.

60 lb Permit

Photo Credit to Capt. Barry Kanavy

“PERMIT – IT’S HUGE!”

by Bob Cosgriff

These are the words we all long to hear. But let’s start at the beginning.

After several months of miserable winter weather my friend Capt. Barry Kanavy and I were looking forward to six days of fishing on Acklins Island at Grey’s Point Bonefishing Lodge.  Acklins is known for its bonefishing so we loaded up on equipment for the grey ghost.  Evan Peterson at Angler Adventures had suggested we hook up with the head guide at Greys,  Garon Williamson to show us around.

My motto is be ready for “anything”.  So that means 5 rods: Three eight weights for Bones, a nine weight for Permit and a ten weight for Barracuda .  Every thing was packed, lines cleaned, leaders checked and five boxes of flies; just the basics!

The week started with three days of fly tying as a cold front shut everything down. On day four & five the clouds parted and we got to experience what Grey’s Point is noted for, stalking bones on expansive wading flats. On our last day, I made a casual comment to Garon that we’d like fish from the boat and try our luck with the Cudas we had seen prowling the deeper flats.  That request would change our fishing lives forever.

5 Foot Barracuda on the Fly

Photo Credit: Barry Kanavy

Two hours later Barry and I surveyed our frayed leaders, mangled wire, shredded Barracuda flies and some great photos to remember our time stalking these torpedoes.  Garon mentioned he had one more place to show us for barracuda and the occasional permit.

We motored over on the ocean side and cruised around for five minutes when I heard Garon call from the back of the boat “PERMIT – IT’S HUGE” …tailing behind a ray.

I jumped off the poling platform where I had been sitting and walked forward as Barry pulled out my permit rig of choice: Helios2 9wt, Nautilus NV reel , Rio 9 weight permit line connected to a  Rio 20lb leader, ending with a tan Kung fu crab size 4.  I was ready. I was confident.  After all I had recently tamed some bad ass cudas! I stripped out my line, saw the ray, and on my third attempt cast 65 feet landing the leader 2 feet over the ray.  I let the fly sink in the 5 foot water and then felt a small tug. I set the hook and the permit was on.  Things stayed pretty calm, the line cleared the deck and everything was under control.  I had caught small permit before, so how bad could this be? I would soon find out.

The fish then began a slow turn on my right side. Not a full run but a slow drive by so he could give me a once over. It was then that I realized Garon had been trying to keep me calm when he said, “huge Permit”.  It wasn’t huge, it was a monster! I felt my confidence drain as if I’d sprung a leak. I clicked down the drag three times . . . I was going to need all of it.  I looked at the nine weight in my hands and realized that I had brought a knife to a gun fight. Seconds later my reel started to scream and I said goodbye to my fly line for the next 35 minutes as the permit began his run to open water and large swells. Barry grabbed the back of my belt to stabilize me in the rolling water and to relay commands to Garon. Twice the fish surged out to deeper water and I was still hanging on. Then I looked down at my reel to see the backing getting very thin.  I estimated I had 50 feet left and yelled to Barry and Garon to fire up the engine and we slowly regained some backing only to have the fish take off again.  We kept this game up for 20 minutes until he made a run to some rocks on a point.  Now I had my moment of truth. I had to stop him from reaching the rocks, even if I broke him off. I swung the rod to the left, put as much pressure as I could and hoped he would turn before the rod exploded.  Ten feet from the rocks the fish turned and for the first time in the battle I felt I really had a chance to land this beast.

Slowly I gained backing and started to control his head.  Finally I saw my fly line coming back through the guides. 35 minutes had gone by and my arms and legs were on fire. Slowly he came to the boat moving back and forth using his body as a brake against me. He was three feet off the bow when I had a new panic attack that I had lost my leverage and the big fish was taking advantage of that.  Finally he came around the side, Garon touched the leader and grabbed the tail like his life depended on it.

Barry and I waited for Garon to stand up with our trophy, but nothing happened.  Then we heard him yell that the fish was too heavy. Barry grabbed Garon’s belt and back pack and pulled our guide back into the boat – holding the biggest permit we had ever seen.  The fish sat on the floor – We were stunned! No one did anything or spoke for 15 seconds, we just looked at a truly colossal permit.  We regained our composure and with both Garon and I holding the fish Barry took some quick pictures.

Check out that mouth!

Photo Credit: Capt. Barry Kanavy

Now our efforts reversed as we scrambled to get the fish back into the water to live another day.  He was tired but slowly he got stronger and Garon let go of the tail as he headed off to deeper water.

