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Drying fish smelling up shop

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

  1. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I also have a small shop and agree that if the fish is fleshed properly there shouldn't be much smell. My wife comes out to my shop and if there's a smell like when I do Bondo she always mentions it so it's not just that I don't smell it anymore. Are you going up and removing the spline that goes into the head and the brain along with the cheek meat? Are you putting a fan on it right away so that it dries mostly within an hour or two?
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    3Bears, you need to stay on topic - lol. I stated that "after an hour the fish barely smells fishy in the throat". So, of course my shop smells a little fishy prior to that. And of course my shop stinks when skinning and fleshing and lingers for an hour or two after clean-up. Again, the original poster was talking about his shop stinking when drying. It shouldn't. And fyi, in my shop anything fish touches gets cleaned up promptly - cleaned very well afterwards and (again) guts/meat/garbage frozen immediately)...

    Fishmaster - of course 25 fish drying at one time will smell. As I stated, I do maybe 60 fish a year (closer to 30 skins a year lately with more replicas instead) and only one fish at a time is drying. In front of a fan. No stink at all after an hour or two for bass and maybe overnight at most for a big fish. No sugar-coating. Original topic/poster stated he did 6 fish a year. Should be ZERO stink after a couple of hours if you clean up well with that few fish and do the things I stated to control smells.

    BoarHunter, "yes" on all accounts. But, I keep the fan on low and maybe back it off a bit to start so the fish dries slowly initially. I'll kick it up to high after a couple of hours. I've heard scales can lift a bit if you dry too fast too soon, but have never experienced it myself...

    P.S. I will say that the fan is an absolute must IMO. I've noticed that even in my humidity and temperature controlled environment that at times some of my fish weren't drying quickly enough and were retaining some of their fishy smell much too long.. I went to the fan method of drying over a decade ago and have never experienced the problem again. Gotta have good air movement and I don't think an exhaust fan is enough unless it's industrial sized. A small house fan in front of the fish is what is necessary, again IMO...

  3. I mount around 150 fish per year and have a very small shop connected to the house. I don't have room to dry them in my shop so they go right into the house to dry. I hang them in our utility room where we have our furnace, water heater, clothes dryer etc. I also have a rotating fan that's on all the time. Most of the time there is very little smell except for days I may mount 6-8 fish in a day and that'll smell a bit but by the next morning you really don't smell anything. I use real heads on all my warmwater fish and I am very maticulace skinning each fish very thorouhly. I use DA sometimes otherwise just a borax dawn soak. I do change the borax soak a couple different times untill the soak remains clear. I think the main smell is you're encountering is from not fleshing the fish well enough and not changing your fish soak solution. If the smell was that bad I know my wife would kick my fishdryingass back to the shop.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I am staying on topic Marty. Many of us have more than one fish drying at a time and the smells are accumulative. Yes a fan placed on them expedites the drying and ultimately lessons the concentration of the odor. If you only have a fan blowing on the fish, it just disperses that odor, that is where the exhaust fan comes into play, to remove the odor from the room. I am anal about removing flesh from fish and try to be when cleaning up after working on them but the fact remains is they stink until dry and sealed.
    To the OP the head and throat latch area is likely where most of your odor is coming from and also take the longest to dry. It is imperative that you get those areas as clean as possible.
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    3Bears, in the context of the original topic I think you deserved to get a little fun-poked grief as this guy only does 6 fish a year, his shop shouldn't smell at all. But anywho, moving forward...


    As Randy has proven my point, removing all the meat and due diligence in maintaining good hygiene in your work area can keep smells at bay, even with big numbers. FYI, 3 Bears, I open a window to quickly dissipate any airborne smells. An exhaust fan would expedite things here of course. My comment about an exhaust fan was intended to mean that it shouldn't be used instead of a fan/moving air in front of your fish. But to be used in addition to a house fan. I am 100% convinced that without a fan in front of one's fish moving that air around that sometimes it CAN lead to a mount that isn't drying fast enough. And in some situations with some species bacteria/mold can form quickly if the mount isn;t drying quickly enough. Lastly, once fully dried and BEFORE sealing you should have very little fishy smell, if any in the throat - where you're going to smell it the most...
  6. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

    Well ok then.
    Glad we got that all clarified and resolved.
    What's next? Lmao
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    You may be right Marty, I probably deserved it. It's all good. I will say that I do a fair amount of snot rockets and even with removing the fins and head and degreasing the skins they still stink until dry and sealed.
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    My live tilapia, crappies, trout, yellow perch, and bluegills in the back of my basement smell worse than my dead fish in the taxidermy area!

    The tilapia are the worst! Can't wait to get them sold and out into the ponds once the water gets warm enough!
  10. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    Waiting for M.T. (Matt) to weigh in here on fast drying time and smell...... ;)
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Me to Brian but I haven't seen him on in a while.
  12. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I figured you did because you have little to no smell. I was asking mopsrdrawer67.
  13. mopsrdrawer67

    mopsrdrawer67 Member

    I have taken all the info that you good folks took the time to share. Thank you. I have since taken my house fan and blow it directly into the fishes mouth and that is directly in front of an open window so it blows any smells out. I left it like that for 3 days and it worked great!!
    Thanks again. Y'all are professionals and it is much appreciated that you take a few minutes out of your busy day to share knowledge. Greg.
    "If it was easy, everybody would be doing it."