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New To Fish

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by jerhuntr, Mar 12, 2023.

  1. jerhuntr

    jerhuntr Member

    First fish project. My son brought home a striped bass he caught. Never "skinned" a fish for taxi. When removing meat and flesh from the skin, how far do I take it down. Looks like a white colored membrane right below the meat. This is removed fairly easily with some mild scraping. Is this too much? Tore through a couple small spots once I got that thin. Also, how clean are we getting around the actual gills. Seams these are pretty thick and fleshy. Will they preserve as long as I got all the meat/flesh off? When cleaning into the back of the skull, I broke through to clean the head cavity out. Might have gotten carried away as now its basically hollow. I can see through both eye sockets right into the open back of the head. I'm sure clay or epoxy sculpt will be used here. The skin is in a borax water solution for now. Carved a foam body, I will continue as this is kinda fun project. May end up in the practice filing cabinet (trash can!). Thanks guys for any advise. Not my norm but my son is really into fishing right now so I might get some to play with
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Stripers are a tough fish to begin with! You did good by gutting out the head. It can be filled after you mount the fish by inserting fish filler through the eye sockets. I believe you adequately fleshed the skin. I wouldn't leave it in that borax solution any longer than necessary. I usually mount fish within 24 hours of placing them in a borax solution. If you can't get it mounted in that time frame, freeze it until mounting day. Rinse the gills well after removing from the borax solution, and card if you want to . On commercial fish, I space them by placing a spring type clothes pin over each gill plate. I let them dry, paint them gill red, and don't worry anymore over them.

  3. jerhuntr

    jerhuntr Member

    Thanks a bunch! I wondered about a first fish specimen, but that's just how I am anyway. I always seem to try the harder things first! I guess I wouldn't know the difference being the first one. What are good fish to start with? I have read that crappie lose scales very easy. Seems as though I did not lose too many on this bass. I'm just worried about hitting flesh throughout the Gill plates and hidden behind any small bones I may have not cut out in the head.
  4. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is possible to get every bit of flesh out of a fish head. Do the best you can, add some powdered borax in the head before mounting, and it will dry just fine. I have started using artificial heads on most my fish mounts and it speeds up the skinning and cleaning process tremendously and no meat or grease left in head. I mould and cast my own right from the fish I am working on. Fun and pretty easy to do. Walleye and Largemouth Bass are good fish to learn from.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2023
    joeym likes this.
  5. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Look for a phenol type solution degreaser preserver
    It works wonders
    But needs PPE
    You do need to remove as much as possible
    Or shrinkage is your enemy
    Those strippers do give a challenge but are no problem
  6. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    Where can the average joe find a phenol type degreaser?
  7. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Do a search for liquified red phenol
    It’s expensive
    But goes a long way
    It’s very hazardous
    It’s a carcinogen
    And requires proper PPE
    Unless your serious and going to follow ALL safety precautions
    Don’t go this route
    This is not for the hobby or novice guys
    This is strictly for lots of work and the safety conscious
    As I said it’s VERY expensive, and requires a hazmat charge for shipping