View Full Version : Fish head mount?
10-03-2004, 09:33 AM
Just had a question for the taxidermists out there. I brought home a pike this weekend for table fare, and would like to try to preserve the head. I've seen some mounts of them with the mouth open and thats kinda what i'm goin for. Would anyone be willing to give me some pointers on this, or is it a very involving process? I would assume you probably seal it in some kind of acrylic. would appreciate any help.
10-03-2004, 06:16 PM
Call Woodville Tax. in Bellville and he'll hook you up.............Rich
10-04-2004, 12:06 AM
It needs to be preserved in a fish tan solution so that it won't spoil when it is being dried. I know there are some home made fish tan recipies out there, but I just use the commercial ones when I do my mounts. After soaking in the tan, put a popsickle stick in the mouth of the fish and position the gill covers how you want them to dry. Might also need to pin the gill covers open if that is the look you desire. Also before the fish head goes into the tan, make sure to remove the eyes from the fish, as these are not able to be preserved. You can probably pickup some pike eyes at your local taxidermy shop.
hope this helps...
10-04-2004, 09:28 AM
I know this won't help you here but for future reference I am not sure if you know that they can preserve the whole skin and still get you the fillets? I never thought about that until I had a pike that I had mounted. The taxidermist skinned out the fish and gave me the meat. I really appreciated that as pike even in large size fish is still quite tasty.
10-04-2004, 12:27 PM
I'm no fish guy, but I can tell you what is fairly standard in the industry. First, all of the meat must be gone, especially in the cheeks. They are then washed in a cold water/dawn mixture. Then, many degrease the fish in mineral spirits. The actual "tan" is just a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water or a borax/water mixture. Keep in mind, the color will be lost.
10-04-2004, 01:57 PM
when it comes to saving the meat, be careful when doing this. The taxidermist that is skinning out your fish, has used the same tools on many other fish without steralizing his tools. Typically they just wash them off with water and move onto the next fish. There is no fish worth saving the meat in my opinion when you take the fish to the taxidermist. Don't get me wrong, it has been done before.
M. Magis is correct on the cheek meat, and once the fish is tanned and dried, it will loose all its color, and must be painted again, as well as using expoy types of material to fill in where the head has shrunk.
10-04-2004, 02:02 PM
That is a valid concern and a good point made about the cleanliness. However, I don't agree that there is no fish worth saving the meat when taking to the taxidermist. This particular fish had nearly 10 pounds of good meat. It was still excellent flavor. However, I did not consider the added risk of contamination and will in the futre. I will make sure that they are using clean tools.
10-04-2004, 07:57 PM
thanks a ton guys, maybe this will be a hobby to keep me busy through winter. I'll check down at Fin Feather Fur for taxidermy supplies, heck maybe I could turn the hobby into a career and quit working for a living LOL.
10-04-2004, 09:53 PM
KSUFLASH brings up a great point. Most often, the only clean thing in my shop would be a new scalpel blade. Even if they did sterilize their tools between every specimen (not going to happen), the skinning table itself will never be as clean as it should be for food. In the interest of safety, ALWAYS assume that if an animal is going to be mounted, the meat will be lost. We deal with a lot of dangerous chemicals, things you do NOT want in the kitchen.
10-05-2004, 04:55 PM
M Magis, you say in your shop.......
Do you do Taxidermy on a regular basis, or just as a side hobby for yourself??
If you do this regularly, I would prob take fish to you. The bass I had done was not done very good. I know i would go somewhere else next time! Let me know!
10-05-2004, 05:15 PM
Sorry, I haven't moved on to fish yet. I started just doing deer for myself, but that soon escalated to friends and friends of friends. I do some small mammals, but mostly deer. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, so rather than move on to different parts of taxidermy, I continue to improve what I currently do. I'd love to get into fish, but I just don't have the time right now.
10-05-2004, 07:04 PM
Ok, that's cool I just thought that maybe by the way you were talking that you did this for a living!
the bass I had done was not a good job. The lady that did mine did one for my uncle a couple months before she did mine. His is awesome, mine is crappy. I just want to take anything else to someone different! Thanks again! Now all I need from you is your Flattie holes, then I will be in good shape! haha! :D :cool:
10-29-2004, 10:12 AM
I'm not trying to pick on anyone...but a fiberglass replica of your fish looks just as good and it lets the fish grow, grow, grow! :)
Catch, Photo, Release!!!
10-29-2004, 10:44 AM
This wasn't a catch and release vs. keep debate. It's probably best if we keep it that way.
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