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White Crappie Scale Loss???

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by AlpineValleyTaxidermy, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. AlpineValleyTaxidermy

    AlpineValleyTaxidermy Active Member

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    I had mounted a nice white crappie a few months ago. He was fine when skinning till I got to more of the fleshing part. He started losing a good amount of scales. I continued and washed him a few times and put him in my fish “tan” solution. I taken him out to mount him. He lost even more scales while mounting him. Is this a common thing with white crappie or something with the fleshing process?? And how would I fix this. Should I sculpt them back on? 4E298F63-A1D8-4F9F-9614-1194F862E355.jpeg Here is how he looked before I skinned him.
    9ADD782D-3FC8-491C-B224-503894D7576C.jpeg
    Here is him after I mounted. You can sort of tell where he is missing them all. Most are gone from the back and belly.
     
  2. AlpineValleyTaxidermy

    AlpineValleyTaxidermy Active Member

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    This also only my second fish I’ve actually mounted. I’ve mounted a bluegill before him. This crappie came out much better than the bluegill.
     

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Crappies are just that, crappy to mount. There are many different ways that folks do, cover with glue, placed by a fan to dry then skin, partial frozen, air dried skinning fish out in sections etc etc They all work for those who use these methods but learning to be gentle, fleshing lightly from tail to head helps out.
    In your case right now it’s hard to say which way to go. To epoxy and make scales is going to be a pain and making them right is another issue. Descaling the fish is another but the other painting and making it look good us another pain.
    Try both methods on the back side for practice and see what you like and go from there. You have a hard job in front of you here.
     
  4. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    There’s a boat load of nice crappie blanks available for this very reason!
     
  5. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    York, SC
    I’ve never really had major issues with crappie,
    Coat in borax wait 20 minutes
    And skin gently keep skin tight, and follows as you go.
    Skin so fleshing is not required,
    My soak is in a phenol borax solution
     
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Are you fleshing towards the head or perpendicular, or are fleshing from head to tail? Fleshing form head to tail wili pull the scales right out.
     
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  7. AlpineValleyTaxidermy

    AlpineValleyTaxidermy Active Member

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    I’ll try different methods of how I can fix how his scales look on the back I guess. I mean, won’t hurt to try.
     
  8. AlpineValleyTaxidermy

    AlpineValleyTaxidermy Active Member

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    You know what, I probably did flesh it from head to tail. I’m not so sure. If so, then that’s probably one of the reasons why.
     
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  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    If you did you might as well have been scaling the fish. Live and learn. We all started somewhere -- even the guys that think they are God's gift to taxidermy. :p
     
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  10. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I once struggled with crappie until I received this tip from Rodney Harper at a fish seminar. Skin them using a sharp scalpel. Sever the skin loose from the carcass rather than wedging a fish knife between skin and carcass. Take out a section of body at a time, and handle very gently. I mount all crappie, regardless of size, using the half-cast method. After skinning and preserving, I lay them in the plaster mold and fill with fish filler. The skin is not as traumatized as it would be in fitting over a body.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Agree except I use curved scissors instead of the scalpel.
     
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  12. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    My advice get a good blank for a crappie. In the end it will look nicer
     
  13. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Since I'm a crappie fanatic I feel like I have a lot of experience on this subject both good and bad. I too lost scales horribly for years. I've tried a lot of things that worked for other guys that just didn't work for me. I'm pretty rough at times.
    All the folks here have been a tremendous help on this subject and I've finally settled on a few things that work well for me. I have gone to the half cast method for mounting my crappie and other panfish. A whole lot less stress on the skin when mounting. I use Elmer's glue, 2 coats, on a very dry fish then dried in front of a fan. I only skin and flesh with a brand new scalpel. I do very little scraping at all.
    I then gently wash my skin in Dawn detergent water and also wash off all the glue before going into my tan solution. Carefully lay skin in the half cast mold and mount.
    Now days, I only lose a few scales on the show side if any. This is what I found that works the best for me. Good Luck!
     
    AlpineValleyTaxidermy likes this.