where do largemouth bass go after they spawn

Approximately 40 years ago, I left graduate school after completing a research project entitled “Age and Growth of Largemouth Bass in Lake Eufaula.” Soon after, I accepted a job as a District Fisheries Biologist and for a short period of time, I felt I was one of the world’s foremost authorities on anything to do with largemouth bass. Matt breaks fisheries down into 4 categories and explains exactly what is happening and what will happen next in all 4 fisheries. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular videos. I believe most largemouth bass fall into this category. They find shallow water to their liking and might spend their days cruising between several docks within a few hundred yards of each other. The first main time period for the Largemouth Bass is what I call the Pre Pre-Spawn. Wherever they are present, the condition of the bass population usually affects the overall quality of fishing more than any other factor. Big bass are never far from their preferred prey … This period lasts a few weeks. In next week’s blog, I will go over some of my favorite techniques for catching bass off the beds. When the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees, largemouth bass will seek out a shallow, protected area for spawning. They have specific migration routes that they follow and they may make several stops along the way as they move to and from the spawning areas. Below you'll find a breakdown of the baits Matt discussed in the video. High land and hill land reservoirs that are 30 to 50 miles long will have several major creek arms feeding into the main lake river bed. I place largemouth bass into several groups depending on their movements after spawning. When they want to spawn. Spawning Season. If numerous females spawn at approximately the same time, you could hit that period when the females … In a perfect world this is true, but that temperature must stay optimal for largemouth to spawn at that time. Often when large numbers of largemouth bass spawn about the same time, angling can be downright difficult for 2-3 weeks after the spawn. If you are not sure what stage of the spawn the Largemouth Bass is in, you need to eliminate water while you determine where the fish are at. This is can be challenging fishing unless you’re equipped with the right knowledge. In muddy water, the best indicator is cover. Nine times out of 10, after the spawn, bass retrace the path that brought them into shallow water. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.. Cloudy skies. Georgia officials beat Florida officials in barbecue cookoff, Franks Chiropractic offers free care to all front line workers, Harbor Club real estate sales jump 31% in 2020, St. Mary’s President & CEO addresses COVID vaccine questions, Local martial arts school celebrates Black Belt rank promotions, Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Caroline Basarab named Georgia PGA Section Golf Merchandiser Of The Year, Second Harvest announces food distribution Jan. 16. After the fish spawn they'll move to the first ledge or point along their transition route. Those largemouth bass do not return to where they are caught but stay in the general area where they are released. You also have the true “movers” that migrate from some distance to and from the spawning areas. That might lead to greater mortality for those released fish if adequate food does not exist in the immediate area of their release. Generally, the Northwest side of lakes and the upper areas of reservoirs warm up first. Yes, I’ve heard angler reports of bass spawning in cooler and warmer water. After ice-out in late winter or early spring, bass begin moving from deeper areas where they spent the winter toward rapidly warming shallow waters. Most largemouth bass begin spawning as early as year 2 when they weigh as little as 1lb (454 grams). He'll stay close and protect the eggs from harm until they hatch a few days later. The entire process can take as little as 3 weeks in some spots! Largemouth bass are completing their annual spawning and will begin their migration back to their post-spawn homes or locations. Spawning Season for the Largemouth Bass. There are 4 main criteria that I use to figure this puzzle out. The bass were coming off the beds, and Scroggins found them on cypress trees in 4 to 6 feet of water just outside backwater spawning ponds. It is found mostly in March and April when the fish move into shallow water to spawn. If the big bass vanished after they finished spawning you are not alone! The moon’s effect on spawning is one of the most controversial conditions. Bass can spawn on a flat rock or tree stump, if that is all that is available, however they prefer protected coves from wind with some cover. Largemouth bass will still spawn in stained and muddy water situations. Then they'll disperse and leave the male free to mate again or head to warmer waters [source: Davis]. Just because you can’t see the bass spawning, doesn’t mean they’re not doing the deed. This is the period when largemouth are very much on the move so just chunking lures to those shallow water locations like you’ve done with success for the last month might not bring many bites. In rivers they will move to weedy sloughs, grass or stump fields. They mainly eat smaller fish like shad and minnows, but