New Wave Taxidermy’s team of fish artists have just completed two projects that are garnering national attention for the Stuart family business.
What is believed to be the world’s largest alligator gar ever caught received its final coat of paint Monday and is ready to be shipped to its captor, Mississippi commercial fisherman Kenny Williams. The 327-pound alligator gar was tangled in Williams’ fishing net on Feb. 14 in Chotard Lake in Issaquena County near Vicksburg, Miss. New Wave’s Mike Kirkhart was commissioned to produce a traditional skin mount for the State of Mississippi as well as a full-size fiberglass reproduction of it for Williams. The skin mount will be displayed at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, thanks to Williams’ donation.
While the gar details were being worked out, Kirkhart was also comissioned to assist a Missouri taxidermist with the construction of a mold for the new IGFA All Tackle World Record blue catfish. About two weeks prior to picking up the gar, Kirkhart traveled to Missouri to help build the mold for the 130-pound whopper cat caught last July by Missouri angler Greg Bernal in the Mississippi River. Once the mold was finished, it was sent to Stuart for Kirkhart to complete. New Wave then built the fiberglas replica of the fish and then added its customary touches to detail, color and anatomical correctness. Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops commissioned Kirkhart to do the fish that will be displayed in the national retail chains headquarters in Springfield, Mo.
Saturday, New Wave invites the public to an open house at its shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free hot dogs and Gatorade to celebrate the “gator” gar. New Wave can be found at 3101 S.E. Slater St., Stuart. Check out their work at: New Wave Taxidermy