How big was the permit? We estimated sixty pounds. Other veteran guides, after seeing the pictures say, 60-70 pounds – others less.  Is it a record? We will leave that to others to decide.  We quickly measured the length against the rod – 45 inches! The girth not measured but look at the photos – you guess.

All we know is that on February 24, 2015 something special took place out there.  Garon summed it up best when he said “We will fish the rest of our lives and never catch a fish like that again”.  Barry and I quietly nodded our heads as we slowly motored back to the lodge.  We were done for the day.

Ultimately, it wasn’t about breaking or claiming records.  The best part was watching the fish swim away.

Angler Adventures

Phone (800) 628-1447 * (860) 434-9624 * Fax (860) 434-8605

Email info@angleradventures.com

Website www.AnglerAdventures.com

Winter Bonefishing Revisited – Drop That Snow Shovel!

September 26, 2014

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s August “Conservation Captain of the Month” is veteran guide Capt. Bob Branham. Bob fishes the Key Biscayne and South Biscayne Bay areas and has been guiding for 35 years.  When asked to tell a favorite fishing story, he recalled a day of cold water bonefishing, excerpted from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Blog below (read the full blog here: http://blog.bonefishtarpontrust.org/?p=2619). Bob’s story couldn’t help but remind us of Doug Schlink’s Blog post on Winter Bonefishing in the Bahamas (https://angleradventures.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/bonefishing-in-winter-water-temps/).

(BTT) Tell us one (or two) of your favorite fishing stories.

(BB)  Years ago in March we had a strong cold front pass through. It was a sunny and windless day but the air temp was low 30′s- I had ice on my windshield when I got in my car. My customer was from Toronto and when he showed up I told him it was a no-go – water temp was 54 deg. and there was no way we would see a bonefish. He looked at me and said that he had to get out of the house as his kids were out of control and his wife had some honey-do’s lined up if he stayed home. He mentioned that it looked like a beautiful day to him – he was in shorts. I put on my down parka and off we went. We were headed south in hopes of maybe catching a ‘cuda or something and when I got to Stiltsville, I couldn’t believe it. Bonefish mud was all over this flat. It seemed like every bonefish in the Bay was there, feeding hard. We stayed on that flat all day and hooked 30 fish on fly – none was less than 7 lbs. It did warm up a bit. Air temps hit 65 deg. and water temps came up to the low 60′s. – still way too low for bonefish or so I used to think.

So, if you’re interested in BIG bonefish, and being shin-deep on a tropical flat waving a fly rods sounds more appealing than being knee-deep in your driveway schlepping a snow shovel, check out our Bahamas Lodges at http://www.angleradventures.com/Bahamas.htm, give us a call at 800-628-1447 / 860-434-9624, or drop us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

Winter Bonefish

Winter Bonefishing.

14 Pound Bonefish on a #2 Simram at North Riding Point Club, Grand Bahama

July 25, 2014
Huge Bonefish fooled by #2 Simram

#2 Simram fools 14 pound Bonefish & What’s New at North Riding Point Club

The bonefish in the photo above is a 14-pounder landed in February off the north shore of Grand Bahama. Carl Heilman, who landed this monster, also landed a tarpon (the group jumped 3 and landed 2). Chris Bamford landed the other tarpon, as well as the triggerfish, John Wilson jumped a tarpon and Scott Trerotola landed a 10 lb Mutton Snapper that was cruising behind a Ray. Each member of the group also landed several bonefish between 5 – 10 pounds.

Bill & Liz Aldendifer also had a fantastic trip to Grand Bahama. Together, they landed several fish in 7 – 8 pound range, a couple 9 pounders, a 10 pounder, and a 12 pounder on Bill’s birthday. Bill came close to having a 14+ pounder in hand, but lost it at the boat when the guide grabbed the leader. Bill, a permit aficionado, said that the 14+ pound bonefish fought harder than any permit he’s hooked, even his 30 pounder in Ascension Bay.

All of the above mentioned were Angler Adventures’ clients staying at North Riding Point ClubClick or Tap here to see Bill, Liz, Scott, and more photos of our clients with their fish on our Facebook page.

Paul-Adams-NRPCPaul Adams Takes Reigns at North Riding Point Club

Replacing Tim and Mercedes at North Riding Point Club (NRPC) is veteran lodge manager Paul Adams. Originally from Indiana, Paul was raised in the Bahamas, while his parents managed Deep Water Cay from 1976 – 1984. Paul attended school in McLeans Town, where he became friends with many of the famous Grand Bahama Guides, including NRPC head guide, Stanley Glinton, who taught Paul how to pole a skiff. Paul’s fly fishing instructor at an early age was none other than well known sportsman and author, AJ McClane. Paul and his wife Alison also managed Deep Water Cay for 8 years, from 1996 – 2004. Paul’s local knowledge, hands on management style and angling experience make him the perfect choice for this position.

