Now you can even play with fresh-caught fish (the skeleton, anyway) AFTER it's been eaten!
This pseudo-taxidermy Instructable will show you how easy it is to preserve and dry a fish skeleton... then turn that skeleton into a whimsical Work of ART!
The simple, straightforward technique is demonstrated with a Triggerfish but it can also be applied to many species of fish. Experiment with whatever fresh fish you catch.
Hang your fanciful Fish Art from the eaves of your porch or patio for a few months. When the odor dissipates, enjoy these colorful creations anywhere INSIDE your home!
Let's get started with a complete Project Overview for the the things you'll need, beginning with:
STEP 1: Clean and fillet
- A Triggerfish or?
- A sharp fillet knife
- Aluminum Foil
- A flat drying surface
- A cardboard box or plastic crate
- A dremel tool or drill with small bit
- Assorted acrylic paints
- Assorted paint brushes
- Clear gloss spray paint
- 2 Seashells (or buttons) for the eyes
- White Glue
- A Lure for hanging (optional)
- A Hanging cord, string or fishing line.
- A single earring or bead to hang from the tummy. (optional)
- Picture Gallery of my Triggerfish herd.
- More instructions on detailed painting.
Step 1: Fillet and clean the Triggerfish
Before you start filleting, it's important for you to remember the fish needs a solid "Frame" of skin to hold it's shape. Don't cut through or compromise the "frame."
The second picture in this step illustrates (in white) where to cut.
The next several pictures demonstrate the actual filleting and cleaning of the stomach cavity. Like all fish-cleaning, it gets a little messy.... Guts Happen. ;-)
When your fish is filleted on both sides, clean out the stomach/gut cavity, cutting away all of the organ tissues. Work your fingers into the head cavity and pull out any residual tissue there also. The eyes are pretty slimy at this point. You can cut them out now or wait until the fish is dry.
Rinse the fillets well and refrigerate for dinner. ;-)
Rinse the fish skeleton well in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Proceed to Step 2-->