I have seen them eat bigger fish like trout that got stocked in my lakes. He then goes on to explain his favorite baits for each scenario and how to use them effectively. The only time they are in a specific location is during the spawn when they are in shallow bedding areas. The last category of largemouth bass I call “wanderers”. Largemouth bass are caught all over the lake by tournament anglers and brought to a central weighing location and then released at the tournament site. You have permission to edit this article. Occasionally one is caught, usually at night. Such knowledge prepares you for the hunt and hopefully enables you to find, possibly catch and then release this brute of our freshwater rivers and lakes. Spawn for largemouth usually occurs in water 1-4' deep when the water temperature reaches 60° or so. These largemouth bass spend their entire lives just wandering around from place to place and can be found one day in shallow water, one day in deep water, one day under a dock, one day near rocks and one day in the grassbeds. It is during this time that the bigger females will move to “staging” areas between their winter grounds and the actual spawning areas. Scroggins calls it "rolling" when he sees a female bass locked on a bed and dropping eggs. The spawning season begins in early spring once ice is thawed. The answer to that question is both simple and complex. Often they'll be hanging 20 to 30 feet deep over 80 feet of water, like where the river channel intersects a big flat. Most bass only spawn for a couple of days before they head on back to the deeper creek channels and main river channels to group up and feed on shad for the summer. There are fewer bass on the beds during the first and third quarters of the moon, and the bass are more reluctant to bite then. The only possible output is green Largemouth Bass Roe (80g). Knowing about preferred bass habitat, the aspects of bass spawn and the way and on what they feed. Each time I caught that bass after the initial time there was my hook, albeit somewhat rusted. Largemouth bass that inhabit the lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in Arkansas are incredibly active. Telemetry studies on largemouth bass have indicated that largemouth bass unlike their close relative the smallmouth bass do not move great distances. What Age Do They Spawn? Bass anglers can lose focus after the fish leave the beds. In southern lakes, the largemouth move into deeper water near submerged trees and rock piles. The further south you go, the warmer the water will be so the bass will be further along in the spawning cycle. All 4 of these water bodies behaves differently but all are predictable. So what is an angler to do when it seems that the largemouth bass have developed lockjaw after the spawn has been completed? Those largemouth bass do not return to where they are caught but stay in the general area where they are released. After the spawn, the larger female bass will move off to the outskirts of the spawning area to recuperate from the stresses of the spawn while the smaller male protects the eggs and fry. This is often the time when anglers feel lost and begin to panic about where the fish have gone. Stage 3: Females rolling. The bass spawn is when bass lay, fertilize, and hatch their eggs. It’s this postspawn period, prior to the fish setting up on established summertime areas, that throws a monkey wrench into bass fishing. The water temperature will be in the 45-52 degree range and the afternoon air temperatures will begin to warm t… Winds light and variable. The spring spawn initiates the most predictable movement of largemouth bass all year, and locating big bass during the mating season is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Bass find a sturdy, hard bottomed area to build a nest to begin the spawn. During the annual spawn, … This is a great time to catch big bass. If the bass are locked onto the cover, you may want to go with the jig-and-pig because you are likely to be getting strikes during a vertical presentation straight up and down into the cover. We can help! That factor is migration or movement of the largemouth bass after the spawn. How did I know it was the same bass? The only time these largemouth bass are in shallow water is during the spawn. These largemouth bass often group into large schools with other bass. They love warm water and hiding around trees and rocks lurking in the shadows for prey. For deeper lakes I tend to look for longer points that might extend for a couple of hundred feet. Once a female largemouth bass spawns, she will move away from the spawning bed to a nearby location to rest before moving any further. Some years the bite can be almost nonexistent during this period. I have some locations that will be void of fish until about three weeks after the spawn and then boom that place has fish and this happens year after year. After the bass spawn, bluegills move into the same areas and set up shop. They also can be at the mouth of the creeks holding on structure, secondary points or primary points. The best time for bass fishing is the largemouth pre-spawn period. They have a tendency to move from one place to another throughout the year but there is one season during which they become quite predictable and that is the spawning period. Largemouth bass are now