I’ve always said that a room with a couple of good shoulder mounts, the odd European skull mount and a couple of trophy fish mounts on the wall is just about perfect. Rob Murton’s Fish and Game Taxidermy has mounted just about every species of South Australian fish. We do others from interstate, but don’t do bill fish such as Marlin and sailfish. Every season, big snapper come into the shop, and fresh water species such as trout redfin, and callop turn up now and then. I haven’t done a Murray Cod yet, but it will happen.
All our fish mounts are fibreglass replicas. Some may say it’s old fashioned, but our fish are cast in plaster, the mould is treated, then fibre glassed. The fins are done separately, and then attached when the blank is broken from the mould. Both half sided fish and whole bodied ones can be made. Some look better attached to a timber shield, a piece of driftwood, or an artificial reef or rock. I can only advise you on what is available, but it is up to the customer, as to how you want your trophy posed.
All fish mounts are airbrushed, using the latest paints and quality glass eyes from the states. Because we use plaster moulds, which must be broken open, unfortunately when a customer wants a fish done, but doesn’t have the original, it is impossible to do. We do have fibreglass moulds, featuring the whole fish of a couple of species. A metre long Barramundi, nice blue groper and a solid black bream can be preordered and made by us. In the future more fibreglass moulds will become available for reproductions. Another option is to have the head and shoulders of your fish cast and coming out of the wall. Sharks, snapper, mulloway and other bigger species look great displayed in such a way. Crabs and crayfish are generally not done by us, but yabbies and marron are. Cleaned, preserved, painted and mounted on a plaque or rock, they look great. So if you are a fisherman, own a fish shop, or just like to have a couple of reproductions on the wall, give us a call, and we will try to accommodate you.
TROPHY FISH CARE
How your fish mount comes back from the taxidermist depends on how it was handled after the initial catch. Firstly try not to damage scales or whack a gaff hook through the body if possible. These things can be repaired, but it means more work. Never gill or gut your catch. Wash any blood off and keep the fish moist and cool. Lay all the fins down against the body, and wrap it in a wet towel. Try and keep the specimen flat. Take particular care of the tail tips, although again, broken fins and tails can be fixed. Smaller fish can be kept moist and cool and delivered to your taxidermist, or double bagged, expelling all air from the bags, before sealing. Placed in a freezer, they should remain intact until delivery. Freezer burn will damage sensitive fins, so keep an eye out for this.
Big fish pose some problems, but can be treated in the same way. Finding a freezer big enough is the hard part. I know what it’s like when the bite is fast and furious, and the deckie dumps your catch in the cool box, where it remains all bent and covered in other fish, but if you want to preserve your fish and get it mounted, care must be taken. Don’t use cling wrap on the fish, or newspaper. If you have to, use big garbage bags to seal your fish in. If you have any doubts about handling or trophy care, give me a call.
Rob Murton’s Fish and Game Taxidermy does not do pets, birds, full body mounts, bovines or overseas game (although I’m working on it). No native animals can be done, only ferals.
Remember your taxidermist is only a phone call away, and any questions or problems can be answered. Don’t forget our motto “You snuff ém, we stuff ‘em.”
ROB MURTON’S FISH AND GAME TAXIDERMY
Phone 0428 532 275