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Freezing fish!

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by SeanSr30, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    Hey guys just wondering how you prep your fish for the freezer when storing it for awhile before you mount it. My grandfather and I use to use a wax coated freezer paper and that was it. I've been reading on some other ways and I see a lot of people saying they wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a bag. Just wondering how the majority of you guys do it. Newbie question I know but then again I am new to this being on my own and going for it. I just wanna preserve them the best I can until I can get to them.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    The best way is to take a bag and depending on the size of the fish I dump borax in the bag and then do a shake and bake on it. Make sure the fish is coated and leave it in the bag and wrap the bag around the fish, then take a damp towel and wrap that around the bag and then place it in another bag, tap it , mark it and then you can freeze it till your ready to mount.

    Now never use any thing to wrap the fish first like a towel, or paper towels etc cause it will leave marks in the head if casting it and maybe in the skin. Same thing with using a vacuum sealer that will leave diamond marks in the skin and head.

  3. JerseyJays

    JerseyJays Well-Known Member

    At what temp and how long are you baking it?

    Lol j/k
  4. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    Thank you Frank, I will try that. Do you think the freezer paper is a bad thing then?
  5. I do what Frank said except i use salt instead of borax. I dk about borax but the color retention and markings are amazing with salt.
  6. Borax or salt is a total waste of money. Salt does not allow it to freeze, borax does nothing.
  7. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

  8. Doug Motgomery

    Doug Motgomery Active Member

    I would think that the borax would absorb some of the slime off the fish.. But what do I know I don't do to many fish.
  9. DT10Sam

    DT10Sam No flow no go!

    I use Borax and have been doing the same method as Frank for over 25 years with great results. The only thing I did wrong was I use to wrap the fish in a wet towel or paper towels and have learned over the years not to. Make sure that the borax is covering all of the areas including under the fins that are up against the body when you do to freeze it. I usually bring borax with me out in the boat whenever I am trout and salmon fishing as it is a great drying agent and will lock in the scales as much as possible as well as lock in the colors as well and keep them from fading.

    Just my experiences and have been very successful and I will continue unless there is another method that will do better.

  10. KDPSR

    KDPSR New Member

    By bag do you mean the clear plastic ones or the grocery style bags?
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I pesonally don't see enough of an advantage to the borax worth the effort or expense but then rarely do any casting. For skin mount fish I tell my customers to wrap the fish in a wet towel and then seal in a garbage bag.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I do as Cecil stated for my personal fish and tell my customers the same. The wet towel adds a layer of protection, especially for the fins, you can wrap it in saran wrap prior to the towel, if you are worried about towel marks. Question for you borax users, doesn't it cake in areas and also leave impressions in the skin?
  13. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    No borax leaves no marks and I will say this until you try don't disclaim it. It's also nice when you thaw out the fish the slime comes right off.
  14. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    No Frank, I am not disclaiming your method at all, just asking a question. I am not the kind of person, narrow minded enough, to think my way is the only or the best. When I thaw fish, it is in water and then spray the slime right off, no issues.
  15. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Here's how I do it. I freeze the fish on a wax paper covered cardboard (plank) just a bit longer and wider than the fish. This protects the tail and fins. Freeze over night then slide the whole thing in a vacuum plastic bag ( Food Saver bag) with the waffle side on the bottom. Reason for freezing first is so the juices stay in the fish. You can still use borax or salt if you want but I don't. I've kept trout frozen this way for two years or more. Good luck. JL
  16. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    dt you say this will lock the scales in. How about on crappies, will it help keep them from popping out so easy I have been using denatured alcohol 50-50 water.
  17. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I do the same as Cecil and 3bears never had any issues with the head. But, I don't cast either.