white seabass bolster shot

West Coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

white seabass bolster shot

Postby chris oak » February 12th, 2018, 7:54 pm

Alrighty, we are getting close. Let's see some pix and maybe some short stories of blind seabass you kooks managed to spear.

I'll start out with the fish from the spearingforum tshirts this year (we still have a few left if you guys want one). It was a mid forties fish I shot from a beach dive while my famlly was playing in the waves, this was from a spot that I never had even seen a legal seabass and I was hunting calicos with my railgun. I'll remember that fish forever, my 4 year old kid ran up and screamed, "daddy how did you catch such a big fish?"
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Errin » February 13th, 2018, 8:49 am

WSB with a flopper shaft?
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby dam » February 13th, 2018, 9:07 am

chris oak wrote:my 4 year old kid ran up and screamed, "daddy how did you catch such a big fish?"

When even your own kid doubted your ability to shoot seabass... ;)
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby chris oak » February 13th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Errin wrote:WSB with a flopper shaft?


with a well placed shot :D
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby John Hughes » February 13th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Errin wrote:WSB with a flopper shaft?


Being an avid Calico hunter, I'm sure you've experienced the effectiveness of a good flopper from time to time yourself Errin. :) When hunting other species and the opportunity presents itself, you aim carefully and let the shaft fly.

Here's one from a few years back. I took a little road trip with the wife and went on a solo shore dive on an area I've had really good luck on the checkerboards. I drove into a rough road the local rock fisherman have used for years. Climbing down the cliff in my camo suit my marginal spanish brought silence from the few guys fishing and I had to chuckle to myself correctly assessing the "loco" looks I got.

The area is mostly boulder hunting in rocks for the big brown Calicos and coming across a few stringers of kelp I paused to breath up and do a deeper drop. It was then that I got that strange electric feeling that my hairs were standing up on end even in my wetsuit. It just felt exactly right in the hazy 30' vis. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 64 degree water and just had time to think "this feels exactly right for seabass." It wasn't 10 seconds later when this 50 pounder comes sliding through the stringers only 10' below me. I had plenty of time to slowly let her pass and take the perfect aim before pulling the trigger. I laid the brakes on her and she tied up about 30' down. I retrieved her and did the slow swim back gloating the whole time.

The look on the rock fishermen's faces were so classic. With dropped jaws, they were still speechless. The rest of the story is buried in the archives somewhere, but I almost flipped my car off a 60' cliff getting it out of there. Not realizing how treacherous the last bit of the road into the spot was, I got myself in deep. If it wasn't for that seabass in my car I would have walked away from my car and left it. Given the choice again, I tell myself next time I will. In all my years of sketchy roads down south, that's the closest I've ever come to dying and I've had some close calls.

I never did tell my wife how stupid I was that day. Fortunately, God was looking out for me. :rolls:


I'm salivating already this year as the last two years have been slow for me. Let's get some good ones this year guys, and let's be safe about it!

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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Robert Watson » February 14th, 2018, 7:55 am

Got this one at channel islands last summer.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby malibujohn » February 14th, 2018, 9:19 am

O.k. Johnny cupcake, lets hear about that lil situation you got yourself into! And I assume you are talking somewhere in Mex. huh?

Last Day of a Sand Dollar trip, and I was done!! On the boat, stripped and headed for the shower, tilllll someone swam back to the boat saying they had seen some nice seabass in tight. Whaaaat? :eek: I said. Thought about it for about one second ( my bag was already stuffed with a 30 lb. seabass and 5 halibut from 10-25 lbs, and a fat limit of calicos.) and reached for my suit. Big Sigh! Headed in tight for one pass ( mid island, front side Clemente) and didn't see anything on the first pass. Made the turn as George was blowing the whistle and headed back to the boat. Was still in about 10 feet of water when I detected movement to my left and slowly turned, my heart racing. Ahhh, its a giant bsb and it's checking me out as it slowly lumbers by.
Wishing I had a camera, as this thing was massive, I continued on. About 50-60 yards away from the boat I see movement again on my left and pivoted around expecting that bsb when I notice It's not as big as the other one, What? That tail doesn't look right, o.m.g. it's a beast seabass, biggest one I have ever seen. We both continued swimming, keeping about 20 feet between us, her to my left. I was in clear, shallow and she was dissappearing and reappearing in the thick kelp to my left. aAs we entered a clearing, I stopped and lost sight of here in the last big kelp forest. Thought for a second I had blown it when she comes arcing out of the kelp RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!! :eek3dance: Extended ever so slowly and let the arrow fly! She bolted and I grabbed my jbl seavine and put the brakes on her. She does one big loop and ties up at about 15 feet, Yes! Swam down and could see a lot of my spectra coming out of her head where my shot had hit. She was still thrashing pretty good and I promptly called over to the dollar for another gun, which Mike thankfully brought over. :handgestures-thumbupleft: The shot was actually buried in her skull and we had to perform surgery to remove it.
My biggest to date and weighed in at 65 lbs. cleaned!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Errin » February 14th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Slug!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Nate Baker » February 15th, 2018, 7:27 am