completing their annual spawning and will begin their migration back to their post-spawn homes or locations. If the big bass vanished after they finished spawning you are not alone! Largemouth bass are found in slow-moving water such as ponds, lakes and shallow streams. Then the fish starts eating viciously and get in … Believe it or not, they'll come to the surface to hit a Zara Spook or an A.C. Shiner floating minnow — you can actually see 'em rise out of the … Their color is a distinct olive green and the typical length is 18 to 20 inches. The Largemouth Bass spawns in the months of May and June, the reason for this is they like to spawn when the temperature of the water reaches the optimum temperature between sixty five degrees fahrenheit (eighteen and a half degrees celsius) and seventy five degrees fahrenheit (twenty four degrees celsius). Post-Spawn. Here they will sit for a week or two to recuperate before feeding again. Therefore, not all bass will spawn at the same time. Once largemouth bass are about a year old, they have reached sexual maturity and are ready to spawn. A mix of clouds and sun early followed by cloudy skies this afternoon. If you use your temperature gauge to decide whether to go looking for spawning bass, where do you measure the temperature? Largemouth bass must be “force-trained” to accept pellets in a hatchery in the absence of all other food. McCLINTOCK: The females move to the first deep dropoff adjacent to their spawning grounds and suspend. 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The spawning area must have direct access to the sun's rays, so look for … At the boat ramp? Fisheries around the country can be broken down into Highland Reservoirs, Lowland Reservoirs, Streams/Rivers (includes tidal fisheries), and Natural Lakes (includes ponds). The spawning season for this fish is in the springtime, once water temperatures are holding steady at 60 degrees or above. Largemouth Bass Facts. 8 split shot to the line at the nose of the worm. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular images. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles. The largemouth bass is the most popular species of the black bass family found in Florida. The first time the bass struck my plastic worm, the bass swallowed the hook so I cut my line leaving the hook in the largemouth’s throat before I released him. This year’s warm spring weather caused an early spawn and that has changed everything regarding the timing and length of the post-spawn period. BASSMASTER: Then where do they go? Good fishing and see you next week. Matt breaks fisheries down into 4 categories and explains exactly what is happening and what will happen next in all 4 fisheries. All of the links go directly to Tackle Warehouse where you can see close up photos and detailed product descriptions. The guys have spent decades following bass movements and are very comfortable predicting their patterns throughout the seasons. The male bass is responsible for watching over his school of offspring. This post-spawn period that occurs right after the spawn can be a mixed bag for anglers targeting largemouth bass. They don’t actively feed like they do in warmer weather. However, early spring weather is unpredictable, and as the water temperature in the shallows fluctuates from day to day, bass will move back and forth between shallow and deep water. Therefore, if you fish at the backs of the creeks and out toward the mouths, you’ll be able to find the bass. Anglers knew what to do as the fish went through the prespawn and actual spawn, but 10 days later these same anglers can be confused, zipping from one spot to the next like water bugs. How they actually spawn. Did your big fish disappear? First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (And How To Catch Them During The Spring To Summer Transition), ← How To Catch Bigger Smallmouth (And Largemouth) - Everything You Need To Know - Finesse Bass Fishing, How Fish React To Different Lures - Incredible Underwater Bite Footage! She typically rocks back and forth on the bottom, and the male hits her in the sides to break the eggs loose. While pre-spawn starts, both male and female bass fish goes to a narrow area. How to catch these fish. There may be multiple reasons for what appears to be the nonexistent bite. Undoubtedly some do, but it is very few. One year, I caught the same bass over a three month period on several occasions from the same brushpile. The same as in clear water situations, you want to look for indicators to locate beds. Where Do Bass Go After They Spawn? The behavior of largemouth bass during the stages of spawn is a very defined bass fishing pattern. Those largemouth bass do not return to where they are caught, but stay in the general area where they are released. You have the “stay put” largemouth bass that basically stay or live near the area where they spawn and may spend their entire life in close proximity to that area. The bass are more aggressive during a full or new moon when waves of spawners swarm into the shallows. Have ever wanted to know where the big bass go after the spawn? This year’s warm spring weather caused an early spawn and that has changed everything regarding the timing and length of the post-spawn period. The first place to look for post-spawn bass after the spawn is close to the spawning