New Hells Bay Marquesa SkiffsNorth Riding Point Club's New Hells Bay Marquesa Skiff

North Riding Point Club (NRPC) has acquired 5 new 17-foot Hells Bay Marquesa Skiffs with 90 HP Yamaha 4-stroke outboards and new trailers. NRPC has also upgraded their fleet of vehicles with a couple of newer Ford Explorer SUVs. The boats are equipped with padded seats, leaning bar and power poles. The Hells Bay skiffs have been in use since January 2013 and clients and guides alike are raving about the comfort and speed, especially when making the run to Sale Cay.

For reservations, or more information, please call Angler Adventures at 800-628-1447 or 860-434-9624 or send us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

Religious Experience vs Purpose in Life

October 23, 2013

Religious Experience vs Purpose in Life

by Chip Bates

In his fascinating article in the November/December issue of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters entitled, “Thinking Outside the Boat”, Editor John Frazier refers to his wading experiences at Grey’s Point Bonefish Bonefish Inn, Acklins Island, Bahamas, as a “religious experience”.

I’m an extremist member of that congregation.

I’m celebrating a half century of fly fishing this year. I’ve seen my passion for the sport get more and more focused over the years. In the 70’s, I caught my first bonefish on a fly in the Bahamas. In the 80’s, I added tarpon and permit (Belize, Mexico, Bahamas, Los Roques and Florida Keys). In the early 90’s, I chalked up my first double digit bone (Andros). In the late 90’s, I gravitated toward wading, mostly to enable my partner and me to fish at the same time, one in the boat, one on foot. That was also the decade I fished the Seychelles for the first time. Wow!

All-day-walking miles of gorgeous flats, searching for underwater movement of any kind, keeping sharks at bay when bones were in sight, mixing it up with milkfish, trevally and permit. It was way too much fun to call exercise.

By the year 2000, I had blinders on. I’d become a wading junkie, transfixed by catching big bonefish on foot in water so shallow, the fish couldn’t hide it’s own body parts!

Bonefish-tailing-on-the-Flats

Knowing where to find them, what tide, time of day, how to approach and catch these hyper sensitive, actively feeding fish, became my “purpose in life”!

Being in the right place at the right time, then having it confirmed by the sudden appearance of an enormous tail, creates an explosion of urgency, nervousness, opportunity and energy …. An adrenalin rush beyond compare. You get pretty good at judging the size of the fish by the thickness and width of the fork in his tail. Think jaws of life, not pruning shears!

Chip’s progression:
Sightfishing
Fishing for bonefish
Fly fishing for bonefish
Fly fishing for big bonefish
Fly fishing for big tailing bonefish
Fly fishing for big tailing bonefish while wading!
 
That's a big tail!

That’s a big tail!

Back to Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Editor, John Frazier.  John fished 3 days at one of the premier wading destinations in the Bahamas, Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn on Acklins Island, with Angler Adventure’s fishing “pro”, Doug Schlink. Three days was hardly enough, but John adapted quickly, caught lots of fish to 6 pounds and got a shot at a 10 + pound fish in 6 inches of water! I’ll give John a few years to ratchet up “religious experience” to “purpose in life”.  For a great read, by a talented writer, fisherman and photographer, check out this link to the:

  “Ultimate Wade Fishing Special” in the November/December 2013 issue.

Preparing for Your Bonefishing Trip: Wading

October 14, 2013

Protect Your Feet with a good pair of wading shoes or boots designed for flats fishing, a few pairs of wet wading socks, and don’t forget to break in your shoes.  Wading shoes and socks will help to keep sand out and reduce blister forming friction, as well as giving support for a day of wading.  But, if the first time you put on your wading shoes in the Bahamas, it’ll be a long week.  Break in your shoes by wearing them around the house for an hour or two a couple times per week.  It’s much better than blisters or sore arches.  Do Not wear last years sneakers with cotton socks or open sandals – your feet will thank you.

 Click here for more information on wading shoes

Find a Comfortable lumbar pack or chest/sling pack.  Bigger is not always better.  The pack should have the essentials (flies, leader and tippet material, nippers, hook file, pliers / hemostats, light rain jacket, camera, water bottle, and maybe your lunch / snack) but not packed full so it disturbs your casting.

