I just skun out and cleaned 10 crappies today but i have never done one before. i soaked in denatured alcohol to help losing scales but on every fish i still lost a few scales.will the fish still look alright with scales missing or when i pull them out of the freezer to finish should i scale the whole fish?
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Rebuild the missing scales with scuplt all. When using denatured alhcol and water 50/ 50 you can leave in the solution until your ready to mount. Now for skinning crappie I normally unwrap the fish and leave in the freezer for a day or so to freezer dry, This seems to help me keep the scales in place.
If just a few after the fish is mounted and dry, take a corresponding scale off the back side of the fish in similar area, trim a little of the front edge of the scale, and slide it into the missing scale socket. Then allow some super glue to run under the scale, dub off excess and push down with an iron to set the scale.
Have you tried skinning your crappies out by taking the flesh out in sections with a curved scissor and then scraping? This is what I do. I don't use any tricks to retain scales and I rarely loose any scales.
I have rebuilt scales on a crappie that lost a lot. With the proper blending of colors etc thye will look just fine.