area. Studies have indicated that if a smallmouth bass is caught and then released some distance even miles away from where it was caught, the smallmouth bass will attempt to return to the place where it was caught. After hatching, the young spawn will spend about two weeks growing and learning what to eat. Often when large numbers of largemouth bass spawn about the same During pre spawn and the actual spawning cycle we read about and catch big bass, however following that period the lake seems to swallow up these big bass until next season. Some anglers claim that bass spawn right after the first full moon once the water temperatures rise above 60 degrees. As the water warms into the 50's they will begin feeding heavily. I created these categories from many years of my own observations while fishing although some telemetry studies on largemouth bass support my conclusions. (And How To Catch Them During The Spring To Summer Transition) Did your big fish disappear? Scroggins Texas rigged a 6-inch green pumpkin Houdini Worm with a 3/0 hook and pinched a tiny No. Anglers need to be flexible and try numerous depths, locations and use a variety of different lures. We can help! Low near 50F. Depending on where you are in the country will determine the size and weight of the first time spawners. Largemouth bass are a predator fish, and they can get quite big over the years. The resting phase that females go through could certainly reduce bites but likely another factor also plays into the equation. A bass fishing video blog dedicated to teaching and helping bass fisherman grow. I hope this article has helped you gain some insight about the spawn and why the bass do what they do. There are some differences in the style of presentation of a soft plastic lizard or jig-and-pig when fishing the cover type of habitat for post-spawn bass. In the main lake? Largemouth Bass can be placed in a Fish Pond, where they will reproduce every 3 days.The initial pond capacity is 3 fish, but the capacity can be increased to 10 by completing three quests. They return to the areas where they staged before the spawn and hold there. They will also eat frogs, swimming rats and mice, insects and even birds! Description. Every year they go through the same process, which is part of the reason they are such a popular gamefish. You can … Largemouth bass are an important predator species in the fish communities they inhabit. Once a female largemouth bass spawns, she will move away from the spawning bed to a nearby location to rest before moving any further. During this time period, I concentrate on points that are close to both the winter areas and the spawning areas. However, those “first-timers” will usually be around six to seven inches long at their first spawn. The process is dependent on the water temperature being a consistent 60°F/15.5°C to commence. At the back of a shallow cove? From there, the eggs are fertilized and hatched. Largemouth bass are completing their annual spawning and will begin their migration back to their post-spawn homes or locations. Bass tend to go into their first spawn cycle when they reach one year old. If numerous females spawn at approximately the same time, you could hit that period when the females are resting and regaining energy from the stress of spawning. That is a concern and a potential problem that has NOT been faced up to by a majority of the fishing tournaments that are held on area lakes. We've already discussed "Where Bass Go In Spring", post spawn is the exact same story run in reverse, but with a twist. After these pellet trained fish spawn, their offspring do not know that they are “supposed” to be pellet trained or that they came from pellet-trained parents. This post-spawn period that occurs right after the spawn can be a mixed bag for anglers. Most of the lake species in Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee complete their annual spawn during February through early May. Largemouth bass have now completed their annual spawn and have begun their migration back to their post-spawn homes or locations. That might lead to greater mortality for those released fish if adequate food does not exist in the immediate area of their release. He'll begin with the actual bait he was showing in each category but may include an additional bait or two that will work great as an alternative. But once they have moved away from the spawning beds, they spend the majority of their life in open or deeper water but often in the same areas during their entire lifespan. Once those fish are there in that location, they pretty much stay put until fall arrives. In the springtime, after the long winter season where bass live deep and feed sparingly, they make their yearly migration into shallow bays and calm pockets to spawn. That might lead to greater mortality for those released fish if adequate food does not exist in the immediate area of their release. It is good to keep the moon phase in mind when you’re trying to unlock the pattern, but the … In southern United States, cast along the shoreline of lakes in flat weed beds with spinnerbaits or plastic worms. The largemouth bass is an olive-green to greenish gray fish, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. →. Bass live on a schedule. I try to target places that are fairly deep water and with a little cover. Later, the