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Cermele: Fish or Animal Taxidermy. Which is Harder?

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August 26, 2010

Cermele: Fish or Animal Taxidermy. Which is Harder?

By Joe Cermele

Remember Tom Healy's 41.7-pound brown trout caught in Michigan last September? It held the world-record title for a full 10 months before getting beaten by an ounce this July. Anyway, the original trophy now hangs on Healy's wall, but you better believe some replicas are getting pumped out. I found this news video about painting the record on the "Fishing for History" blog. I've always been fascinated by fish taxidermists. In my humble opinion, there is nothing harder to do than make a fish look alive with an airbrush. I also don't believe there are middle-of-the-road painters. The fish either looks real or it doesn't. I know animal mounts are far from easy, but I'd argue that good fish painting is the ultimate artistic taxidermy skill. Anyone can learn to make a fish skin mount (with practice) or buy a blank fish replica...it's the paint job that counts. What say you? - JC

Comments (7)

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from MLH wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

These guys are talented. I wouldn't even try. The mount is at Cabela's Dundee! I'm due for a road trip - got to see this thing.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

way more talent than i have. these guys make it look too easy. i thought the record had to be beaten by two ounces to be counted.

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

I have a friend that is a taxidermist and IMO he does a better job on fish than anything. He can make a Rainbow or a large Crappie look like it should be flopping.

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from Dances with Deer wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Depends on weight of the fish (it's a percentage) ... in this case, the brown would have had to be about three ounces bigger to be considered a new solo record by IGFA ... so it'll be called a tie. But the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame doesn't have the IGFA's scale and has already declared the Wisconsin fish from July at Racine the new world record.

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from jbird wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

It is definitely an artform.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

JC ~ tough call, fish or foul. I've seen a poorly done Peacock Bass replica by a store front taxidermist. I've also seen a very good air brushed Ocellated Wild Turkey from the same artist. I expect a gobble any moment...

Both are on the walls of my den. There's a man in Bridgeport, CA who I think can justifiably be called a catch and release taxidermist. My opinion, of course.

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from Brian W. Thair wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Starting with a white blank, that's real artistry. I give the man extraordinary credit for paying attention to the details of the appearance of the each living fish that he's done. Airbrush, whether it's paint or make-up, is most enjoyable.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

way more talent than i have. these guys make it look too easy. i thought the record had to be beaten by two ounces to be counted.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

These guys are talented. I wouldn't even try. The mount is at Cabela's Dundee! I'm due for a road trip - got to see this thing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

I have a friend that is a taxidermist and IMO he does a better job on fish than anything. He can make a Rainbow or a large Crappie look like it should be flopping.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Depends on weight of the fish (it's a percentage) ... in this case, the brown would have had to be about three ounces bigger to be considered a new solo record by IGFA ... so it'll be called a tie. But the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame doesn't have the IGFA's scale and has already declared the Wisconsin fish from July at Racine the new world record.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

It is definitely an artform.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

JC ~ tough call, fish or foul. I've seen a poorly done Peacock Bass replica by a store front taxidermist. I've also seen a very good air brushed Ocellated Wild Turkey from the same artist. I expect a gobble any moment...

Both are on the walls of my den. There's a man in Bridgeport, CA who I think can justifiably be called a catch and release taxidermist. My opinion, of course.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Starting with a white blank, that's real artistry. I give the man extraordinary credit for paying attention to the details of the appearance of the each living fish that he's done. Airbrush, whether it's paint or make-up, is most enjoyable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment