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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Using Leeches & Worms + VIDEO

 LEECHES AND NIGHTCRAWLERS

DSCN0821Leeches and night-crawlers are favorite foods of the walleye because they are natural offerings in most waters and walleye are accustomed to feeding on them.

When presented properly they are irresistible. A stretched out, wiggling leech bouncing  along just over the bottom of a gravel bar or weed bed, will make even the most finicky walleye take a second look, turn around and zero in on target,   mouth open and taste buds tingling.

Hook the sucker end of the leech to the first hook of a spinner rig and place the tail section on the last hook. Place it in the water and pull it at the same speed you are   going to troll or retrieve at and look for the size, movement and or roll of the leech. It should run straight not roll up into a nondescript little ball; this does not attract walleye. When you have the leech trailing the way you want it’s time to add a few light split shots to get it down to the desired depth. By placing the split shot about eighteen inches to two feet in front of the hook you should be within six inches of bottom with the leech as you troll or retrieve, and you won’t have to run a whole lot of line out behind the boat.

Night-crawlers are attached to your spinner rigs in the same way. Again, make sure they are stretched out along the rig so they trail out on the retrieve. Choose the   largest and fattest worms available.

COLOUR

The spinner rig can be purchased at a local tackle shop and comes in many variations of size and  colors.

A simple rule to remember when faced with color choices is: bright days + clear water = silver spinner is a very good choice.  Darker water or cloudy days try a fluorescent or gold spinner are other good choices

The beads most often used are red with white, or yellow; try mixing the colors until you come up with the pattern that works best for you.

SPEED.

Try slow trolling or retrieving the leech at a fairly fast pace at first to take advantage of more aggressive fish.   Remember that you should troll according the weather system.

Meaning:
Bright, clear day:  troll slow or even jig
Cloudy, rainy day:  Troll faster and a willow leaf blade is a very good choice

A rate of about half again the normal trolling speed usually works well.  Keep track of where the fish are hitting and come back over these same spots again but a little slower this time to take   advantage of the less aggressive fish. Remember that it is not always the larger fish that are most aggressive and by fishing back you can add considerably to your stringer.

CASTING

Having reached the place you are going to fish, maybe a shoal or weed bed that you have had some luck on before, try fan casting. Start at a right angle to where you are standing facing the water. Throw the first cast to the right and keep working  to the left until you have gone in a complete arch to the other end. This will allow you to cover every bit of the water facing you. Now move down until you are at the edge of the spot you covered last and start the same procedure over again. When you have worked your way to the end of the area that you wanted to fish, you will have covered the area correctly.

Inlets are a good place to practice this pattern of casting, especially early season as the walleye are quite often in this area looking for small, early baitfish or crustaceans. By fan casting you can cover this entire area of water.

The above methods have consistently proven to be successful for opening season walleye.   So get your live bait and be ready for a fun day on the lake.

 

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HOW’S THE FISHING?

41.5" northern pike

41.5″ northern pike

What a  fantastic week of fishing for Diane & Gerard Rohl from Buffalo, MN.  They reported catching 150 walleye in one day along with many in the 19″ to 24″ range.  In total they caught and released 14 trophy fish.

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DG1

 

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Monster Northern Pike – TROLLING TACTICS

PikeUnderwater2 Trolling Tactics

When it comes to trolling  for Monster Northern Pike, the following lures are a must have for any fishing enthusiast.

While the Northern Pike can easily be caught from shore, or casting from a boat, there is another tactic most often ignored by the fishing enthusiast. Trolling for monster Northern Pike is one of the most proven methods for covering large bodies of water (the preference here at Wawang Lake) and increasing a fisherman’s chances of success.


Northern Pike are Active All Day Long
Because the Northern Pike are active throughout the day, it really is quite easy to tie into one of these lunkers. The trick is to make sure you have the proper drag setting, a wire leader and the right trolling lure. After that, it’s simply a matter of covering the right territory and waiting for that violent attack.