Here's an old favorite. Shot back in the 90s at the end of a long and otherwise fruitless weekend off the golf course north of Ensenada. Kurt Bickel and I were guests of the Yoon brothers. We had given up and were on our way back to the launch spot in Richard's inflatable and saw some birds working some nearby kelp. I jumped in and got this one going away. A lesson in persistence.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby chris oak » February 15th, 2018, 7:38 am

That ain't you, that dude has dark hair.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 15th, 2018, 9:05 am

If Nate is going back to when he had dark hair, then I'm going to show my first fish when I was young and slim. I was shooting uphill at the head and blew its brains out. I saw the shaft arcing down through the water and thought I had missed, but the fish went vertical and just quivered while I rushed over and tried to find handles on it.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Errin » February 15th, 2018, 9:11 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:If Nate is going back to when he had dark hair, then I'm going to show my first fish when I was young and slim. I was shooting uphill at the head and blew its brains out. I saw the shaft arcing down through the water and thought I had missed, but the fish went vertical and just quivered while I rushed over and tried to find handles on it.


Shot my first WSB at Clemente too

Also with an AB Biller and double flopper!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 15th, 2018, 9:14 am

Oops, I gave away the spot. :)

That one was with a Riffe Island with Ice Pick.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby squidhunter » February 15th, 2018, 11:03 am

Lovin the quick stories getting me fired up!!

After getting A nice coast seabass early on it was time to work the islands. This fish was the first one to get things started (diving) at the islands last year.
A week before this picture I jumped in for fun in hopes to find some early season island bass. I was greeted with nasty vis but plenty of seabass couldnt quite get one on the gun but managed a few on hook and line, nobody in sight, boat is stoked on a nice suprise!

Following week there was some big weather coming in the afternoon and supposed to last all week, pops and I make an early morning strike mission to be back to the dock by 10am. Got a tank full of live squid from a friend and off we went.

Driving around where I think they might be I look over the side of the boat- oh just hundreds of seabass! Drop the hook, get in the wetsuit, and put one on the boat in maybe 2 minutes after jumping in (fish pictured). Tell my dad you gotta shoot one, boom he gets another one on the boat, de-suiting we have a line out for fun and WAHBAM gets hit hard, pulling hard, what the hell? That aint a seabass? Mind you we are in thick kelp, using kelp cutter rig but still manages to get wraped up in kelp below the boat.
I jump in real quick pop it in the head and bring it up, 30 pound yellow. Nobody around, just the way I like it. Little did I know the next 3 months would be the best seabass action I've seen, all my friends and more would eventually be getting fish every trip at this spot. GOOOOOD TIMES!!

Lets hope for a repeat, I'm READY!!!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby dam » February 15th, 2018, 1:02 pm

squidhunter wrote:
Driving around where I think they might be I look over the side of the boat- oh just hundreds of seabass! Drop the hook, get in the wetsuit, and put one on the boat in maybe 2 minutes after jumping in (fish pictured). Tell my dad you gotta shoot one, boom he gets another one on the boat, de-suiting we have a line out for fun and WAHBAM gets hit hard, pulling hard, what the hell? That aint a seabass? Mind you we are in thick kelp, using kelp cutter rig but still manages to get wraped up in kelp below the boat.
I jump in real quick pop it in the head and bring it up, 30 pound yellow. Nobody around, just the way I like it. Little did I know the next 3 months would be the best seabass action I've seen, all my friends and more would eventually be getting fish every trip at this spot. GOOOOOD TIMES!!

Lets hope for a repeat, I'm READY!!!

What the hell, that sounds EPIC! :bow-blue:

Nate's blurb is a good reminder of how long some guys have been killing it. They've been at the top of the game for decades and you never hear a peep. Consider me humbled. On the other hand, I do love me some crass stories from the loud folks like Bill and Hughes. :romance-threesome:
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 15th, 2018, 1:19 pm

squidhunter wrote:Lovin the quick stories getting me fired up!!

