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Freezer Burnt Fish

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by derhntr, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. derhntr

    derhntr Member

    Didn't think this was possible but I pulled a crappie to work on and the fish is freezer burnt.
    Mouth is locked tight and when you grab the fish there is air pockets where flesh should be.
    Any helpful tips on rehydrating the fish for skinning.

    Thanks, derhntr
  2. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I once mounted a crappie that had laid uncovered in a freezer for several years. I injected a soapy water solution under the scales all over the fish until the skin moved more freely. After soaking in the fish tan the fins and head became flexible enough to mount. This mount turned out well.
    A friend of mine used to freezer dry his crappie for several months before mounting to help him with less scale loss.


    WLELTD Active Member

    yes, inject it with soapy water
  4. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

    This doesnt really help you in any way at all, but i thought i would share. Years ago a friends son caught a 21" smallmouth at a local lake by pure luck. He kept it and tossed it in the freezer. He asked if i could mount it. I told him ive only done 1 fish, and im also working 7 days a week, so right now i cant. Couple weeks later he asked me if id buy it off him for $20. I was like heck yeah i will! So then it sat in my freezer for 13 years. I finally pulled it out to let a local fish guy mount it for me. I thought for sure it would be too far gone. But he said it was absolutely perfect, no freezer burn or anything. Blew my mind!
    John C likes this.
  5. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Good lookin' mount!
    HondaXR250 likes this.
  6. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    One good thing that works wonders on duck feet
    Is a Avon product called skin so soft
    Mix with water and inject under the skin
  7. 15pt

    15pt Active Member

    Soak the fish in denatured alcohol and water. 50/50. Should do the trick.
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You will have to but a brick or cinder block on it to keep it submerged. I re-hydrated a crappie that had been in a freezer un-bagged for 10 years. I considered inserting the eyes, and mounting...it was in great shape---freeze dried! My better judgement told me I needed to get all that mummified meat out of it...and I was glad I did once I opened it up. Soak in the solution of your choice. I think I used borax water and denatured alcohol. I kept it in a refrigerator while soaking for a day or 2. Remove as much meat as possible, then return to the solution. The second fleshing goes a lot easier, because the inside of the fish is hydrated much better after opening it up. Be careful...sac-o-laits are a delicate fish, and lose scales easily.
  9. derhntr

    derhntr Member

    Thanks everyone for the tips. I've had it soaking in borax/water solution for several hours and it starting to "soften" up, jaw is movable. Laid a towel over it in the sink to keep it submerged, feeling a whole lot better right now.
    Joeym, will keep the double fleshing tip in mind.

  10. antlermike

    antlermike Active Member

    I defrost all my fish in water before skinning