Wading is Exercise and it can be a lot of work, especially at a destination like Grey’s Point Inn, South Caicos or the Seychelles where there are extensive flats and you might wade all day.  Some flats are firm and easy to wade, while others can be slightly soft or have uneven bottoms, which make walking more difficult.  To be sure you’re physically prepared for long wading sessions, schedule long walks or hikes months before your trip.  It’s also a great way to find some more remote areas on your local waters, so don’t forget your rod and a box flies!

A Little Practice Casting can make the difference between getting your fly to that 9-pound bonefish, or watching it leave a rooster tail as it runs for deeper water.  The majority of shots at bonefish while wading happen between 40’ – 60’, so accuracy and versatility are more important than speed and distance (but the later can also be helpful).  The best practice casting is to targets in that 40’ – 60’ range, from different angles (click here to see a diagram of the casting clock).  Be sure that you’re not just casting with the wind at your back – knowing how to handle wind blowing in your face or from your right / left will make getting your fly in the right place much easier.  Don’t forget to practice your casting while wearing your pack!

Want more tips on flats fishing; check our “What to Bring” list by clicking here.

Image

Go Small. Go Light. Go Weedless.

October 11, 2013

Bonefish on Grass Flats

Go Small.  Go Light.  Go Weedless.

by Chip Bates

You can encounter tailing fish on any fertile bottom, but weedy bottoms hold the most prey, therefore the most fish. Big fish seem more comfortable feeding in the shallows over a dark bottom.  Click here for tips on Shallow Water, Tailing Fish.

The end of the outgoing and beginning of the incoming brings the skinniest water that’s when you’ll find fish tailing over the weeds. To catch them, you’ll need a fly that doesn’t “plop” when it hits the water: go small.

A tailing fish is focused on a small area.  Frequently he’ll create a cloud of sand or mud where he’s feeding. You must put the fly in the area where’s he’s rooting, a matter of inches from his nose. You must throw a fly that doesn’t spook him when it lands: go light.

Once the fly lands in front of the fish, let it sink, then give it the tiniest of strips: go weedless.

Without a weed guard, your fly will invariably snag on grass and stripping a fly that’s hooked on a weed is like drag on a dry fly.  Click Here for Tips on Tailing Fish over Weedy Bottoms.

There are loads of excellent flies for bonefishing in skinny water, but our number one fly is the Bunny Bone when we need to go small, light or weedless.  Having a variety of Bunny Bones in your fly box is a necessity, especially when wading for bonefish.  Tan or brown (tied with tan or pink thread) rabbit fur tail with a little gold Mylar and mono eyes are top producing colors.  It’s also a great fly in slightly deeper water with small or medium bead chain eyes, instead of mono.  Try adding crazy legs and don’t forget the weed guard!  Click here for more information on tying bonefish flies, including the Bunny Bone.

_DSC0013

Update on South Andros

May 10, 2013

Most anglers identify South Andros as a huge expanse of wadable flats around the southern and southwestern tip of the island:  Flats filled with large schools of uneducated bonefish in the 2-4 pound range eager to eat flies.  Anyone interested in seeing larger fish in singles and doubles would gravitate the North Bight of Andros, the West Side of Andros, or the North Shore of Grand Bahama.  Think again!

Over the last few years, more and more clients fishing Bair’s Lodge, Andros South, Pleasant Bay or Mars Bay are catching big bonefish.  The 7 – 10 pounders are being landed every month.  Mars Bay has kept a record of the bonefish caught this season, here are some highlights.

1)      The numbers of fish being caught over the spring and neap tides are virtually identical, but the “moon” tides are producing bigger fish.

2)      Anglers are landing good numbers of fish in the 27” – 31” range in each month.

3)      The largest bonefish landed was an astounding 36”.

To put some of this into perspective, and provide information on how to estimate the weight of your Atlantic bonefish, please refer to the table below, which has been excerpted from page 20 of Randall Kaufmann’s Bonefishing!.

Size (in)

Weight (lbs)

Size (in)

Weight (lbs)

18″

3.5

28″

8.6

19″

3.8

29″

9.6

20″

4.1

30″

10.8

21″

4.6

31″

11.9

22″

5.1

32″

13

23″

5.5

33″

14.4

24″

6

34″

15.6

25″

6.5

35″

16.8

26″

7.2

36″

18

27″

7.7

37″

19.2

This method of estimating weight is not as accurate as [girth2 x length / 800], however it does highlight the massive size of a 36” bonefish!  For those of us with ruler marks on our rods, it also provides an easy way to estimate the weight of our bonefish and minimize the amount of time spent handling the bonefish (click here for best practices for on handling and releasing bonefish).

