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Drying fish smelling up shop

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by mopsrdrawer67, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. mopsrdrawer67

    mopsrdrawer67 Member

    I know this is probably a ridiculous question to most of you but here it goes...I have a small shop and only do 1/2 dozen fish a year. When my fish are drying, they stink up the shop pretty bad. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not whining. I don't mind the normal taxidermy smells, but when your shop is roughly the size of a postage stamp, it matters! Do most of you dry your fish outside? I am concerned that flys might lay eggs on them (inside gills etc) and do not want maggot issues.
  2. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    I have a small shop also . What I do is put a fan on them it helps a lot . I don't recommend drying outside at all .

  3. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Properly skinned and preserved fish shouldn't smell much at all when drying. My shop area is very small, never bad odor.
  4. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    I agree with Paul ...........

    When properly skinned, fleshed and treated mine dry in a few days with hardly any smell what-so-ever.

    Now back in the 1970's when I first started out, it took weeks for the smell to go away. lol


  5. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Stinky old pond bass are very aromatic. Place your fish in front of a fan blowing into their mouth. They will be dry in a day or two. I skin fish outside, and then pour a slug of Lysol into my borax water to preserve them. This goes a long way toward eliminating odors. We have two Scentsy pots in the shop. My wife buys the after season bars at Wal-Mart for 50 cents per pack. Fresh Cut Frazier is my favorite. It gives the entire shop a "Sweet Pine" smell.
  6. Kerby you are out in a very dry climate, lol.

    Seriously if you take everything out of them. YOu can put a fan on them and dry fish in a couple days.
  7. mopsrdrawer67

    mopsrdrawer67 Member

    Got it. Thanks for the replies. Joeym, this is a 'stinky old pond bass' thats in here now. 10lbs, 23inches. It is skinned and fleshed really good including cheek meat, jaws etc. I too am in Mississippi (Crosby), so humidity is another factor. I will take your suggestions to work. Thanks so much everyone. Greg.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    just me two cents on that any improperly cleaned fish will stink a shop up. It's a main reason on why I use artificial heads and fins. Never a smell cause all I have is a skin to clean and hang over my furnace.
    Using real heads that is very hard to get cleaned and then all the extra repair work on them leaves me one choice cast them JMO
  9. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I prefer to think of stinky fish as the smell of income. Some do indeed stink more than others, even if given the same treatment. There is a product Fish Odor Off that does some good......spray cedar oil keeps my shop smelling like the north woods. Inscense can work wonders as you get into the meditative Zen state of tipping scales. Covers up the odor of weed pretty well too!
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I have a small shop and do 10+ times the amount of fish you do in a year and my shop never smells. In fact, my neighbors are always surprised that my basement/shop never smells like fish. Now, I have noticed that sometimes my fish weren't drying quickly enough and if I stuck my nose in their mouth they would smell a little fishy. But, that went away once I started using the fan in front of the fish when drying. Never any smells beyond when sticking my nose in their mouth's though so I'd have to agree that you're not getting all the meat out. Your shop shouldn't smell fishy at all no matter how small it is if you're fleshing your mounts properly.

    Furthermore, all fish guts/meat/parts after skinning goes directly to the freezer five minutes after fleshing. Nobody would know I did taxidermy from my home unless I told them...
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Ha Ha. Had a guy near me that was growing pot in his showroom. Needless to say it didn't take long before he had visitors that arrested him. Not the brightest guy.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is, folks that have been at this a while can't hardly smell any more. It isn't that our shops don't smell, it is that we are accustomed to it. You can blow smoke all you want but the fact remains that fish smell, it just no longer offends your olfactory sensors. Yes there are some things that you can do to lesson the odor but you cannot remove it completely other than do only replicas. I use a deodorizer in my fish soak and I use a fan and even with skins that are getting a replica head and fins, there is still an odor albeit a lesser one.
  13. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Just kidding about that weed Cecil. ;) Actually, really fresh fish should not smell at all. I eat sashimi all the time when I catch ocean fish in Mexico, and it has no fish small or taste at all. Whereas, I have had folks ship fish frozen in warm weather that arrived in less than pristine condition. OMG what a stench. I still have nightmares about a big redfish that was sent from Texas......oh Lord! I gagged my way through skinning that one.

    In theory, a little lemon juice spritzer might help. (or vinegar)The reason is that fish funk comes from a chemical in the fish that is a base. Lemon juice is an acid, and so neutrallizes some ot the "cat food" taste.
  14. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

    Mix a cup of bondo and resin, catilize it and set on your desk.
    It will kill the fish smell, weed and you'll still get a buzz. Lol
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    You're right 3bears. Same goes for paint fumes.
  16. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I know you were kidding Den. I think… 8)
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Oh Marty are you absolutely sure you just don't smell it anymore like 3bears said?
  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Yep, and I totally disagree with him! The fact of the matter is since I work from my home's basement stank management is a must for me and my family. I'm very conscious of smells and minimizing them is one of my top priorities. First off, (assuming ALL the meat is out) I use DA as a preservative and I believe it does away with any smells better than any other preservative I've ever used. Secondly, I rarely mount more than one fish in a day. Immediately in front of a fan and within an hour it's already dry to the touch and most of any fishy smell is already out of the throat when you stick your nose in the mouth by then. The fan is the key I believe. Like I said, my neighbors and friends are always shocked by the lack of smells in my shop/basement. The occasional pouring of bondo is indeed the worst and the one thing I can't do much about. Thankfully, I only pour bondo a half a dozen times a year. I suspect if I mounted two or three fish at a time then you'd probably smell something fishy in my shop.
  19. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    My solution is a drying room, essentially a 4'x8' closet that has a good quality bathroom exhaust fan in the ceiling that is vented outside.
    There are times when there are 25 fish hanging in there that have all been mounted in the same week. You can sugar coat it all you want but that many fish smell like hell especially when dealing with 6-9lb lmb with the actual heads albeit well cleaned. If they were all trout with no heads they still would be odiferious. I don't care if you've soaked them in kryponite.

    I use this same room to hang glossed fish in overnight. I gloss them in the paint room and hang them up in the drying room with a fan running. Automotive gloss is stinky stuff.
  20. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Marty, do you skin fish outside or what? As soon as a thawed fish enters your work space the smell permeates throughout the space. Any thing that comes in contact with that fish will hold the odor. I get that you do whatever you can to minimize the odor but it will remain, to some extent. I cannot confirm or dispute the ability of DA to completely remove the odor but, I'm betting it doesn't. Exhaust fan and a fan blowing on the fish hastens the drying time, thereby reducing the time before the stink lessons but, until they are dried and sealed, the odor remains.