After getting A nice coast seabass early on it was time to work the islands. This fish was the first one to get things started (diving) at the islands last year.
A week before this picture I jumped in for fun in hopes to find some early season island bass. I was greeted with nasty vis but plenty of seabass couldnt quite get one on the gun but managed a few on hook and line, nobody in sight, boat is stoked on a nice suprise!

Following week there was some big weather coming in the afternoon and supposed to last all week, pops and I make an early morning strike mission to be back to the dock by 10am. Got a tank full of live squid from a friend and off we went.

Driving around where I think they might be I look over the side of the boat- oh just hundreds of seabass! Drop the hook, get in the wetsuit, and put one on the boat in maybe 2 minutes after jumping in (fish pictured). Tell my dad you gotta shoot one, boom he gets another one on the boat, de-suiting we have a line out for fun and WAHBAM gets hit hard, pulling hard, what the hell? That aint a seabass? Mind you we are in thick kelp, using kelp cutter rig but still manages to get wraped up in kelp below the boat.
I jump in real quick pop it in the head and bring it up, 30 pound yellow. Nobody around, just the way I like it. Little did I know the next 3 months would be the best seabass action I've seen, all my friends and more would eventually be getting fish every trip at this spot. GOOOOOD TIMES!!

Lets hope for a repeat, I'm READY!!!


That's insane. Last year was the worst ever on my boat. Of course I'm old and feeble so I don't count, but not even the young studs were getting fish on the boat. I was obviously going to the wrong spots.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Errin » February 15th, 2018, 2:36 pm

squidhunter wrote:Lovin the quick stories getting me fired up!!

After getting A nice coast seabass early on it was time to work the islands. This fish was the first one to get things started (diving) at the islands last year.
A week before this picture I jumped in for fun in hopes to find some early season island bass. I was greeted with nasty vis but plenty of seabass couldnt quite get one on the gun but managed a few on hook and line, nobody in sight, boat is stoked on a nice suprise!

Following week there was some big weather coming in the afternoon and supposed to last all week, pops and I make an early morning strike mission to be back to the dock by 10am. Got a tank full of live squid from a friend and off we went.

Driving around where I think they might be I look over the side of the boat- oh just hundreds of seabass! Drop the hook, get in the wetsuit, and put one on the boat in maybe 2 minutes after jumping in (fish pictured). Tell my dad you gotta shoot one, boom he gets another one on the boat, de-suiting we have a line out for fun and WAHBAM gets hit hard, pulling hard, what the hell? That aint a seabass? Mind you we are in thick kelp, using kelp cutter rig but still manages to get wraped up in kelp below the boat.
I jump in real quick pop it in the head and bring it up, 30 pound yellow. Nobody around, just the way I like it. Little did I know the next 3 months would be the best seabass action I've seen, all my friends and more would eventually be getting fish every trip at this spot. GOOOOOD TIMES!!

Lets hope for a repeat, I'm READY!!!


(LIKE)
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby mikeme » February 19th, 2018, 11:38 am

Love all the stories. About 8 year ago, 1st week of the Lobster season, we pull our boat to the kelp. see millions of sardines everywhere. Tell my buddy lets look for Sea bass. He replied this time of the year, no chance. We get in anyway. All of the sudden the sardines disappear, real stiff current, Sea bass appear out of nowhere, everywhere, hundreds my be thousands. So thick, looked like huge Sardines. Drop down on aiming at a couple I thought were 50. My partner shoots one 50 feet away, oh no they start to scatter. Oh shit the big ones are out of range. I'll just shoot this 20 pounder right under me. Better than nothing. Well the little one went over 50 pounds. I always wonder how big those two really were.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby thereefgeek » February 19th, 2018, 5:39 pm

At first, I was a little apprehensive. I used to talk a lot of shit on the internet. The only guy who could hold a candle to my shit talking was Bill Mcintyre. Especially where Politics were concerned...

Needless to say, when my buddy Phil told me we had a boat ride out of Dana to shoot some seabass and we were going to drive all night Friday and meet at the slip on Saturday, I was in like Flynn. Taking turns at the wheel so the other could catch a wink of sleep before a big day of spearfishing.

