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Opinions on pike

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by sdrenth, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Hi I am going to be mounting an 18 pound pike that my dad just caught and he is giving it to me for an advertising mount. I want to mount it in a way that is going to catch peoples attention. So I dont really want it to just be like a normal swimming mount or chase scene. (Unless in your opinions that would pull in the most business) A few months ago I mounted a bass with a cast of my hand lipping it as it would look just being pulled out of the water. I was thinking of doing something like that for this pike. I drew up an idea. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Heres the bass

    And here is the idea for the pike
    Also the pike I am mounting has a bigger belly than this one I used for the picture so thats another reason I thought it might look cool this way with the big belly hanging down.
  2. I like the Idea... But what is it your customers are looking for in there work?. Are they into artist expression? Are they the common angler? I run into this myself. The reality is proper contour, anatomy & your paint work is great you smashed a Homer..
    for the "Average Angler"


    Really like your Largemouth too... nice work

  3. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I think it's a good idea, and will attract the attention you desire. It will be important that when carving the body you really pull off the look of the right hand pushing that fat belly in. Judging by the FANTASTIC work on the largemouth, I'm sure you will pull it off just fine.

    BTW, Did I mention the LMB was fantastic? Yowza!!!
  4. Never seen that before! ;) Seriously, I like the look. Be sure to post pics when finished

    Attached Files:

  5. I like it.
    you are on to some very nice ideas and you should keep moving forward.

    I get frustrated when I hear people separate the "Common angler" from one who appreciates artistic approach. Who are these Common anglers I hear about? I have yet to meet a customer who turns down a more artistic and innovative approach.
    Most often a customer is looking for one thing first and foremost (They want their trophy) and if you leave it at that, thats what they expect. Mainly because they dont know there are other options. This is where the education factor comes in.

    This is similar to the jacked open bucket mouth syndrome. This is what they see and this is what they expect. Many times I have heard people say "You can mount them with the mouth closed?" Sounds stupid to us, but if you are unfamiliar with the process how would you even know? How many times have we all asked stupid questions to people in other professions? More times then we care to admit, I can tell you that.
    Time and time again I have heard other taxidermists say "I like how a closed mouth fish looks better then an open on, but my customers wont like it". Odd 80% of my customers ask me for a closed mouth fish.....why? because I have examples. real physical examples.

    Customers dont want you taking risks with their fish. Often they are nervous enough about spending their money as it is, and showing them a concept or talking to them about an idea you have without examples will lead to a simple standard mount. Why take that risk? You have to remember we are craftsmen and we can visualize a finished piece better then someone outside of our craft.

    In short mount up that pike like you pictured, and hang it on the wall. my guess is you will be doing many many more like that if you have examples.
    That variety in your work will keep you motivated and fresh and because of that you will become better at what you do and then be compensated more fairly for that higher quality.

    Another factor to add in is a rather prominent one.

    What is the #1 factor against most fishermen having a fish mounted?

    The wife
    I hate to say it but its true, very very true.
    How many times have we all heard "All I need to do is convince my wife into getting the fish mounted" We all have I'm sure.
    Why is this an issue? because to the fisherman the first priority is getting the trophy mounted, to preserve a memory they had. To most spouses the attachment to the trophy isn't there. In fact when most hear about a mounted fish they think immediately of the nasty yellowed smoke stained 50 year old pike hanging above a bar. Not a good image.
    However by taking a more artistic approach you will be more likely to get the support of the spouse. The fact is women tend to have a better eye for aesthetics then most men. (there are exceptions)
    This is something that they have figured out already in other areas of our field but the fish group is slow to catch up.

    And the last factor to figure in is $$$$$
    How much more can you charge for an artistic mount? especially since you may now have the support of the significant other.

    A smart man with money to invest would start molding large musky and pike in a catch and release pose, or something similar to what you have. And along with that sell a kit to mold your customers hands.

    I will give you one tip mold the hands first in the proper position. Make sure you carve the form to fit the hands. This will give you the proper indentation where the hand meets the fish.
    This is a variation of the Hard on Soft technique in sculpting. Sculpting the Hard first the hard in this case being the hand since it is applying the shape to the fish it should be treated as an immovable object and the area of softer mass sculpted around that. Hard first, Soft second.

