Our concept here at Fish Specialties Taxidermy is simple. We are building a network of the industry’s best Fish Artists/Taxidermists that you, our customers, can trust (and deserve)! To trust that your trophy of a lifetime will be done by only the most qualified fish artists and trained professionals in the industry, and we back that up with industry leading customer service. Customer service is truly our top priority at Fish Specialties Taxidermy and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. With new talent and locations opening soon near you we can provide a variety of top artists/choices and individual services for all price ranges!
Our Mission & Setting the Standard
Our motivation stems from our artists’ extensive restoration experiences. We do a LOT of restoration work, repaints and re-do’s. We see a lot of other taxidermists poorly mounted fish or badly painted replicas/reproductions. And quite frankly it makes us angry! It shouldn’t happen! We feel badly for our customers who now have to pay us to fix their poorly mounted fish. Or worse, give them the news that their trophy of a lifetime was done so poorly that it is not salvageable. Like we said, it shouldn’t happen. AND, at Fish Specialties Taxidermy we’re on a mission to make sure it doesn’t happen again! We’re doing this by setting a badly needed standard in the taxidermy industry. AND a very high standard at that! We want YOU, our customers to feel confident in entrusting your trophy of a lifetime with any one of our fish artists. The best fish artists and trained professionals in the industry!
Choosing a Qualified Taxidermist
Entrusting your trophy of a lifetime can be a daunting task. But, not if you choose one of our fish artists! Notice how we keep using the word “artist” instead of “taxidermist”? That’s because all of our fish artists are indeed “artists first” here at Fish Specialties Taxidermy. It takes artistic talent to do this well! Many taxidermists become interested in taxidermy because of their love of fishing and the outdoors. Seeing and handling fish certainly helps, and most/all of our artists are also avid fishermen and women. But, liking the outdoors shouldn’t be the top criteria in choosing your taxidermist! Artistic talent SHOULD!!! All of our Fish Artists at Fish Specialties Taxidermy are with us for a reason. They are either brought in because they are the “best of the best” in the taxidermy industry. Or, we bring in talented artists and train them in the art of fish taxidermy to our high standards. Our goal at Fish Specialties Taxidermy is to ensure that your experience with choosing us has exceeded all of your expectations!
Skin Mount or Replica/Trophy Care
Skin mount or replica? If you just Googled us from your boat and are choosing a replica quickly get a good photo or two of your trophy, a length measurement, girth measurement or weight if possible and release your fish. If you are choosing to do a traditional skin mount, getting your trophy cold (or ideally frozen) promptly is best. Tuck the fins and wrap/roll your fish in a soaking wet towel or old rag if you have access to one. Then into a garbage bag or zip-lock bag. Roll out the air, label and tape shut/freeze. (Or if no freezer access place your bagged fish in cooler on ice and get to your taxidermist).
At Fish Specialties Taxidermy we offer highly detailed, top-notch fish taxidermy services for a fair price. Our philosophy is that when you finally catch that trophy of a lifetime, you’re going to want the best and somebody that you can trust to do your mount right. Quality first. Most customers get one, maybe two fish mounted or replicated in their lifetimes. Why would you want to take a chance for those few times you’re going to need our services to try to save a few bucks? Don’t you deserve the best? We believe the extra few dollars spent now for a quality mount done right is well worth the lasting quality you’ll receive for years to come. By choosing a member of our team, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’ve chosen one of the most qualified fish taxidermists in the country! At Fish Specialties Taxidermy each artist sets their own terms and pricing. Our original skin mount or replica wall mount prices currently range from $16-$19/inch depending on the experience level of the artist you choose. Please visit your artist’s web page for more information concerning their pricing. Or, if we don’t have a shop near you, feel free to call or email Marty Shimkus at FishSpecialties@yahoo.com or 815-744-1380 for assistance in choosing the Fish Artist most qualified for your needs.
We set our prices fairly based on the high level of detail (and time) we put into each and every mount. The only discount we offer is to give back a little to our military with a 5% discount on any taxidermy job, 10% off any taxidermy training. Good for any active or past member of our military. We realize it isn’t much. But, we understand the sacrifices those in the military and their families make, and every little bit counts!
We can safely ship your trophy anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. Our crating and shipping rates are very reasonable, sometimes 25-30% less! Also, check back often for a new location opening near you!
Our Taxidermy Training & Instructors.
Located just outside of Chicago currently with (2) experienced instructors and (2) training facilities in Shorewood and Elburn, Illinois. The backbone of any training facility is the quality of their instructors. With only 1 or 2 students at a time, we focus on quality, not quantity. Our instructors – Doug Petrousek (Elburn), and Marty Shimkus (Shorewood) have over 60 years combined experience in the taxidermy industry. Doug has trained over a 100 students in the Art of Fish Taxidermy. Doug is considered a legend in the fish business with his skin mounts being amongst “the best of the best”. Doug is also an accomplished “fish-carver” and flat artist working in several mediums. Marty, a taxidermy student of Doug’s “back in the day” is approaching his second decade also running his own, successful full-time fish-only taxidermy studio. Marty has a formal teaching background earning his secondary teaching degree in Art & Education, Cornell College, ’85. Marty is also known for his top-notch fish taxidermy work, but is best known in the industry for his freshwater and saltwater replicas and restoration work. Like Doug, Marty is also an accomplished artist in other mediums as well. At Fish Specialties Taxidermy we have proven instructors who also happen to be industry leading Fish Taxidermists. “To be the best, you need to learn from the best”!
Become one of our Artists!
Where do you begin AFTER training? Consider joining our team and letting us help you grow your own independent Fish Specialties Taxidermy studio!
For more information please contact our Training Coordinator Marty Shimkus at FishSpecialties@yahoo.com