Customer demands fish before x-mas

Submitted by brian sniatecki on 12/17/05 at 8:23 PM. ( )

I have a customer who demands to have her fish back before x-mas, I mounted it on form last weekend, I have had a fan on it to dry all week, what is the earliest anyone has ever painted a fish after being mounted? The fish has already been preped and sealed. thanks

Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu


This response submitted by George on 12/17/05 at 8:34 PM. ( )

First off, you were foolish in allowing a customer to push you into a corner like that. Quality can't be rushed and as an independant business person, you should never allow anything like that. Because you did it once, you can bet others, and maybe the same guy will be there to try it again.

Even with a fan on it, I'd never paint one in less than a week. I'd prefer 10 to 14 days drying so the fin butts are good and dry before I try to seal it. If not, you might end up with mold problems down the road. But you say it's already sealed, so you may as well go ahead and start painting. The sealed skin can't "breathe" anyway.

4 days

This response submitted by JL on 12/17/05 at 8:37 PM. ( wmlures@metro )

I made a drying box out of a food drier-dehydrator and did an article on it for Taxidermy Today. I guessed if I could dry thick venison jerky overnight I should be able to dry a fish in 2 days using the same technique. It worked great and I now use the box to dry a bunch of things to speed up the process. Good luck.....JL


This response submitted by Jeff F. on 12/17/05 at 9:23 PM. ( NaturesTrophies@aol )

mounted a boys first small bass Tuesday,put a fan on it two days,did fins and epoxy today. Under the airbush tommorrow. I usually like to wait two weeks out of personal preference. This was for a friend though. My advice to you is simple.....get a good CONTRACT!Happy Holidays.

2 to 3 days

This response submitted by joeym on 12/17/05 at 10:24 PM. ( )

I have a forced air dryer used to dry feed samples. I set it where it is on fan only. If the temp is 50 degrees or greater, fish are almost dry in 24 hrs. I watch the back of the throat. When it is dry, I proceed with fin work and sealing. Note: This is on artificial bodies...if I use fish filler on the entire fish, I may dry it for a week.

Two days

This response submitted by Cecil on 12/18/05 at 12:15 AM. ( )

Ditto with what Joey says. If the back of the mouth is dry the fish is ready for finish work. If you use a cast head you can have the fish dry enough in only a day.

Depends on the humidity and temperature and...

This response submitted by marty on 12/18/05 at 8:39 AM. ( )

..species. If it's a big salmon, trout or Muskie, you're pushing it. If it's a bass or smaller fish and temp and humidity are ideal, it was probably dry in a day (in front of a fan). I just felt the back of the mouth on a Smallie I mounted up Friday. And Saturday (about 24 hours later sitting in front of a fan) it is totally dry. I still like to let fish dry as long as possible just to be safe. But, when push comes to shove you can dry out a smaller fish in 24 hours or so. Next time, do all your other stuff (fin backing epoxy work, etc.) to buy yourself some time before the sealer coat.

Btw, that quick turnaround time warrants a additional fee. Whatever you feel like charging, let 'em know up front next time. It'll weed out the ones that are p.i.t.a.'s. And the ones willing to pay will put a nice chunk of extra coin in your pocket...

Hair Dryer ! And I'm not gonna say it again !

This response submitted by Buck on 12/18/05 at 1:28 PM. ( )

28 in Brown, just put him in the dryer box. have him done by X-mas..I love last minute jobs !

Gotta watch that heat though Buck...

This response submitted by marty on 12/18/05 at 2:49 PM. ( )

Too much heat and the fish will dry too quickly, raising the scales is a possibility. I could see going to some warmer heat source/air blowing after the initial 4-6 hours drying time. This way everything is sorta in place already and you're less apt to raise scales. Easy on the heat though when starting out...

Thats why I pre-Tan to tighten her up a bit.

This response submitted by Buck on 12/18/05 at 3:32 PM. ( )

When I pre-tan - that tightens the skin up a bit, haven't had a problem on rasing scales, since the skin snugs up at the same rate as she shrinks,If I get any pop-up's- I'll heatpress them down ;(Iron) with a thermostat on it,* too hot is bad, in my method it works, because the skin shrinks ,with the form,very slightly, thus it becomes (glued) with the form, My way is very fast and has many advantages to it.Strong, light,and I can even press detail, into or where, I want to have it, I can't and won't explain every detail,because as far as I know I'm the only guy out there who does them like this. But I can tell you this,that in all the years of doing fish, I never had a problem, even have fixed a broken tail on a pike, just stuck him back in the dryer-pressed him back together,and filled in the tiny seam gaps,bit of paint,clear, heres your bill sir. *Since I last posted, she is almost dry, no scale "pop" and gonna cut the head "top" off when Im done here, then it's back in the box, tonight, she'll be almost dry, except for the throat, that takes,on & off for another -4hrs. then I can do the head, set eyes,seal,paint,clear coat, 4-6 min to dry in box then while that last warm-up is going on get my driftwood ready,deco ect, then the guy should be at my door, and the fish should not be tacky when he shows up, if it is a bit tackey - then after a cup of joe,and BLAA BLAAA Bla, I put her in the guy's car, so he don't break any fins off,(happened before) and then I say ..Next..

Buck, what's "Pre-tan"?

This response submitted by marty on 12/19/05 at 12:08 AM. ( )

I'm always open to other, unique ideas. Please explain if you have time...

Oh Boy, Marty..Have to look at the bag to see...

This response submitted by Buck on 12/19/05 at 9:42 AM. ( )

Marty, as you know I can't type for S**T Please E-Mail me your Tel # and I can tell you,...

Wow Buck sounds like you' got a nice little system there....

This response submitted by Marc on 12/21/05 at 10:13 AM. ( )

maybe I will some day have a little short cut,idea, odd ball tool, or method that I can share in hope of learning your unique process.

After the Dust settles...I'll try to tell what or how I do i

This response submitted by Buck on 12/22/05 at 6:08 AM. ( )

Merry CHRISTmas everybody ! give me a couple of days on this.

bass in a day

This response submitted by terryr on 12/24/05 at 9:57 AM. ( )

in summer i have had bass ready to paint in a day = conditions: very windy day with brite sunshine and placed fish outside on pation post - dry as a bone

Yep.Thats why I use the "Pre" tan.....

This response submitted by Buck on 12/25/05 at 7:15 AM. ( )

Just want that X-tra tanning, to be sure that the oil,won't be a prob,and If I use the tan,that gives me a bit of insurance against scales slippin out or poppin,ect...and I noticed that it dries faster and evenly with the clay at the same time.

Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu