Taxidermy supplies and tips > Fish taxidermy > Skinning fish

Skinning fish

First, while the fish is perfectly fresh, remove the viscera. If the fish is to be mounted upon a panel for wall decoration, make the incision along middle of poorest looking side, full length from gill to tail fin.

If the specimen is to stand upon a pedestal of polished wood, with supporting rods from the belly, make the incision along center of
belly full length. To prevent decay, stir three or four drops of forty per cent solution of formalin into a quart of water.

Squeeze a cloth from this, leaving it pretty moist, and wrap the fish in it, giving the wet cloth close contact with the skin. Do not apply formalin inside any skin to be used for mounting. Never eat the flesh of a fish thus kept.

Before skinning the fish, make careful outlines over him, both side and top views. When skin is removed make outlines of skinned car-

Handle a fish very carefully when skinning and cleaning, moving the specimen about or bending as little as possible during the entire
operation. Lay the head to your left. Open the skin with scissors and make one long clean cut.

Lift edges of the skin and peel from flesh with a sharp knife or scalpel. Cut off base of fins, when encountered, with scissors or bone snips. Trim out most of skull with knife and bone snips, removing eyes from inside. Be sure to scrape all flesh from cheek inside of gill cover.

Remove flesh and fat from inside of skin with scraper, working from tail toward head. Scrape out with point of small knife blade the
flesh that runs out thin over tail-fin bones.

This completes the skinning operation.