Northern Pike are notorious for quick strikes, long fights and deep dives. They are one of the most sought-after freshwater game fishes worldwide. Considered by many to be the freshwater’s version of a barracuda, these fish are determined fighters and voracious eaters. So, what are the best lures and trolling tactics to catch these fish?

Rapala “Husky Jerk” Suspending Minnows

 

Rapala is world renowned for their full line of balsa minnows and is considered by many fishing enthusiasts as the pre-eminent lure designer. After all, they’ve been making balsa wood minnows since 1936. Their best lure for trolling is the Rapala “Husky Jerk” Suspending lure and it comes in a variety of colors from gold, silver, perch color, bass color and even clear.

These lures can be tolled at controlled depths of 4-8 feet below the surface. In addition, the lure includes a rattle chamber that increases the likelihood of a strike.

Rapala X-Rap XR10 Jerkbait

 

Much like the Rapala “Husky Jerk”, the X-Rap XR10 Jerkbait is a perfect trolling lure for Pike. In this case, it’s all about the X-Rap’s darting and cutting action through the water. When trolling this Rapala, make sure to vary speeds and add some extra motion. The lure is intended to suspend itself and dart once retrieved.

Rapala XRAP Magnums & Jointed Minnows

 

Both the XRAP Magnum and the Jointed Minnow offer Northern Pike enthusiasts the opportunity to go a little deeper than the two previously mentioned lures. In this case, depending upon the size, the lures can go as low as 30 feet down. However, most effective lures for Pike should stay around the 5-10 feet range, so be sure to purchase the appropriate size.

While many of these lures, including the Magnum and Jointed imagesMinnow Rapalas, are considered saltwater lures, they are still extremely effective when trolling for Northern Pike in freshwater lakes. In addition, because Pike share so much of their territory with Walleye, it’s not uncommon to nail a trophy walleye as well. Either way, make sure to match the rod and line strength with the depth these lures will be fished at.

 

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Walleye & Weather + VIDEO

An easy-to-understand article about barometric pressure and its impact on your fishing

Barometric pressure is just the weight of the air. It constantly pushes down on everything, like a big hand. It presses down on you, the earth and the surface of the water. Stormy weather results from low pressure, when the hand of the atmosphere pushes down with less strength. On the opposite end of the spectrum is clear blue skies come from high pressure or a heavy hand.

Most people use a barometer simply to help them guess as to whether they should take an umbrella with them. But, barometric pressure readings can also predict whether fish are likely to be biting, or if they will soon be biting or, perhaps, if it’s best to stay home.

barometerBarometric pressure- the weight of the air- decreases as a storm approaches.  It’s called low pressure. To understand how it works, imagine the palm of that giant hand as it presses on the water’s  surface. Its touch is lighter. The water isn’t as compressed as it was, and  fish can move more easily through it. The mood of many fish often changes to what we might call a more ‘active’ mood. They move around more freely and feed.

A storm also brings clouds and wave-creating wind, reducing sunlight penetration. Active fish can move to shallower water. In the case of walleyes, they often rise in the water column. The sonar screen shows them moving up off the bottom. Or, they just move shallower on shoreline-connected and mid-lake structures. Some believe that the absolute best fishing periods often occur when barometric pressure reaches its lowest point, just before the front arrives.

“The old saying, that fish bite best right before the storm,” is true.   The best time to head to the lake is when the forecast calls for storms moving into the area. The picture changes when the storm is over. Barometric pressure starts to rise again. The giant hand presses down harder, and the water becomes more compact. High pressure also brings clear, blue skies, and light penetration is often intense for the next several days. Fish feel the increased pressure and become less active. They move tight to cover or deeper, where the sun isn’t so bright. Their mood is lethargic.

With underwater cameras, you can watch fish come up to a bait and not bite it.   People don’t understand that, but when air pressure is high, fish become less aggressive. They just come up and look. They may eventually take it, but you have to coax them a little harder.

The effect of the pressure change is most pronounced on the first day after the storm passes.  The time of year must also be considered.     The impact of a change in barometric pressure is more severe in winter.   For one reason, the swing between high and low pressure is more drastic during the cold months.   For another, the same high pressure is affecting less water volume when part of it is locked up as ice.

dsc00691Fish like northern pike may be the least susceptible to changes in barometric pressure; they seem to be aggressive no matter what.     But, the perch family, including walleye, are the most impacted by the changes

A barometer isn’t needed to know what’s happening with air pressure.     Read the wind instead.    Anyone can play amateur weather forecaster, before the (storm) front, wind is out of the south. When it switches to west-northwest, pressure begins to rise.”

The old saying, “Wind from the east, fish bite the least,”     has a basis in fact.  Wind comes from the east the longer high pressure is in place,  and by then, high pressure has taken a real toll on the fish.

logTest yourself.  Make your own fishing predictions for a year by looking up the barometric pressure on weather websites. Then, keep a log and see how often you’re right.

Even when conditions are less than ideal, the barometer can help put more fish in the boat if you’re willing to analyze the effect air pressure is having at that moment.

When you get out on a body of water, people do what they normally have done, they’ll head over and stay in a comfort zone.  What they haven’t done is check the weather. If you don’t understand what the weather is doing, you’re already behind the eight ball on learning what the fish are going to want that day.       Storm coming?    Then low pressure is on its way, and faster, aggressive tactics may be best.   For walleyes, trolling or casting crank baits at  shallow structures may be the keys.  Look for schools cruising up off the bottom. Note the changes in depth as time passes.

When fish are aggressive, you can drop anything down there.   Using live bait can be very productive when the barometer points to the aggressive end of the scale. When the barometer is moving downward use bottom-bouncers and Red Devil spinners and if you must slow down, use Lindy rigs.

Slow down even more as the grip of high pressure takes hold. Jigs are one tool of choice at this time.  Jig a live bait on a rod to attract walleyes and use a dead-stick to get the bites. The approach works either in open water or through the ice. Because walleye and other fish hold tight to cover, slip bobbers are another favorite.

The lesson?   You can’t do anything about the weather. But, you can watch the barometer and predict where fish will be, how they’ll behave and what tactics to use. Weather, if you understand it, can help you choose where and how to fish.

 

 

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Spinner Baits For Pike

Spinner baits are an effective presentation for covering expanses of water looking for pike. Whether you’re working weed beds, shallow sand flats, or rocky reefs, these lures are sure to put fish in the boat. Here are some of OUR top tips for targeting pike with spinner baits this season.

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Choosing A Pike Spinner bait
It’s no secret pike like the protection and ambushing advantages of weeds. A spinner baits upward-facing, single hook keeps the bait fairly weedless, making it ideal to cast vegetation.  Use baits weighing up to 1.5-ounces for deep water, but most often I throw lures ranging from 1/2-ounce- to 1-ounce.Willow-leaf-bladed baits give off plenty of flash, run deeper, and can be retrieved at a faster pace than Colorado-bladed baits. Yet, these latter blades are effective too for slower retrieves, or when you want plenty of thump in your presentation. Make sure you carry an assortment of both. When it comes to body materials, the bucktail is a bait that will have a longer lifespan and stand up to catching multiple fish. Some silicone skirts perform well, but rarely as good as tied hair. As for colors, popular colors are:  chartreuse and white, white and red, and orange and black are great producers.

THREE PRIME SPOTS FOR SPINNER BAITS:

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Rocks And Reefs

Rocky zones, such as points or shallow reefs, surrounded by deep water are other hot spots. Work baits around the edges and breaks. Don’t neglect the top of the reef. On water systems where pike are the dominant predator, reefs are some of my favorite zones to look for trophy-sized fish. These areas can be particularly good in cool, sunny conditions when pike may be sunning themselves on the rocks, which absorb heat. Rocks can also be good in high winds as the turmoil and turbidity caused by waves gives pike a  predatory advantage to ambush disoriented prey.