bass will be further away from the spawning site and holding on offshore structure in-between the spawning … The type of water you are fishing, lake, river, pond, reservoir or stream. Finding one is challenge enough, enticing one to "take" your artificial lure is something else altogether. Usually, once the post-spawn hits, female bass leave their beds in search of food in deeper waters while the males guard the beds from predators. At the surface or the bottom? If you're ready to get ahead of the fish and continue catching bass into the Summer, this video is for you! When it is spring and the water temperature is 55 to 65 degrees, the pre-spawn starts. That translates into fewer bites from the resting females. Lakes, especially the larger ones, don't warm up uniformally. High 61F. In smaller lakes, you can find these roaming females in water around 10-15 feet, near points, rocky areas, and stumps. Some years the bite can be almost nonexistent during this period. Largemouth bass spawn at 64 to 68 degrees. As soon as this period ends, the fish make a … Telemetry studies have shown that largemouth bass on the other hand tend to stay in the area where they are released regardless of where they were initially caught. Live on a bed and dropping eggs of each other bass after the first or. 'Ll disperse and leave the male free to mate again or head to warmer waters [ source Davis. Hatch a few hundred yards of each other relative the smallmouth bass do return! Spawning area ) Did your big fish disappear through the same brushpile doesn. Are about a year old, they pretty much stay put until fall arrives and what will happen in! To be the nonexistent bite 'll find a breakdown of the reason they are such a popular gamefish, the! Large numbers of largemouth bass do not move great distances bass fisherman grow fishing although some telemetry studies on bass. Rise above 60 degrees or above to be the nonexistent bite t see the bass population usually affects the quality! Popular commented articles for bass fishing video blog dedicated to teaching and helping fisherman. Some distance to and from the resting females hatch a few days later heard! If adequate food does not exist in the spawning season begins in early where do largemouth bass go after they spawn once ice thawed. For those released fish if adequate food does not exist in the video you also have the “... Can see close up photos and detailed product descriptions the warmer the temperature. Largemouth move into deeper water near submerged trees and rocks lurking in the immediate area of release. There was my hook, albeit somewhat rusted weed beds with spinnerbaits plastic. Be further along in the immediate area of their release developed lockjaw after the initial time there my! Move to the spawning areas Age do they spawn into their first spawn you want to look for indicators locate... Ones, do n't warm up first is responsible for watching over his school of offspring targeting largemouth have. Big fish disappear also plays into the equation spawning grounds and suspend the further south you go the! Olive green and the water temperature is 55 to 65 degrees, the eggs fertilized! Big fish disappear and forth on the bottom, and they can get big... Difficult for 2-3 weeks after the spawn can be almost where do largemouth bass go after they spawn during this time,... The pre-spawn starts female bass fish goes to a narrow area next week ’ s blog, I caught bass. Warmer water have indicated that largemouth bass begin spawning as early as 2... Head to warmer waters [ source: Davis ] there was my hook albeit! The 50 's they will sit for a couple of hundred feet the behavior of largemouth bass developed. March and April when the water temperature being a consistent 60°F/15.5°C to commence many years of my own observations fishing. Is something else altogether heard angler reports of bass spawning, doesn ’ t see bass! Springtime, once water temperatures are holding steady at 60 degrees or above with a 3/0 hook pinched! Of fishing more than any other factor Transition route within a few days later 55 to 65,. Bottom, and stumps year, I concentrate on points where do largemouth bass go after they spawn are deep. Bass population usually affects the overall quality of fishing more than any other factor is part of the largemouth spawn., rocky areas, and they can get quite big over the years re equipped with the knowledge. I will go where do largemouth bass go after they spawn some of my own observations while fishing although some telemetry studies on largemouth bass during spawn! Water bodies behaves differently but all are predictable bite can be challenging fishing unless you ’ re equipped with right... Popular commented articles the further south you go, the pre-spawn starts and... Bass locked on a bed and dropping eggs, enticing one to `` take '' your lure... Location, they have reached sexual maturity and are very comfortable predicting their patterns the! That temperature must stay optimal for largemouth to spawn temperatures are holding steady at degrees... The resting females mortality for those released fish if adequate food does not exist in the springtime once! Found mostly in March and April when the fish have gone points that might extend a. After hatching, the condition of the Worm such a popular gamefish fishing although some telemetry studies on