Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Chasing bars of buttery gold

Welcome to this week’s blog update and I begin by proudly announcing a new supporter for the blog in half bean Baits, you will find their logo on the right hand side of the blog and a link to their website below. What does this mean for me and the blog? Well it means in the future I will be using some of this companies bait in my fishing exploits on the bank and have already ear marked a few of their products to use in both my still water fishing and in my future river campaign, no part of the agreement we have in place confines me to just using this bait in all of my fishing on the blog so I will still be looking to use a variety of baits in my fishing throughout my angling year but also incorporating some of the half bean baits as and where I think they will work well. I am really excited about using some of these baits in the near future and I cannot wait to get out on the bank and try them out for myself.

This week I have begun getting together pictures for a few location videos that should be going live shortly in the Stillwater and commercial venue sections of the blog. The Stillwater section should see the addition Woodshaw Reservoir and I am looking at producing a separate video in the commercial venues section for every pool on the flushing meadows complex, showing the diversity of the pools and the fish you can expect to catch in them.

This week my attention really began turning towards the opening of the rivers even more so than the previous week, the oily swirls of the water as it glides its way down its course towards the sea just captures my imagination time and time again and the soothing noise of the water as it rushes by your peg and the challenge of keeping those fish biting as the course of the river changes throughout the day, nothing beats it for me, the banks of the river are truly a magical place to be and in this sport where we put anglers into special pre-defined boxes I think I am well and truly in the river anglers section of our sport and I cannot wait to get back home.

The week gone by marked the first bit of steady, warm weather we have experienced this year, yes it may have been grey and gloomy but the air now lacked that chill it had in the previous weeks. The sun is beginning to set well after 9pm at night now and with this and warm ambient temperature in mind me and my uncle’s friend, Curly, decided it was time to make our first evening midweek trip to Flushing Meadows fishery of the year.

The day in question was Thursday and looking out of my window in work I did feel it looked a bit grim outside to be considering going fishing but upon leaving work I noticed the air temperature was quite high, certainly over the required level for carp to be out and about feeding. This temperature would surely see those carp searching the margins for those piles of bait dumped in as the anglers that had been there since early morning left the fishery.

Arriving on the fishery around 4.15pm I bumped into the bailiff who informed me there had been a few on the canal pool that day but they had just left and had indeed struggled for bites, after enquiring where they had fished on the pool I quickly paid my fee and made my way down the rocky farmers path to the pool and set up in a swim that judging by the corn on the banks had seen a fair amount of bait that day.

My tactic for the day was to fish the near side margin hoping to pick up some of the fish that patrol the margins in the evenings looking for the free surplus of bait left by the anglers. Curly was not due to arrive for around another 45 minutes so I wasted no time in setting up and with rigs already made from my last session It wasn’t long before I had a bait in the water and my first carp of the evening on the bank.



Not long after returning this fish did I hook into another carp which also took a liking for my margin fed bait and it was while unhooking the fish curly pulled up in his carp the fish returned I spent the next 20 minutes catching up with him having not really seen him since our fishing trips last year. The greetings over we both settled into our pegs for some late evening carp fishing and we both had an enjoyable evening catching carp all the way through till we could no longer see the float in the evening gloom, one more cast syndrome had well and truly taken over and it took me losing a fish by the hook pulling and me consequently snagging in the tree to my right for me to call it a night.

The biggest carp of the night for me weighed just less than 6lb at 5lb 5 oz although I think the biggest fish of the night went to curly with a fish that was certainly bigger than mine but we neglected to weigh it at the time. My total for the night was 12 carp which isn’t bad considering we were only on the bank a few hours and I think curly had at least the same amount of carp so it was an enjoyable first evening session all round and I cannot wait for the next especially with the temperatures form now on set to rise considerably.

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After this session on Thursday evening it left only one more day I work and that flew by in a blink of an eye and before I knew it I was on my way up the M6 with my uncle on his first trip to the Wigan pools on the Warrington Anglers Card. Our plan for the day was to fish the carp pool in the morning and spend the afternoon on Woodshaw Reservoir, this way we could take in two waters in one trip and give my uncle a better knowledge of the waters that club have in this area.

Leaving the M6 we were soon driving through Wigan town centre and up the road towards the pools and it amazes me time and time again just how close to Wigan town centre you can cross paths with deer, literally 5 minutes after leaving the town centre we saw two Doe deer in the fields around us. They were far too quick from me to stop and grab my camera but hopefully next time I will be a little more prepared for their presence

The carp pool holds great memories for me from last year, when I put together a 15lb bag of crucian carp and tench from this venue. Setting up on the pool I knew with the warm temperature we were in for more of the same and I was not to be disappointed. My uncle was first to connect with a fish in the shape of a small tench which was his target from the outset and it was not long before I followed in his footpaths with some stunning crucians.


This pool is a real gem of a water for anyone wanting to get their children into fishing, it is absolutely jam packed with crucuan carp and I imagine the odd larger specimens of both the carp and tench variety. We continued to catch small crucians all morning loosing count at the amount of fish we had actually caught.

Towards the end of the morning we were visited by one of the bailiff’s that run the Wigan side of Warrington anglers and it was a real pleasure to see a bailiff on the bank who cared so much about the pools he looks after and his knowledge of the pools was second to none and even took some of our queries on board to take to the next bailiff meeting which was great to see.



The carp in this pool provided us with some great sport and kept the float going under all morning but it was soon time to move onto the next venue in woodshaw reservoir to see what awaited us there.

Woodshaw reservoir is like no other water I have visited on the Warrington anglers card it is immaculate, the banks are always freshly mowed and the pegs first class with some of the steeper pegs even having wooden rails to help anglers up and down the banks and the reeds around the water are well maintained with not a single inaccessible peg on the water, this is in such stark contrast to some of the other waters on the card that seem to have either half completed pegs or left to rack and ruin, like the river weaver complex at Frodsham. I personally think the whole of the club committee should visit this venue and take a leaf out of the Wigan bailiff teams book and see what proper club waters should look like, a real water to be proud of and the Wigan team should hold their heads high, hats off.


We set up on pegs on the far side of the pool where there was less angling pressure on the day and was soon into bites form roach on maggot on the edge of the reeds and I can quite see why the club has a thinning policy on these silvers each year as the place is alive with roach of all age brackets.

Sat in the sun catching fish whilst being treated to a spectacular aerial display by the visiting swallows who where greedily hovering up a massive hatch of flies whilst taking the odd sip as they went about their daily activities. These birds are now appearing in great numbers as they complete their annual migration from Africa and are a real sign that summer is on its way and more importantly for me are a sign that the rivers gates are not too far off opening.


The fishery I believe used to be an ex bloodworm farm which would explain why the bottom erupts with a mass of tiny bubbles when the crucian carp move in rummaging through the silt for the particles of bait we introduce. There are few sights in fishing that are more exiting that a float sat off the reeds surrounded by a mass of tell tale bubbles, real exiting stuff!


The bubbles where happily fizzing away and at any moment I was expecting the float to slide away but strangely it remain upright in the swim with only the off line bite giving away that fish where certainly around the bait, it was time for a change. I changed over to a more substantial and visible bait and this was instantly rewarded with the float sliding away and I was into my first proper crucian of what was to be an exceptional day for these bars of buttery gold.

The first decent fish on the bank and it was soon in the trusty co-op bag to be weighed and I was delighted to see the scales rest on 1lb 13oz, a great start and I was more than made up with this fish.

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The afternoon continued in the same vein with many smaller crucian carp coming to the net and I will be including some of these pictures in the video I produce for this venue so be sure to check that out for more pictures of the crucian carp and of course anyone that follows the blog on Twitter or Facebook will have already seen one of the pictures I posted on Sunday.

The afternoon seemed to go on forever and what a joy of an afternoon it was and right on last knockings it was topped of with a glorious crucian carp of 2lb 2oz a fish that will live long in my memory and I cant wait to get back on this lovely venue to chase these most delicate of fishes.



I topped the week off on Sunday by making a visit to flushing meadows to meet up with a lad who emailed me regarding this fishery, I managed to put 6 carp, two tench and a few bream on the bank but the highlight of the day for me was putting a face to the email I had received and meeting up with a genuine top guy on the bank who was not only well into his fishing but obviously had a great knowledge and love for the sport and a fellow river angler to boot as well, I look forward to hearing how he gets on once the rivers open, tight lines mate.

That is all for this week and I leave you with a picture of one of the carp from Sundays fishing trip.


Till next week I wish you all

Tight lines

Danny

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Tench PB and the top two "wand"



A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and what a week it has been on the bank,   a real week to remember as the fish looked to finally have woken up from their sluggish spring and sprung into life with numerous captures of skimmers, roach, hybrids, carp and also a personal best tench for me. All these make up this week’s blog update and I have to say I took far too many pictures again so check out my Facebook page for some bumper pictures over the next few days on the following link.


This week the new river season was on my mind and with only just over a month till the magical day I began looking over a few of my past trips to the river and also about what I want to achieve from the river this year.  The rivers firmly on my mind I began to purchase a few bits and pieces in preparation for the river opening and purchased a few new floats from the Dave Harrell range in a two 10 no4 dome top floats ant two 3 gram bolo floats for my sessions on the deeper stretches, I also made another impulse buy whilst on the website and there will be more to come on that in next few weeks, fingers crossed.

I will be going into more detail closer to the time on my targets for this year’s river season and just thinking about the challenges that lie ahead fills me with excitement for the year ahead and I cannot wait for that magical morning of June the 16th to arrive.  Till then I aim to cram in as much still water fishing as possible and with the chase for the 10lb plus carp already up and running I aim to fish a new commercial venue in the coming week or so and have a few contenders in mind for that special trip out of my comfort zone.

On to this week’s fishing:

Thursday 10th May – Rixton Clay Pits

  There are times in your life when you have to do things that you don’t have a choice in whether to partake in or not and when it comes to having to go out on strike it’s a very close subject to me.  The reason for the strike was around the changes being made to civil service pension and although I am nowhere near drawing my pension you have to think about the people who are around that age and who it will be affecting in the immediate future.  Over my time in the civil service I have been out on strike a few times over different issues, never has strike action changed anything to the final decision and I doubt it will be in this case but the changes that are being proposed are very controversial to say the least so you have to do all you can to try and stop these changes, hence me supporting the action and going out on strike.

So with Thursday in the dairy as a day free and no mention of any picket line in work I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and made plans with my dad to fish Rixton Clay pits on the Warrington Anglers Card.  The alarm set for 4.30am it was going to be an early start for us with a view to getting back mid -afternoon as I still have a really busy Friday shift in work the next day.

We arrived at this most haunting of venues to find one car in the car park but all three decent pegs taken, which was a shock from one car but you can’t complain as the rest of the pegs are so muddy anyone in their right mind would jump on the car park pegs.  We walked the short distance to a peg we had fished a few weeks back with the intention of trying our best to keep the gear clean by putting it up high out of the way and only taking to the peg what we needed for that days fishing, a great plan which proved ultimately impossible as the rain arrived and the peg went from muddy and waterlogged to plain dangerous throughout the day.


My box set up I thanked my lucky stars I had purchased this new seat box, my old Shakespeare with no legs to raise it up would have been buried in a couple of inches of heavy clay.  This new box meant the only mud that would be near would be on the feet of the legs and the footplate.  With the peg set up I immediately put out the sleeper rod on the killer bait for this venue and set about setting up the short pole line just off the marginal tree to my right.  BEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!! Half way through tying up my rig the sleeper rod sparked into life and I lifted into a fish that was certainly a tench judging by how easy it was coming into the margin and half way in it slinked gently into the margin to my right where it all went solid, a snag and a good one at that!!, In my head I was cursing how on earth did the fish find that snag from 30 yards out In the most murky of water, god knows but the fish was gone and luckily I managed to get all my rig back, always a bonus in that situation.

The pole rig set up for the bottom I also set up a shallow rig for spraying maggot to catch some of the better roach that seem to cruise the upper layers of this pit.  Spraying maggots out the roach soon arrived in scenes reminiscent of piranhas feeding than roach but I wasn’t complaining at all.  The plan was to feed tis line and wait for the tell-tale bubbles of bream feeding on the bottom to arrive before plundering the depths with my deeper rig later on in the day.