    If you pull that off you will have a cool looking mount and when your customers see it you will be a busy man.

  6. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Thank you very much Josh for such an informative response. I want to let you know that your taxidermy and your sculpture has been a great inspiration to me. I think I will go ahead and mount it like that. Like you said most people probably don't even know that there are options other than the sandard open mouth swimming mount. Hopefully seeing this will get their attention and the spouses approval!

    Thanks again-- Steve
  7. Steve, You're an Artist and your approach to fish taxidermy shows this fact. Most can accomplish a chase scene or a swimming mount, not as many can pull off what you have envisioned. The uniqueness that you will have in this mount is the attention you will be giving to the distribution of mass. Among other valuable advise you just received from Josh the tip on working hard to soft will aid you in capturing that distribution of mass and that will make your work stand out from the rest. The hanging belly of the larger fish, you have described, is going to look awesome. I look forward to seeing your finished piece.
  8. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Thank you everyone else too for the input and the compliments!
  9. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Thanks Pete I will keep that in mind while carving the body.
  10. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    I love the idea. Post the pictures of both your progress and the finished mount.
  11. 7-Point

    7-Point Active Member

    I really like how the bass turned out! And I say go for it. The customer doesn't have to get the mount if they don't like it.
  12. NOAH@aarrkk

    NOAH@aarrkk Member

    Going with Josh's suggestions, if I were attempting such a mount,, I'd make the hands and mount them on a board so that you can place the thawed fish on them and then photograph, measure, draw, etc. so that you can duplicate YOUR fish in that situation.

    Is the largemouth bass in the photo mounted or the fresh fish? If mounted, WOW!!! you did an awesome job!!!
  13. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    The only thing I don't like is the plaques you have the hands on. They just look odd to me. Detracting I think. Maybe something less harsh. jmho :)
  14. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Thanks for the input everyone. I will be sure to post progress pictures. Yes Noah that largemouth is the finished mount. And franchi those most likely are not the plaques I will use. I don't really like the look of them either they are just a picture I had to show the idea.
  15. I love posts like this. They get me thinking. You have a great idea going here Steve. Something I was thinking, probably because I like to mold and cast. Could you take the cast of your hands and build a frame to attach them to in your freezer? Then set the thawed fish the way you want it in the hands. When it freezes, take it out and mold it. Then either cast it as a reproduction or cast with foam for a form and sand the scale detail down so the skin would fit on. I've never tried to mold a frozen fish so I don't know if that would cause problems, but thought maybe someone else would know for sure.
  16. Shooterschoice

    Shooterschoice work is for people who dont fish

    i was ust about to put on here that kevin stenzel did one like that for the competiton this year and there you are with the picture of it lol. yeah its a great idea will get your buiness noticed but most regular fisher just want a good looking mount to hang on there wall... so those are great idea to get your busniess noticed but make sure you make that pike look awesome as far as panting and details cuase thats what the average angler will be looking at... the fish. but when you start doing mounts like that it makes you look like a better taxidermist also. keep up the good work
  17. sdrenth

    sdrenth New Member

    Chris the fish is already skinned so I wont be able to do any casting. Also Ive only ever done skin mounts so I wouldnt want to attempt my first molding project with this one. Thanks for the ideas though, that sounds like a great way to do it.

    Here is a picture of my dad holding his catch

    Also when he was skinning it he lost some of the scales off the tail section. Im going to have to rebuild them so if anyone has any advice on how to go about doing that I would appreciate it. In the past Ive used epoxy sculpt to rebuild just a few scales but apparently there is quite a few missing from this one so I dont know if there is an easier way.

    Thanks, Steve
  18. Shooterschoice

    Shooterschoice work is for people who dont fish

    liquid scales or use the ex scaler and apoxie sulpt or even like the triple thick glaze with an ez scaler that might work
  19. If it's just a few random scales you can pluck scales from the backside from the same general area that you need to replace them with and prefit it into the scale pocket. If you like it put a drop of super glue under the scale.
  20. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Very nicely done, and for those who like it, artistic. I do not like hands in fish mounts....Just personal. They seem out of place. To each his own. Not a fan of stringer mounts either. I like fish to look alive in their own environement, not being handled, jaw jacked, or hung on a rope.

    Just personal.......again, to each his own.