Jeniffer Tichenor
Largemouth Bass Mounts
this is my 1st fish mount, and the other 2 are on a stringer mount they are mount number 6 and 7
I am training with a lady that has been doing commercial taxidermy for over 35 years.
please any comments would be greatly appreciated..
thanks. Jeniffer Tichenor
midway outdoors
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These critiques came in within very few hours apart.  Each author did not know as to what the other had written.

Just one thing to mention Jen, is that you should consider using a good commercial body. From observing your mounts, I assume that you have used the fill method. Seems to leave the bodies a little too trout like. The Large Mouth should be a little more robust in the area just ahead of the tail section. The coloratioin on the stringer fish shows that you are improving on your painting skils, which will continue to improve with every fish. Keep up the hard work. Hope this helps.
Marcus Aucoin


Well the hardest part is over! You have mounted your first fish! I’ll tell you Jennifer it sure looks better than my first fish. Let’s go over a few things that may help your progress in fish taxidermy. As a Fish Judge when view a new taxidermists work what is important is not so much what you’re doing necessarily wrong but what you’re doing well in addition to the areas of needed improvement.
First off some of us are born with more talent then others however in taxidermy with diligence and hard work you can achieve a level of satisfaction with your work! We all learn and keep learning even the World Champion Taxidermist (and taxidermy teachers such as my self for that matter). Each time you do a fish and study your reference you will take away some thing new. Reference is the key to any aspect of the traditional taxidermy disciplines. If you learn what some thing looks like and couple that with good techniques then you can reproduce with a degree of accuracy what you see. Learning to study and interpret what you see is as import as any other part of good taxidermy.
What I see in your work is that you have a good grasp on what you want the fish paint work to look like. I can see that you have looked are a large mouth enough to follow a guild line to the basic look for the fish. One area that I can never emphasize enough on is anatomy. If you take a well mounted fish ( anatomically accurate ) and you put a bad paint job on this same fish it may not look great but you will be able to look at it and know what fish it is by its correct shape. An example I give to my students is if you take a fish and paint it flat black and place it against a white background, if properly and anatomically mounted you will know what that fish with confidence. So the greatest paint job in the world is a good enhancement but is never going to make a fish look as good as a correctly mounted anatomical fish.
I would recommend that you learn to carve your own bodies if you have not already. It is truly the only way to assure that your fish will be accurate to your fish you’re mounting. With this said take it in small bite. Learn to set a great eye or good carving or fin positions, etc... Study eye photos or even better a live fish when possible for your goal of education is learning to set good eyes. Always mount a fish with reference. .
Here are 5 basic keys to good fish taxidermy for you.
1.) Work on the basics first! Take small steps to learning thing.
2.) Start with a good fish specimen. Nothing worst that a bad experience when learning on a bad fish.
3.) Skin carefully and thoroughly.
4.) Accurate template drawing and good carving to assure the best fit you can.
5.) Balance of the skin. Taxi- the skin in to the proper reference points to achieve balance and accuracy.
6.) Proper rebuilding of targeted areas. Use reference, a photo, a cast, or even a dead fish is better then no reference.
7.) A good paint job. Learn to see color and layers for what they are. Use depth to achieve realism. More paint is not the answer correct application of color is.
8.) A pleasing display. A good wall hanger with a proper support. Nice back ground which enhances but doesn’t over power your fish is the key.
Well Jennifer I wish you the best! You can email me or write any time!
It is all achievable!
My Best!
Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale, NH 03451


Hi....This is Dennis Murawska from Angler's Art Taxidermy.
Colors show some thought went into your mount. However, here is what you can change....
1.Overly -open mouth.....bottom jaw wshould follow the curve upwards from the belly.
2, Body.....Bass looks a bit thin.....mounting on a commercial body might help this if you did it with fish fill. More belly....but you can't always make one on a thin fish.
3. Dark lateral line markings are too evenly spaced..mix it up a bit.
4. rear edge of fins would be up tight against body.
5. Tail is a bit overspread.
6. Back those fins.....they look ragged and will get more so with time.
These are just some basics that will help.


I can give you a couple of tips on fish mounting. I never open a fish's mouth all the way.
It just distracts from the overall look of the fish. I flare the gills but not a lot. The other tip is I ALWAYS move the tail into a downward position. It's more natural and it also puts pressure on the belly to make it more squared looking and fatter. I also mix 1 part paint to 2 parts clear so that it gives you a nice translucent color not painted looking.
Hope this helps you and by the way the paint jobs looks pretty good.
Paul & Sharon