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Common Fish Anatomy Mount Mistakes

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by h20halo, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. h20halo

    h20halo Member

    I know we have a lot of experienced fish guys on here, as well as many who judge competition fish. I hear quite often about mounts with improper anatomy. As a beginner, I'd appreciate hearing about some of the more common anatomy mistakes seen with reproduction and skin mounts. What do you look for first? What do most newbies do wrong in terms of anatomy?
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Mouth and head position, eye set, fins and fin attachment, that includes tail juncture.

  3. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    My biggest gripe my whole life was getting my fish back and it looked like it grew two pairs of legs for the pelvic fins... I mean I know there are WALKING fish.. BUT Perch are not a WALKING FISH...
    Lance.G likes this.
  4. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Head juncture to the body was the biggest problem for me. I've started lately to mount my fins in a little more relaxed positions also. Keep the lower gill flaps even with the curve of the lower body. Looks better to me than say the gill flap pulled open and down an extreme amount. What I'm working with these days is eye expression. Good Luck!
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Read a score sheet and that’s your answer cause we see it all.
    Biggest problem with repro is dead fish as the anatomy is wrong , poor detail in mouth, shrinkage, improper fin placement, thick fins.
    Skin mounts all the above .
    Painting on both. Not looking at references the right way.
    Eyes sets on both
    Shrinkage of fins. Or to thick on replacement fins.
    Biggest issue on both EPOXY WORK!
  6. h20halo

    h20halo Member

    Thanks for the inputs! I'm learning here. I have been going through some of the state competition photos that are online. One thing I've noticed, now that I know just enough to be dangerous, is a lot of pretty good paint jobs are compromised because the artist just centered the eye up and put it in. It really changes how the fish looks. I've seen some where the head is just not on plane with the body also. It's hard to see some of the other stuff because the pic details only let you zoom so far. I have seem some "walking fish" as brad calls them.
  7. h20halo

    h20halo Member

    question on epo grip fin magic. I read some threads from a few years back where guys were complaining about it yellowing. Has that been addressed by the manufacturer yet? UV stabilizer? It seems very popular in a lot of videos.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    If mixed properly ( aka not hot) hasn’t yellow
  9. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    Everything frank said( i have my own issues with them all as well!)
    A adipose fin that is lifted off the body drives me nuts. A fish cant do that! They have zero control of the adupose fin as there are no tendons to operate it
  10. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ahh I will disagree with you on the adipose not lifting off the body as it will on a quick descending. It will lift as this is what judges do look like but otherwise keep it laying on the body. It’s much safer that way.
  11. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Dreaded apoxie work.hard to blend realistically for a beginner.
  12. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    But it is not lifting it. Gravity is at play there.
  13. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Yes it’s gravity as it’s not a muscle but to say it can’t lift is wrong as a lot of factors come into play just like the eyes as they are independent and each one can look at a different object but doing this in competition will get you points off cause it’s done wrong.
  14. Nathan

    Nathan Active Member

    Not a taxidermist here, but an afficionado with an extensive colllection of excellent taxidermy, and some artistic background. My advice to you is to look at a lot of fish from many angles. A bass pro shop fish tank is a decent starting point. If you look at some subpar fish taxidermy, you will see incorrect relationships in the head to body transition, fin positioning. fin pocket musculature, transitioning of caudal peduncle , etc. Many mounts have little, if any anatomy around the fins, leading the to look "stuck on". Anatomy has a mathematical relationship of scale and proportion. Pay attention to body positioning ( no, pike don't bend like a porpoise or a banana). If you look at photos, you will see that a live fish does not look like a dead fish, and a fish under the water doesn't look the same way a fish above water does. There is also the paint job to consider. Scales are like little light prisms, and color is refracted from them in a similar way. If you want to become a good fish taxidermist, you will have to learn to interpret color, and learn how apply it to achieve a desired look. There are no tricks or shortcuts, but taking a class or two with a qualified instructor is a good start.
  15. h20halo

    h20halo Member

    Some great info in this thread. Keep it coming and thanks to those who have participated!