Go ahead and speculate why there are so many more big bonefish being caught on the South Andros flats.  It could be cyclical, climate change, guides getting better at finding bigger fish, or better anglers doing the fishing.  With anglers landing plenty of fish in the 7.7 to 11.9 pound range, our conclusion is that this might be the best time to fish South Andros.

Three Second Rule

October 26, 2012

Bonefish Flies

One of the biggest mistakes a bonefisherman can make is failing to adjust his fly to changing water depth.  Your fly should be weighted such that it sinks quickly to the bottom and then stays near the bottom within view of the fish after you begin stripping.  If you strip the fly above a bonefish, it will never see it.
The average flat depth, whether you’re wading or poling, ranges from 1-2½ ft.  In this depth, a Gotcha or Amber Shrimp with medium sized bead chain eyes should provide close to the perfect sink rate, without overweighing the fly (and potentially spooking the fish).  A good rule of thumb is your fly should reach the bottom in about 3 seconds.  If you find your fly is not getting to the bottom, you should switch to a fly with lead eyes or add a few wraps of lead wire to the eye of the fly.

The angler who is willing to fish deeper flats will often be rewarded with the largest bonefish.  Big bonefish prefer the protection of deeper flats or shallow flats close to deep water.  When you’re fishing water 3-4 feet deep, you’ll need a fly with lead eyes to get to the bottom quickly.  Proven deep-water flies are the Clouser minnow (especially tan and white and chartreuse and white), the Simram, (a rabbit fur version of the Gotcha fly with lead eyes) and Henry Cowen’s Bonefish Scampi. Lead eyes come in a variety of weights and for joy of casting, you’ll want to carry flies with the smaller lead eyes, as well as the heavier lead eyes that cause many of us to duck when forward casting.

The last thing a bonefisherman wants to do is scare the daylights out of an actively feeding fish by casting too heavy a fly too close to the fish. Therefore, you must go light in skinny water. By light we mean no weight other than the weight of the hook. For this we recommend mono (or plastic) eyes and a body that lands softly. A well-designed fly for this situation is a pattern called the bunny bone in sizes 4, 6, and 8.

The bunny bone is made with rabbit fur, rug yarn and mono eyes.  You can throw this unweighted fly quite close to a tailing fish. Its entry into the water is soft, but it sinks well. The rabbit fur makes it look alive even before it’s stripped. All you need to do is give it the tiniest of strips. Don’t strip the fly too far or too fast when working a tailing fish.

Before you begin fishing it is also advisable to have a handy selection of the flies you’re most likely to use that day.  Have a selection that covers all water depths, so you are prepared when a quick change is required.  For even quicker adjustments to changes in water depths, have a spool of lead wire handy and wrap a small piece around the eye of the fly, as needed.

 This was another except from the Angler Adventures “Bahamas What to Bring List”.

Seychelles Best Flats Fishing – Farquhar Atoll

August 17, 2012

The Seychelles became a bucket list destination because it’s a beautiful, remote destination with fantastic wading for bonefish on hard sand & coral flats and a variety of other species both on and off the flats that added depth to the fishery.  Recently, a new fishing operation has opened on Farquhar Atoll, which has taken those credentials to the next level.  

Beautiful and remote? Farquhar is called the “Jewel of the Seychelles” and considered to be the most beautiful island in the archipelago and also the southern most atoll (2 hour flight from Mahe).  The staff and guests are the only people on the atoll, living in the islands only accommodations.  Check.

Fantastic Bonefishing? The fishing is 100% wading.  The average schooling bonefish is 4 – 6 pounds and there will be quite a few bonefish in the 6 – 8 pound range.  Most anglers end up leaving the schools to find fish in single and doubles for a bit more of a challenge.  Check.

Variety of Species?  In addition to Bonefish, there are the normal fish you’d expect to see on a flat in the Seychelles: Shark, Barracuda, Snapper, Triggerfish, Trevally (including Giant Trevally), Milkfish, Napoleon Wrasse and Indo-Pacific Permit.  The guides on Farquhar have also figured out how to catch Humphead Parrotfish, which were previously though to be uncatchable on the fly and become experts at targeting GT’s (Giant Trevally).  You can also fish deeper water for Sailfish, several Grouper species, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Job fish, and more.  A client of our landed 18 different species on the fly…all with a floating line!    Check.

This is truly one of the special fishing destinations in world, and the reservations book shows it – the first availability is for late-October 2013.  If you’re interested in fishing Farquhar, we suggest getting started now.  Like Farquhar, but more interested in Bonefishing?  Check out Farquhar’s sister operation St. Brandon’s Atoll, which has better bonefishing with less variety

Farquhar Bonefish

Bonefish!


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