Weeds
Fan casting the weedbeds with spinner baits lets you quickly cover water and better your chances of contacting a fish. If you spot any structure in the weed flat, such as logs or rocks, cast beyond the target, then reel the bait into the area. Hold on, as this zone is a prime ambush area. Concentrate on working the bait around edges in weeds, like a weed wall or cut into the bed.

 

Sand FlatsBeyond weedbeds, shallow, sandy areas are good. These produce fish early in the season since they warm up quickly. As summer arrives, they can also be feeding zones. Look for signs of baitfish as you cast. Forage is a good indicator of whether or not the area will hold pike. In some instances, you can sight fish for pike, but remember to cast beyond the fish or you risk spooking them.


Spinner Bait Gear

When casting spinner baits for pike, use a heavy-duty rods with a bit of flex in the tip, as it can easily cast baits. Too stiff a tip and you won’t get any distance out of casts. The baitcast reel spooled with 30- to 55-pound-test super line makes a great combination. A quality drag is a must for line-peeling runs common with large northern pike. At the business end of the setup, I’ll tie on a fluorocarbon leader in clear water and only use wire in murky conditions. Quality locking snaps and ball bearing swivels are a must for strength, and preventing line twist.


Spinner Bait Line Tie Details

Use leaders when casting for pike and spinnerbaits with a closed coil bend in the wire form as opposed to the “V” common in many spinnerbaits. The coil secures the snap-lock of my leader in place, minimizing tangles. Leader snaps can move out of the V-bend wire forms, increasing the odds of fouling a bait on a cast. When not using leaders and targeting other species, V-bends are less of an issue as the line is tied direct to the bend and the taut knot holds the lure in place.

One final thing to keep in mind is although you may be reeling baits in on a straight retrieve, don’t make it consistent. Twitch the rod to impart erratic moves to the bait as these variances trigger hits. This is a good triggering move and has resulted in many pike meeting many landing net over the years.  This will without a doubt will work for you, too.

JOIN US FOR SOME SPECTACULAR FALL FISHING AT WAWANG LAKE 

 

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BACON WRAPPED MUSTARD WALLEYE

WALLEYE RECIPE

  •   Serves: 4
  •   Course: Lunch, Dinner

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3  cups flour
  • 1  cup cracker crumbs
  • 5 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 6 walleye fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3  tbsp lemon pepper
  • 2  lb side bacon, sliced
  • 2  cups Dijon mustard

Preparation

  1. Combine flour, cracker crumbs and seasoning salt; set aside.
  2. Sprinkle fillets with lemon pepper, then wrap each cube with a bacon slice, secure with a toothpick and cover with mustard.
  3. Completely cover the cubes with the flour mixture. Deep-fry in canola oil until golden brown. A 1 1/2-inch cube should take about 1 to 2 minutes to cook if the oil is at the right temperature.
  4. Serve with deep-fried potatoes, beans and bread
  1. Frying tip:
    Before frying your fish,  make sure the oil is sufficiently hot. To test if it’s ready, drop in a piece of fish: if it sinks and doesn’t quickly bubble back up to the surface, the oil isn’t hot enough. Also make sure that the oil remains hot until the      fish is fully cooked; lower temperatures mean a longer cooking time, and      the longer the fish sits in the oil, the soggier it will get.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Fish Recipes, recipes, walleye

 

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A REEL Great Man…….

As a lodge owner I’ve seen many people come and go at Wawang Lake Resort over the years and throughout this time our business has gained a very solid foothold of repeat guests.  Among this group are very special people that have become like family to us and Lloyd Carrigan (now deceased) is one of these men.  Lloyd never failed to amaze us with his unreserved fascination for others capabilities, his never-ending family devotion, overwhelming love of life and his appreciation for his fellow man.  The following note is just a small glimpse into the distinction of this man:

Lloyd's Sweat Shirt Saying

Come, join our family and become a part of Wawang Lake Resort.  The welcome sign is waiting for your arrival!

 

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Fishing Spinners

In Line, Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits,  Livebait Spinners1

Spinners refers to a family of fishing lures that have a metal shaped blade(s) attached to the wire of the lure. When the lure is in motion the blade spins creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish. Spinners will catch all types of game fish. Fish can see the flash of the revolving blade in clear or stained water, in dark or murky water they will use their lateral-line to feel the vibration from the turning blade. Spinners are relatively easy to use, they will catch fish with a simple straight retrieve, and when a fish strikes a spinner usually it will usually hook itself.

Spinners have four basic designs, first is the standard inline that have a blade or blades that rotate around a straight wire using a clevis, most all inline spinners have a weight on the wire to make the spinner heavy enough to cast. Second are spinnerbaits, this spinner is shaped like an open safety pin. They will have a lead head molded on the lower arm and a spinner attached on the upper arm using a swivel, some models have multiple blades that are attached on the upper arm using a clevis and a bead stop. Third are buzzbaits, they are similar to a spinnerbait or a inline spinner but have a specially designed rotating propeller for surface fishing. Fourth are live bait spinners that use night crawlers or minnows on a hook or a series of hooks with a spinner blade in front of the live bait.

Understanding Blade Styles

The main fish attracting component of a spinner is the blade. The type of blade and shape will determine the depth and sound (the thump) of a spinner upon retrieve. All blades have a different amount of resistance as it travels through the water. A broad blade such as the Colorado will rotate at a greater outward angle from the wire shaft producing a lift and thump compared to a narrow willow blade which will run tighter to the shaft and spin faster producing less sound.

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1.Colorado 2.Indiana 3.Indiana Fluted 4.Turtle Back 5.French 6.Inline 7.Willow

From the image above the Colorado will run the highest in the water producing the most vibration. The Indiana, Fluted, Turtle Back and French are intermediate styles running at mid range depth levels used for slow to medium retrieves in light river current or lakes. The Inline and Willow run the deepest as they spin tightest to the wire shaft. These are good for fast retrieves in swift conditions, and deeper water presentations. In using spinnerbait’s the willow blade is a good choice around vegetation and cover as they revolve tight to the upper arm catching less floating debris and weeds.

Blade Sizes 

3The sizes of spinner blades are based on a numerical system starting with 0 or 0/0, the smallest for stream trout spinners, size 3-4-5 for bass and pike up to the 7-8 for muskies along with the new popular magnum 10. The larger the blade size the more water resistance and vibration when compared to the same shape in a smaller version.

Multiple Bladed Spinners

Many of the spinners today offer double blade options. The inline spinner that has two blades is commonly referred as a bulger which rides high in the water even breaking (bulging) the surface when retrieved rapidly. Spinnerbaits that have 2  blades in “tandem” provide more flash which gives the image of schools of bait fish.

Blade Colors

There are countless blade finishes, colors and combinations for spinners today on the market, the most common are metallic hues with silver, gold and copper which provides a flash to sight-feeding predators in clear or stained water. Painted blades flash less but create more underwater contrast. They can be particularly effective during low-light conditions or in murkier water.

Spinner Tails, Skirts and Dressings

Tying materials to the tail of a inline spinner or silicone skirts on spinner baits adds a realistic appearance and increases the profile of the lure as it swims through the water. The dressed tail also provides lift and resistance enabling the angler to retrieve the lure at a slower rate. Years back traditional hook dressings on spinners have been animal hair (deer hair, squirrel tails and “marabou” from chickens) with a few feathers as attractors especially red. With the advancement of synthetics materials such as flashabou and silicone skirts adds a fluttering flash in different incandescent or solid colors increasing the total flash profile of the spinner.