Half way down southbound I-5 Phil tells me it's Bill's boat we're diving off of. I think "Oh shit, hope I didn't piss that guy off on the internet with all my blathering".

We meet at the harbor and we stow all our gear on the boat. I notice the inconspicuously displayed Drakkar Noir towel hanging inside the cabin. We motored for an undetermined amount of time ( ;) ) and dropped the hook. Everyone jumped ship like the boat was on fire, heading off in different directions like true seabass hunters.

About an hour into my dive I see a head poking from the kelp. I knew instantly what it was, and at that exact same moment, she knew exactly what I was. She turned to to the left just about the same time I aimed up and pulled the trigger.
The next few seconds are a blur in my mind, but when I felt the floatline ripping a hole in my armpit I knew I had connected. She wrapped up in the kelp, just as every fish I'd read about does.

After what seemed like an eternity, and after multiple drops to assess the situation, I managed to cut her free. Despite the clean head shot, she was still very much alive. On the way to the surface with my prize she bolted free and made another run south, and tied up again. Next time down, I gilled and bled her before once again cutting her out of the kelp, just to make it easier on myself for the swim to the surface.

Back at the boat, everyone else was sunning themselves on the deck, Drakkar Noir ensign ablaze. As I swam to the transom they asked if I was OK, and I responded with an exhausted head pull above the waterline. BOOM! First WSB. We got her onboard, and the scale was bouncing between 45 and 50 pounds, but the only thing on my mind at the time was getting her gutted, and getting her on ice.

It was a great ride back to the harbor, with many a picture taken, and as we were washing down the boat once hauled back on the trailer, some Hook & Line guys asked how we did?

"Mehhhh, so, so.........."

This was back in 2010, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. Good day with good friends, and new ones made in the process.
Bill has probably singlehandedly put more greenhorn WSB Wannabe's on fish than any other muthafukka' in the history of California spearfishing. Still to this day, as a Nor Cal kook, I thank you my friend for helping me pop my white sea bass cherry.

Just goes to show that despite what people say on the internet, if you put your bullshit aside you might find someone who is more than willing to help you catch a fish. But more importantly, even if you don't catch shit, you might just make a friend and a lifetime dive buddy in the process.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby ryno » February 20th, 2018, 12:15 am

Great posts guys! Can't wait to get my time in the water this season. Down from 4-5 times a week to once or twice every month due to school/work now so I find myself scrambling to find windows to dive.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Freeryde » February 20th, 2018, 8:15 am

The one thing I have learned about diving for seabass is that after all these years I don’t know anything! I will dive all the “right” spots at the “right” time of year and see nothing and then get a good fish in November at some rocky calico spot. I think you just have to dive and put the time in. My PB white was Taken on my birthday. I had planned to take out a couple buddies to dive but the day came and it was just howling winds and light drizzle on top of very poor vis. Since it was my birthday I went out anyway. The other two guys didn’t even suit up due to the horrible conditions but I was determined so I jumped in for a quick lap around the kelp. I swam a few hundred yards around the boat and decided to call it since I couldn’t see shit and water was blowing into my snorkel. I made a dive to swim back to the boat and out of nowhere was surprised by a nice group of fish swimming right at me. The lead fish passed right under me and I shot down from only 10’ or so away. I was stoked to see the fish roll instantly and I started to pull up the line. As soon as I put pressure on the line the shaft pulled out and the fish sank out!! I couldn’t believe it! I frantically dove and was lucky to find the fish on the bottom twitching upside down. The shot had hit the spine right behind the head and cracked it in half. Getting my hand in the gills of the fish after it pulled off was the greatest feeling and an awesome birthday present. Went 76lbs whole back at the dock. Last year was extremely poor for seabass in south Orange County and north San Diego county. The only fish I got were at the islands. I sure hope this year is better and those juvi white sharks stay out of the kelp.
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby John Hughes » February 20th, 2018, 6:09 pm

oh WOW look at how FAT she is! What a bday present!

I had the experience of ripping the shaft out of a fish accidentally while trying to rip it out of the kelp at 20'. Fortunately I hit that one in the spine and it could only twitch around to the right. I watched it twitch it's way down to about 55' on the bottom. I dove for about a half hour looking for it and finally gave up. About an hour after that I had circled back to the same area and recognized a kelp stalk. I dove and as I turned back to the surface I saw it still twitching around to the right on the bottom. It took me another 30-40 minutes of diving and everytime I wouldn't see it but then I'd turn for the surface and catch a glimmer of it twitching around 20' from where I was at. I finally managed to take a 15' shot on it as I turned once again out of air and I nicked it just enough to pull it up.

