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skinning largemouth bass for competition

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Jake L, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. Jake L

    Jake L New Member

    I have a question for all you competition guys. Where do you make the cut on a bass when you're doing a competition piece? Also where could I get a video on how to mount a competition bass? Thanks
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Dorsal is the best as for a tape don't know. What you do need to learn is how to do epoxy work and anatomy, then painting
     

  3. Learn how a fish moves under water too. Mouth,gills,eye rotation,fin movement. Bass pro and cabelas have fish tanks. Take a camera and tape them.
     
  4. Jake L

    Jake L New Member

    Thanks guys
     
  5. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Jake,

    Different strokes for different folks. My favorite is the ventral incision as it's the easiest to hide. Here I was able to piece together a side incision and model scales back in before painting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finished bass:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

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    Nice work Cecil, how did you attach that fish?
     
  7. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

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    Nice work Cecil, how did you attach that fish
     
  8. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

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    Modern fish competition really has made it nearly impossible to win big with a skin mount let alone without casting a head and fins. Many guys are tube skinning since the head is removed. However you need to use the incision that is easiest to hide for you. If you are doing an ice scene obviously the back side. If you are doing a pedestal a ventral inicsion is goo The BreakthroughTom Sexton fish finishing manual go step by step finishing a competition bass. Not a video but pretty good.
     
  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    There are wires that come out horizontally from the lily pad stems that were epoxied with five minute epoxy into the sides of the fish. The pads and stems were custom made for me by Josh Knuth. Josh also sold me a pumpkinseed and bullhead repro to put in the case.

    It was part of the following diorama I did for the fisheries department of Sourh Dakota State University. All native species to North Dakota.

    [​IMG]

    If you'd like to follow it step by step you can see it here:


    http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=124398&page=1
     
  10. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

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    Depends on what Division and what mount pose. If you are in the Pro or Novice division and are doing a "wall mount" it would be an incision as Cecil showed only you wouldnt have to work the seam to "show side" quality as Cecil demonstrated. The back of a fish mount has much more scrutiny if you are in the Masters Division and most or all the Masters entries I've seen or done are ped's.
    So, I'm assuming you are either considering Novice or Professional as a division choice. You probably are not going to do a ped mount for your first competition (I like the dorsal cut for those) so just make the back side incision and hide it best you can. Good Luck.

    PS: I've seen it before but nice work Cecil........
     
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Brian

    Thanks for the kind words. Down here when I entered a wall mount fish in masters I actually did a pedestal mount with no observable seam to not get any deductions from the judge. That and closing the mouth as it's tough to do a perfect open mouth fish. It's a shame one has to do thise things to get a blue but we all know what it takes after we are in the game for a while.
     
  12. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

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    No problem Cecil. You always turn out great fish....and that's a smart move to go ped in a WM catagory for sure. Closed mouth also for sure to keep a judges eyeball out of there.....right?
    Like I said it's the Masters Division you'd have to pay closer attention to the seam. Now, do judges actually "judge" the back side of a wall mount? The answer is yes and no for Novice and Pro. I've entered in Pro with a WWWM and I've found out, it depends on who is judging.
    When Gary B judged my fish for two years in a row, I asked that specific question concerning WM and he said he doesn't look at the back. Conversely, in Pro, a year later, I was marked down for not hiding the seam well enough on the back of a WM. So, my advice to Jake was to hide it as best you can in Novice or Pro but it doesnt necessarily have to be show side quality. Master's you better hide the seam so you cant tell, period.
    The reason I did an open mouth ped last year in my first Masters was to show judges what I've learned and that I could pull off a true 360 degree view with no indication of where my seam was. Figured I've done enough WM's and was time to step it up. So, cast head, cast fins, and skin mount chasing a repro bluegill I mold and cast.
    And you know the rest of the story, I got marked down for the habitat. He said he loved the detail in the head (hard to beat a cast head) but yada, yada on the habitat. Lesson learned (doesnt end does it...lol) and will try to better my performance next March......might get some tips from you then Cecil. A blue in Masters is the next hurdle and with the quality of judges we have, it wont be "just a ribbon". It will be the confirmation from the experts that I am on a progressive path and earned the recognition. I enjoy the challenge and the camaraderie at the shows.............
     
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    You're too humble Bryan. I haven't competed in so long I'm sure you could kick my ass. In fact I know you could!

    Personally don't think habitat should be part of the score but like you said it all depends on the judge. I've had some that were really tough while others were too easy. It all averages out in the end and it's one of the best way to improve your skills.
     
  14. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    How would it be if I did a belly to mount the fish closer to a bottom, (IE) a walleye as most resting on the bottom or attach to a rock from under the chin? I would still do some seam work to improve the look.
     
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    That's what I usually do. I like to make a scale mold with Knead a Mold and press scales back into the seam.
     
  16. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

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    Just to add...sure a good seam is important but NOT nearly as important as anatomy ie: fin junctures, side and top profile, head attachment and tissue rebuilding. IMO guys get WAY too hung up on seams and paint jobs when proper anatomy will cure most ills.
     
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Sometimes guys get caught up in things that are minor compared to the big picture. I feel that way with fish eyes on commercial fish. Some guys want the perfect eyes on a customer fish when the customer doesn't even remember what color the eyes were.

    Once had an individual brag about how invisible his commercial fish seams on the back of his wall mount fish were. This was at a competition. I didn't say anything but his entry was so poor (beginner's category) it didn't matter how good his back seam was.
     
  18. Jake L

    Jake L New Member

    Wow it's been a few days since I've checked back...didn't realize I'd get the replies like I did lol...thanks for all the input from everyone...to answer a couple of questions- yes it would be in the professional division, no I'm not the actual person who would be doing the mount that would be father and since he isn't computer savvy I asked the question for him...he does really good commercial work & I've been pushing him to enter competition...he wasn't sure of which incesision to use...I'll make sure he gets to read this thread...again thanks for all the input from everyone
     
  19. got2stuff

    got2stuff New Member

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    I too like Cecil use a ventral cut . I have one I'm going to try the tube method on after the holidays .
     
  20. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    2,200
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    York, SC
    Do what you're comfortable with,
    But in my opinion
    The presentation is what draws the eye first
    Learn your anatomy
    Paint
    And doing a clean mount
    Carl