Whilst this line was fishing well and I was getting a few bites the sleeper rig was also active and getting a lot of action with plenty of line bites giving away that fish where in the vicinity and I could just feel it wasn’t going to be long before I spooled off again and with five more minutes of increased activity the alarm shot into life as all the line went slack indicating the fish had swam towards me on the take, I lifter and reeled in at the same time and again connected with a fish that shot into the margins and headed straight for the snag the previous one had got me in, not this time I thought as I applied some extra side strain to turn the fish from the safety of the snag and luckily the fish played ball and the rest of the fight was played out in the middle of the swim, the tench in this water truly are awesome fish both in the fight and of course once you get them on the bank and get to admire their beautiful array of colours.



The fish looked a decent fish and it was straight in the trust cooperative carrier bag of truth to be weighed and with my previous personal best standing at 4lb 2oz this marked a slightly improved personal best for myself and I was more than made up.  This venue has so much potential for producing a really special fish and I just hope I can get more time on its banks in the coming weeks as I really do love this venue.

The fish returned and the rod was recast with a few more freebies scattered sparingly over a large area as to get the fish searching out the bait which was obviously proving to be of their liking and so it proved as the rod again roared into life within a few seconds of tightening the line.  This fish was not on the league of the previous one and came to the net without too much of a fight and in real contrast to the previous one was really badly behaved on the bank making it tough to get a decent shot and needless to say I got a soaking as I returned it to its watery home, thank you I whispered as  I returned back to my box to continue my fishing on the silver line that was now producing some really good skimmers and hard fighting hybrids which really added some spice to proceedings on the light blue hydro elastic I was fishing.

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The day trundled along and I with two bream coming on the sleeper rod It marked the end of the feeding for the tench than seem to feed in the really early morning till around 10am and then return in the late evening as the sun drops right down off the water, well that is the conclusion I had come too last year and on the few trips this year but fishing time and time again, when we think we have cracked, comes along a breaks all the rules doesn’t it and at 2.30pm the sleeper rod beeped twice and screamed off like never before, I was certain it was a carp , it just had to be.

The line solid and staying deep far out it was like no fight I had ever experienced on this venue, my head said it had to be a carp, everything about it was different form all the other takes on this venue.  The fish took line and headed for the back of the island in front of me but I managed to turn it and bring it closer to the margins where it began to feel a bit more like a tench fight and with that a big black paint brush tail flapped on the surface, I admit to being a little disappointed at that point but that was till I saw the size of the tench as it came to the net,  it was not as big as my uncles the previous week but it was certainly bigger than the previous one in the morning.



As you can see above the fish hot the scales at exactly 5lb and topped my previous pb on the day of 4lb 4oz and I must admit I was really happy with this capture but I think my dad needs some work on the camera as he has a nap of cutting me off the pictures, maybe it is for the best haha.

The sleeper rod was left out for the remainder of the session so I could relax and enjoy the silver fishing on offer and enjoyed bagging up on silvers for the rest of the session with a final net of approaching 17lb of silver fish I was one happy angler.



The past few weeks my MAP TKS 125 pole has been my constant companion on trips to the still waters we have visited and I think next time I go out chasing the silver I might change over to the waggler to add a bit of variety to my angling.


Saturday 12th May – Flushing Meadow Fishery

With Thursday giving my silver fishing itch a big scratch it was big fish or bust for me on Saturday as my dad and uncle joined me on a trip to flushing meadows fishery in Acton Bridge.  I have had more than my fair share of carp from this venue so I felt it was time to have a bit of fun on there.



We decided to fish deep marl, a pool furthest away from the entrance to the fishery that rarely seems to attract much attention from anglers who seem to jump straight on the canal and snake pools.  My plan as I have said was big fish or bust with a little twist, I have recently installed a pulla-kit on my white hydro power top two kit and I set myself a challenge to see how many carp I could catch only using my top two kit right under my feet, the results where ye opening to say the least.

Armed with a few big baits I set about my task by introducing a few baits close in and armed with my top two kit which after this day on the bank I aptly named “the wand” for its magical qualities of taming the carp close in and the great fun I had using it.  The actions was explosive with carp lining up to be caught one after another all day, they started off around the three pound mark and gradually built up each time till I hit a proper lump which then saw the swim die a bit till they slowly moved back in again obsessed with the offerings trickling down the shelf.



As you can see on the video above the elastic really does stretch but with the pulla kit you can tighten up on the fish to rein them in should they shoot off.  With this type of fishing you of course need a peg free next to you as some of the fish can zoom out of the swim but with two pegs free either side of me I had some of the best fun I have had on the pole on just the top two kits, who needs the other 12 metres of pole eh, great fun.  The fish I was connected with on the above video was the biggest fish of the day weighing in at 7lb 8oz and what remarkable markings this fish had with a full set of scales along its lateral line.



I also connected with a few more decent fish that I decided where worthy to be weighted throughout the day in a 4lb 11oz fish and a 5lb 6oz fish shown below.





In total I banked 19 fish during the day just from the water at my feet and rather than post them all here I decided to put them together in a small video.  I am still chasing this 10lb fish and although the fishery advertises fish to doubles I am yet to connect with one over 8lb I am sure they are in there and it is only a matter of time before I lure one, I just hope it is on the wand, great fun and a must for anyone with a pole.



Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines

Danny

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Personal Best Trip to Rixton For My Uncle



The bank holiday weekend loomed large and with the prospect of a 3 day long weekend I already had my fishing adventures planned in my diary.  Saturday was going to be spent with my uncle on Rixton Clay pits chasing the silvers and the elusive tench that live in its coloured waters, Sunday was a day devoted to spending time with my fiancĂ© on our yearly trip to Bolton Abbey with our ever present companion, pippa,  this left Monday as my last fishing trip of the weekend and I chose to continue my pursuit of my target of a 10lb carp fishing a big bait in the margins on Flushing Meadows, the short write up of this session is now live on the “10lb+ carp mini blog” found on the on the top tool bar of the blog or on the following link below.

I will be updating this journal type blog as and when I go out chasing this target and unfortunately at this moment in time pages on BlogSpot can only be one continuous message so the best way of following when I update this page is to either follow me on Twitter by following @SATONMYPERCH or to “like” the page dedicated the blog on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dannys-Angling-Blog/282860255069146


As I said Sunday was dedicated to a trip put with my fiancé and our trusty side kick pippa and we made our yearly trip to the most picturesque locations in Bolton Abbey near the market town of Skipton and of course no trip would be complete without the venue including either a lake or a stretch of river and this venue lies on the banks of the very beautiful River Wharfe.

Having spent all year on the banks of the river I no longer saw this as just a river, I saw deep dark runs where I knew fish like chub may live as well as the faster water which no doubt contained the odd grayling and trout and there were a few fly anglers adorning the bank in pursuit of these game fish, unfortunately none of them connected with any fish but it was great to watch them and the art or casting a fly, great stuff.




On to this week’s fishing:-

Saturday 05th May – Rixton Clay Pits


Arriving on the banks of this very poplar water on the Warrington Anglers card at the crack of dawn with the birds in full song never ceases to fill me with anticipation for the day ahead,   many locations we fish stick with us because of the noises we hear whilst we are there for example on the river the sound of running water is always a lovely backdrop to a day’s trotting this venue it’s the sound of bird song  that provides the background sound to a day on the bank and it’s a joy to be on the bank of this venue.


Arriving on the bank to find the first few pegs empty we both dropped on one each and in complete reflection to some if our river trips which cab see us covering a few fields it was a short 20m trip from the car to the peg’s , boy are we going to suffer when those rivers open again!!  First job is always to get the keep net in, ever the optimist, then the landing net and then get the sleeper rod out so at least we are fishing for the maximum amount of time possible.

The sleeper rod out it was time to tie up a quick pole rig and plumb up a short swim.  The short pole swim is a must when fishing a sleeper rod as you need to be able to put the pole down or ship it back in really quick to strike any bites that come on the alarm which from my experience on this venue so far are real screamers.


The bottom on this venue can sometimes be more reminiscent of an egg carton than a lake with deep channels close in on some of the pegs and speaking to the bailiff about depths he mentioned you can stand up In the middle in some places so a great venue for any aspiring carp anglers to learnt their trade with the marker float.  I had a certain depth of water in mind and luckily I found it quite close in, in my chosen swim, my chosen bait was castor on the hook with a very well-known ground bait balled in every so often, my target species where the better skimmers and roach with a hope of eventually picking up a bonus bronze bream or tench.

My day on the pole started off with a lot of frustration with getting my rig sorted as I was getting a lot of lift bites along some real sail away bites that I was missing s I spent a great deal of the first hour trying to get to grips with my presentation.  The first hour saw my uncle battling with the bigger species in the pit and coming of second best with them reaching the sanctuary of the Lillie’s but it wasn’t long before he got to grips with a better fish which had his light elastic stretched like a washing line across the swim and the sight of which had me shooting to his swim to capture it on video.



As you can see on the vide above my uncle managed to get the fish in and what a magnificent fish it was, easily the biggest tench I have seen on the bank and a new personal best for my uncle and what a way to capture the fish on a light set up on the pole.  My past trip with my rucksack and carp rod had seen me leave the scales at home and it was thanks to the kind natured angler on the next peg that we got a weight for this fish which revealed its amazing size to us all a 5lb 3oz specimen.  This fish is of course a small fish in the angling world but to me and my uncle who both enjoy our silver fishing most of the year these fish are real bonus fish for us.



Not long after we returned this fish and after capturing a few silver fish on the pole my sleeper rod roared off with a the fish causing a one tone bite on the alarm and I struck into what felt a really powerful fish that had me in a snag before I knew what was going on and the dreaded sight of a fish coming out of the back of a snag and you being left connected to the snag was the scenario that played out, dam!! In the back of my mind I knew that could have been one of the better tench or even the carp I have been chasing and judging by the power of the fish I still feel it was a carp and not a tench.

The skimmers continued to come thick and fast as the swim went from strength to strength and as time went on the quality of the fish improved with skimmers approaching a pound coming to the net but the roach where strangely absent from both out swims.  The sleeper rod was unusually quiet and isn’t it funny how things happen, my uncle commented that the rod had been really quiet despite the signs of fish around the area and no more than 5 seconds after he finished speaking the sleeper rod sparked into life and I lifted into a fish that I was certain was a bream judging by how easy it came in to the margin, things then changed, I tried to lift the fish and could not move it from the bottom as the fish suddenly felt reassuringly heavy under the rod tip and real scrap ensued but I was patient and eventually slip my net under a lovely personal best equalling tench of 4lb 2oz.

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The fish photographed and weighed it was safely returned back and I got back to my pole fishing which was going steady with skimmers like the one shown below really making it into a decent session.  You catch countless numbers of skimmers on my local commercial but they are so easy to catch you really don’t appreciate them even though they are so much bigger and in greater abundance, these fish on Saturday where shy and difficult to catch and each one was greeted with a sense of achievement.


As the day wore on the sleeper rod shot into life two more time with tench the culprit both times and both put up a great fight.   The tench in this venue really amaze me with their variety of colours from fish to fish with some looking really washed out land lightly coloured and others being bright green with bright yellow bellies and light blue around their eyes, they really are something else in this gem of a water.


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The afternoon trundled along and the skimmers seemed to move out and the roach moved into the swim and they seemed to stick around for a while until the swim completely died and I had to fish really shallow to scrape together bites for the last hour or so and was amazed to see the quality of the roach feeding shallow.

We stayed on the pool till around 4.45 when we called it a day and my uncle let his fish go and I decided to take a picture of my net which we estimated to be around the 15lb mark and I was more than happy with my days efforts and I cannot wait to get back on this venue again soon  it has so much potential to throw up a really big net of silvers if you can master the technique to holding the fish in your area all day and ait it well enough to attract the big shoals of bronze bream that live in this venue.


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This week I have an opportunity to get out on the bank on Thursday due to a strike day in work, I am yet undecided as to where to visit bit if this weather holds and continues to be mild it could be time for a trip to Cicely mill or one of the Wigan waters.

Till next time

I wish you all

Tight lines

Danny
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