I had already missed a 60lbr that day due to my gun being overpowered and I was just sick to my stomach after ripping that second one off myself by being an idiot. It only went 36lbs but I felt so much better after retrieving it.

keep the stories coming guys!!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby Freeryde » February 20th, 2018, 7:13 pm

I’m heading over to the island for the day tomorrow to do a little pre season scouting and calico killing if anyone wants to go. Leaving out of Dana Point at 7:30 and back before dark
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby jwhit88 » February 20th, 2018, 7:32 pm

Missin' another seabass season. The photos are killing me but I hope you guys score! This one is from a really fun day of shooting fish. Limits for Hughes, Tommy, and myself diving in really good conditions!
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Re: white seabass bolster shot

Postby dam » February 21st, 2018, 9:16 am

mikeme wrote:Love all the stories. About 8 year ago, 1st week of the Lobster season, we pull our boat to the kelp. see millions of sardines everywhere. Tell my buddy lets look for Sea bass. He replied this time of the year, no chance. We get in anyway. All of the sudden the sardines disappear, real stiff current, Sea bass appear out of nowhere, everywhere, hundreds my be thousands. So thick, looked like huge Sardines. Drop down on aiming at a couple I thought were 50. My partner shoots one 50 feet away, oh no they start to scatter. Oh shit the big ones are out of range. I'll just shoot this 20 pounder right under me. Better than nothing. Well the little one went over 50 pounds. I always wonder how big those two really were.

Oh shit... the big ones could've been in the 70's!

thereefgeek wrote:At first, I was a little apprehensive. I used to talk a lot of shit on the internet. The only guy who could hold a candle to my shit talking was Bill Mcintyre. Especially where Politics were concerned...

Needless to say, when my buddy Phil told me we had a boat ride out of Dana to shoot some seabass and we were going to drive all night Friday and meet at the slip on Saturday, I was in like Flynn. Taking turns at the wheel so the other could catch a wink of sleep before a big day of spearfishing.

Half way down southbound I-5 Phil tells me it's Bill's boat we're diving off of. I think "Oh shit, hope I didn't piss that guy off on the internet with all my blathering".

We meet at the harbor and we stow all our gear on the boat. I notice the inconspicuously displayed Drakkar Noir towel hanging inside the cabin. We motored for an undetermined amount of time ( ;) ) and dropped the hook. Everyone jumped ship like the boat was on fire, heading off in different directions like true seabass hunters.

About an hour into my dive I see a head poking from the kelp. I knew instantly what it was, and at that exact same moment, she knew exactly what I was. She turned to to the left just about the same time I aimed up and pulled the trigger.
The next few seconds are a blur in my mind, but when I felt the floatline ripping a hole in my armpit I knew I had connected. She wrapped up in the kelp, just as every fish I'd read about does.

After what seemed like an eternity, and after multiple drops to assess the situation, I managed to cut her free. Despite the clean head shot, she was still very much alive. On the way to the surface with my prize she bolted free and made another run south, and tied up again. Next time down, I gilled and bled her before once again cutting her out of the kelp, just to make it easier on myself for the swim to the surface.

Back at the boat, everyone else was sunning themselves on the deck, Drakkar Noir ensign ablaze. As I swam to the transom they asked if I was OK, and I responded with an exhausted head pull above the waterline. BOOM! First WSB. We got her onboard, and the scale was bouncing between 45 and 50 pounds, but the only thing on my mind at the time was getting her gutted, and getting her on ice.

It was a great ride back to the harbor, with many a picture taken, and as we were washing down the boat once hauled back on the trailer, some Hook & Line guys asked how we did?

"Mehhhh, so, so.........."

This was back in 2010, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. Good day with good friends, and new ones made in the process.
Bill has probably singlehandedly put more greenhorn WSB Wannabe's on fish than any other muthafukka' in the history of California spearfishing. Still to this day, as a Nor Cal kook, I thank you my friend for helping me pop my white sea bass cherry.

Just goes to show that despite what people say on the internet, if you put your bullshit aside you might find someone who is more than willing to help you catch a fish. But more importantly, even if you don't catch shit, you might just make a friend and a lifetime dive buddy in the process.

That's worth the drive for sure. Your story reminded me of the golden age of piracy when Bill flew his jolly roger at every chance he got. Itching for those days once more!
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