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Giant California Bass Replica Blanks??

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I've seen some photos of some of the giant California replica blanks on this forum, both of which were painted by Robert Munoz. I also saw Jed Dickerson's Dottie replica displayed beside the carcass. Are these blanks cast from real fish or sculpted? Judging by the looks of them I could see it going either way. On one hand they look sort of realistic, on the other hand, they look a bit goofy and sculpted particularly on the heads (jaw area - fish look like they're smiling) a la some of the cheap Archie Phillips blanks. However, the southern colloquialism "that a double digit fish doesn't look real when it comes out of the water" due to its size can be true, I'm thinking a bass that large might appear grotesque and goofy looking if you will. One of the big fish Crupi caught can be seen via an image search does indeed have that almost alien fake look due to being so morbidly obese. Who all has casts of fish in the 18-20 lb + range?

 

thanks

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Robert Munoz did the bass in my avatar. A good replica mount is made from a mold of a real bass. If your bass was released you need accurate measurements of length and girth along with photos so a bass mold matching closely to your bass is used to make the mount*.

What separates any fish mount is the artist who does the final painting. Mounts can be in a variety of life action poses with mouth open, closed, facing right or left, etc, etc.

If you look at the Mike Long underwater photos posted you will see that giant bass over 15 lbs have unique body shapes, can't see the coloration very good due to underwater photos.

Tom

* Munoz used Kadota's 19.1 for my mount.

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I own four replica mounts, I have two more forthcoming. Granted they are in the 10-12 pound range and my fish don't appear to be smiling if you will. that's good to know that your blank was cast from a real fish. I wonder what they've done for fish over 20 lbs. I cannot remember if crupi released his giant fish or had them cast. I do recall a south African taxidermist making a Frankenstein replica (a hodge podge of different blanks and heads) for a Dottie blank. I believe there are photos of it on taxidermy.net

 

p.s. nice fish btw

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Giant bass are extremely rare fish, the majority caught in California and mounted by Robert's Trophy Fish Mounts. The only other bass in the 18-20 lb range on this site is Fish Chris, his mount was also by Robert Munoz. The problem today is Munoz is out of business to the best of my knowledge.

Crupi and Kadota's fished together for several years and supplied Munoz with the majority of 18 lb + bass to make molds from. I believe the molds are still warehoused in SoCal.

Tom

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right, I read something about Munoz being out of the business. is that permanent?I've read that he was the best for giant bass. So, what's a man supposed to do if he wanted a replica of a giant fish these days, kill it? Not me. Do you know if Munoz did Dottie when she was caught more than once and replicated prior to being foulhooked and later dying? he

 

I had a discussion with a friend the other day that is a world class taxidermist. He told me that if I caught say a perfect 14# that I should have it cast. Moreover, if he and I were fishing together and I caught a perfect 10# I should also have it cast. the closest I've come to killing a fish that big was donating a couple of 10#s to bass pro. As far as I know those fish are still alive.

 

interesting thread here, thanks for the information. if anyone else knows anything feel free to contribute.

 

p.s. 19-3 - my god, did that come out of the lagoon or the lake proper, I'd need a defibrillator if I caught a bass that size. great fish, dude!

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btw, I have a replica for a 10 lb 8 oz  F1 Largemouth on it's way here. The paintjob on it is nearly competition grade, we're talking scale tipping and iridescents galore. The type of paintjob where the scales are individually painted four times. i'lll share when it arrives.

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btw, I have a replica for a 10 lb 8 oz  F1 Largemouth on it's way here. The paintjob on it is nearly competition grade, we're talking scale tipping and iridescents galore. The type of paintjob where the scales are individually painted four times. i'lll share when it arrives.

 

 

 I would be very interested in seeing it.  I am currently waiting on my replica from a year and a half ago.  It better be worth the wait, and if not, will be looking for someone else when the next one comes around.  PM me with the details of the person who is doing it for you!

 

Jeff

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This topic is dated back a few years, but being a fish taxidermist more many years, I had to make a few comments.  It seems like fishermen thought Robert Munoz (Robert's Trophy Fish Mounts) was the only quality fish taxidermist that made fiberglass reproductions out there, especially in Southern California.  I started my part time fish mounting business back in 1971 (Jeff's Fish Mounts) in Fullerton, Ca. and once I put up a mounted bass in my local sporting goods store, business really took off.  I kept it as a part time business because I had a full-time job with very good benefits, including full medical and we had a baby on the way.  After more than 45 years and thousands of mounted fish from all over the world, I retired.  Although Robert Munoz was very talented as a fish replica artist, and a very nice guy, he was not the only quality fish guy out there as so many fishermen seemed to think. As I did research to better my work, and with home computers becoming available to help me in my search, I found several taxidermists that like me, specialized in only fish reproductions, not the old method of "skin mounts".  My methods got refined and I ended up specializing in Largemouth Bass and Rainbow trout.  Today there are many more fish taxidermists, but there are still only a dozen or so that do fantastic, exceptional work, especially with the most important step involved, the coloring and painting of the trophy fish mount.  I no longer do fish mounts, but if you would like a reference to someone who does top quality work, just let me know.

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Just thought I'd add this...  I made the replica mount of the past Japanese record Largemouth Bass of 19.15 pounds a few years ago caught by Kazuya Shimada from Lake Ikehara on a deep fished big drop shot plastic bait.  This fish was on display at several Fishing Shows in the USA and Japan.  

19 lb LMB.JPG

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Fishmount, welcome to BR site your profile doesn’t indicate where you are located?

Your replica looks very similar to my mount and you do excellent art work.

Tom

PS, read your longer post and see you are retired now and your business was Jeff’s fish mounts.

As you said Munos wasn’t the only taxidermist in SoCal, he did have a good reputation with lots of replica molds of bass over 18 lbs. 

Thank you for the offer and hope members take you up on it.

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