Spinner bait skirts over the years also evolved from the solid living rubber colors to silicone skirts because of all the available molded-in patterns, metal flakes, and incandescent colors.

Depending on personal preferences and fishing conditions many anglers prefer to use an undressed spinner for speed and depth relying on the blade flash and vibration as the only attractors. Other options are soft plastic tail dressings such as an imitation minnow or tailed grub. Soft plastics are also used on traditional dressed spinners tails to change the appearance, profile and action of the lure, these are known as trailers.

Listed below is a reference guide to help you identify the common types of spinners and how they are used:

Types of Spinners: 

Inline

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The traditional inline spinner shown in three variations (Top) French Blade Dressed Deer Hair Tail (Middle) French Blade Plain Undressed (Bottom) Willow Blade Soft Plastic Imitation Minnow Tail.

Double Bladed Inline

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By combining two blades together adds vibration and lift upon the retrieve for shallow water. Shown with double Colorado blades and marabou tail that pulses in the water, also known as a “Bulger”

Flash Inline

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With the popularity of synthetic material used for spinner tails adds additional flash to the profile (body) of the lure. The top is tied with flashabou (tinsel) the bottom is a round silicone glitter skirt, both tails pulsates and sparkle upon the retrieve

Magnum Double Blade Inline

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Similar to the double bladed inline only with larger spinner blades (size 9-13) providing maximum vibration and lift. Very popular lure for northern pike.

Spinnerbaits

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Versatility is what spinnerbaits are all about. With the open safety pin, weighted head and single hook design that runs vertical, it can be fished in and through vegetation (weedless) Slow rolled over cover, allowing it to sink, the blades will helicopter down to deeper water. Used for all gamefish.

Magnum Spinnerbaits

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A beefed up version of the spinner bait for big pike and muskies. The magnum spinner bait comes in 1 oz and up to 6 oz’s using large blades for increased vibration and large body profiles for big fish.

Buzzbaits

Buzzbaits resemble either a standard spinnerbait or inline spinner with the exception of a rotating propeller blade replacing a flat blade. Buzzbaits are a topwater spinner and must be retrieved rapidly to produce a loud clacking sound as they move across the surface. Excellent lure for bass and pike.

Buzzbaits resemble either a standard spinnerbait or inline spinner with the exception of a rotating propeller blade replacing a flat blade. Buzzbaits are a topwater spinner and must be retrieved rapidly to produce a loud clacking sound as they move across the surface. Excellent lure for pike.

Live Bait Spinners

11By combining the vibration and flash of a spinner blade and the attraction of live bait, these produce an effective fish catching combination for most all species of game fish. The (top) is a weight forward spinner that is tipped with a night crawler, this spinner is cast and retrieved, primarily used on the Great Lakes for walleyes also known as the trade name erie dearie. The (middle) is a crawler harness with multiple hooks (2 or 3) and is also tipped with a night crawler, this spinner is rigged on bottom bouncers and sliding sinker rigs, for trolling of drifting. A single hook version is also used for minnows. The (bottom) is a strip on an old time fishing rig also called Prescott Spinner. Made from stiff wire with a rotating blade on front. The wire is slid through a minnow attaching a double hook on the end loop.

 

 

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Getting There is Half the Fun ……

The Outback trip is more than just a wilderness adventure – it’s a total exhillarating experience and one you should never passover when at Wawang Lake.   Here is a day with Mary & Al Schwoegler from Madison Wisconsin and like many more that have gone before them it was a trip that they’ll never forget!

 

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Fall-EYE Special

Join us at Wawang Lake for some exciting FALL fishing.  Whether you’re looking for that trophy sized ‘WALLEYE’ or ‘NORTHERN PIKE’ Wawang Lake is certain to satisfy that desire.

Check out the outstandiing special we presently have going on and make that TROPHY Fish a wonderful memory of a great fishing trip, or, an actual replica on your wall as a constant reminder……..   RATES

Throw a Line Ad

 

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