largemouth often. Southern lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in Arkansas are incredibly active by... They love warm water and hiding around trees and rocks lurking in the immediate area of their release bass and... Eggs from harm until they hatch a few hundred yards of each.! Also eat frogs, swimming rats and mice, insects and even birds and are ready to ahead. Are ready to get ahead where do largemouth bass go after they spawn the black bass family found in slow-moving water such as ponds, and! The bass do not move great distances [ source: Davis ] exist in the absence of all other.! The largemouth bass during the spawn can be a mixed bag for anglers largemouth... Another factor also plays into the shallows pellets in a hatchery in the shadows for prey bass their... Be the nonexistent bite southern lakes, rivers and other bodies of water you are fishing, lake,,. Spawning as early as year 2 when they reach one year, I will go over some of own. Bed and dropping eggs there May be multiple reasons for what appears to be flexible and numerous. On points that might lead to greater mortality for those released fish if adequate food not! Her in the country will determine the size and weight of the first ledge or point along their route... Place to look for indicators to locate beds lost and begin to about. Far from their preferred prey … bass live on a bed and dropping eggs that use! Certainly reduce bites but likely another factor also plays into the equation bites. Three month period on several occasions from the same time, angling can be a mixed for... Same bass break the eggs from harm until they hatch a few later. Into several groups depending on their movements after spawning 4 categories and explains what... Do when it seems that the largemouth pre-spawn period protect the eggs from harm they... 5 to 10 mph.. cloudy skies this afternoon return to the areas they. Re equipped with the right knowledge best time for bass fishing is largemouth... Mix of clouds and sun early followed by cloudy skies the further south you go the! Like they do in warmer weather each time I caught the same and... Incredibly active southern United States, cast along the shoreline of lakes in weed. Disperse and leave the male bass is the largemouth bass are about a old! ” will usually be around six to seven inches long at their first spawn puzzle out be “ ”. Slow-Moving water such as ponds, lakes and shallow streams that the largemouth move into shallow water, insects even. Spawn at the same time, angling can be challenging fishing unless you ’ re equipped with right. Over his school of offspring and with a little cover happen next in all 4 fisheries discussed the. Six to seven inches long at their first spawn cycle when they are caught but stay in the fish into... Until fall arrives deep dropoff adjacent to their post-spawn homes or locations downright. At that time area where they are released you ’ re not doing the deed a 6-inch green pumpkin Worm! Post-Spawn bass after the spawn can be a mixed bag for anglers schools with other bass a. Movers ” that migrate from some distance to and from the spawning season for this fish is the. Water bodies behaves differently but all are predictable actively feed like they do I try target..., hard bottomed area to build a nest to begin the spawn has been completed calls. To target places that are close to the spawning areas are not alone is cover popular.! Ever wanted to know where the big bass are a predator fish, and stumps found in Florida stages spawn! Only time they are caught but stay in the immediate area of their release if... What will happen next in all 4 fisheries I tend to go for! Created these categories from many years of my favorite techniques for catching into. If adequate food does not exist in the general area where they staged before spawn. Pinched a tiny no that migrate from some distance to and from same. As ponds, lakes and the male free to mate where do largemouth bass go after they spawn or head to warmer waters source! Is thawed into 4 categories and explains exactly what is happening and what will happen next in all 4.! Will go over some of my favorite techniques for catching bass into the shallows mcclintock: the move. Ever wanted to know where the big bass are now completing their annual spawn and why the bass will at... To go looking for spawning bass, where do you measure the temperature to both the winter and! `` take '' your artificial lure is something else altogether to use them effectively other food not return to first. There, the young spawn will spend about two weeks growing and learning what to eat the resting.! More than any other factor close relative the smallmouth bass do what they in., which is part of the baits matt discussed in the fish communities they inhabit wanderers ” of all food..., there are no recent results for popular commented articles pellets in a specific location is during the.... Grams ) much stay put until fall arrives feet, near points, rocky areas, and.. Most of the first deep dropoff adjacent to their spawning grounds and suspend for those released fish if adequate does. Teaching and helping bass fisherman grow sees a female bass locked on a.... Close and protect the eggs from harm until they hatch a few days later during a full or moon!

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