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Latest Fish Articles

Mounting a Coldwater Fish With a Manufactured Mannikin

ANY TAXIDERMIST WHO MOUNTS TROUT FROM THE GREAT LAKES WILL have 101 horror stories about the difficulties associated with mounting these fish. Trout out of the Great Lakes tend to be very greasy and oily. For a taxidermist, this means more time cutting away oily material, rebuilding shrunken areas, and more attention to detail during the scraping process. The good thing is that these fish generate more money because they tend to be large. Also, it is normal for taxidermists to charge from $1.00 to $3.00 more per inch for trout, salmon, and char. In other words, they require more labor, but a taxidermist is paid for his/her additional work. Lake trout are the greasiest of all the fish that I have mounted. Therefore, I thought this species would provide an excellent demonstration of how to easily manage Great Lakes trout, as well as trout in general. So let’s get started!

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Patterning and Carving Original Fish Bodies

I AM PLEASED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN the opportunity to write a series of fish and related taxidermy articles for BREAKTHROUGH. As an instructor at the Rinehart School of Taxidermy, I have had the chance to develop and refine techniques and procedures that are equally accurate and efficient. The sequence in which techniques are performed is just as important as the actual techniques. With this in mind, I strive to develop techniques and procedures that create the minimal amount of wasted energy and effort and create the highest quality. This ideology comes from my background as a professional taxidermist, depending on taxidermy for my income. The primary inefficiencies in taxidermy stem from a lack of evaluating the procedures that have a true impact on the quality of the finished mount. If you do not understand the steps that are of primary importance, you will extend equal effort to all steps, thus wasting time and depriving the important steps of additional attention. When I first started skinning fish, I didn’t have a clue as to which steps were of primary importance. The result was that you could “eat lunch” on the fish I skinned. True, they were the cleanest fish I have ever skinned. Unfortunately, an 18-inch smallmouth bass took more than four hours to skin and scrape! Well, I knew that wasn’t going to provide the shop-rate that would satisfy me. I reevaluated each step and its corresponding impact on finished quality.

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Reproduction Fish Blanks Scale Texturing and Prep-Work

 IF YOU CAN PAINT A GOOD NATURAL FISH, YOU CAN paint a good reproduction fish. The only difference in painting the two is the prep-work required on a reproduction prior to coloring. A skin-dried fish ready for painting has a natural tone that combines varying intensities of gray, brown, and black (undertone coloration). Even though all the color of a fish disappears during the drying, this natural undertone coloration remains and provides a textured background over which transparent colors are applied. This undertone is known as the vermiculation-patterning and provides the patterning that makes a painted fish look natural.

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Mounting A Large Mouth Bass Part 1
Taxidermy For The Sportsman
1 of 3
Dan Rinehart
Taxidermy Video Opening Transcript-Welcome back to Taxidermy for the Sportsman.   In this episode we are going to go fishing for the most popular game fish in the world the large mouth bass....then back to the studio to learn the supplies and techniques to create large mouth bass mount.  - Check out a free preview of this video here

 Mounting A Large Mouth Bass Part 2
Taxidermy For The Sportsman
2 of 3
Dan Rinehart
Taxidermy Video Opening Transcript- Now the fish is soaked in a preservative overnight and it's fully preserved and ready for mounting. Now the first thing we have to do is to take our manikin and prefit it in the skin to make sure it fits properly. So let's start off by taking our fish out of water and we'll do our prefit. Now if we look first off and open up the fish we can see how nice and white and clean it is.

Painting A Large Mouth Bass- Taxidermy
Taxidermy For The Sportsman
3 of 3
Dan Rinehart
Taxidermy Video Opening Transcript- Now in taxidermy air burshing one of the most important pieces of equipment is the ventelation fan. We can hear it and as a matter of fact I'll just take a peice of plastic and you can see the plastic wants to be sucked into the fan. The fan is important becuase we want to makesure the excess spary particals are removed from our air brushing area. So lets go ahead and start with our first principal of taxidermhy air brushing which is the flat wash.