Fish Mounts

By Track & Tackle 9/17/2017 5 minutes

Your fishing trip was awesome and you landed a trophy fish, if you wish to keep the memory of it in 3D mounting may be on your mind. The following are things to consider for the best results. Having a camera on hand is essential.

Your trophy can be mounted in one of two ways, the traditional method of providing the actual fish to the taxidermist where the innards are removed and the skin is preserved to be mounted in any fashion you wish. Alternatively, a replica of the fish is created and is painted to represent the exact patterns and colour of the fish you caught. In either case the format you chose is based on personal preference. Some say replicas are not natural and that they don’t have the same feel yet only a keen eye or the angler who caught the fish can tell the difference. Other factors include the catch and release regulations of a particular lake, if your trophy must be released then your only choice is a replica. Price may be a factor as replicas tend to be more costly but it all depends on the taxidermist. Prices can range from $12 to $22 per linear foot and it is always recommended to not only contact a few for quotes, but also to see the quality of their work.

Which ever format it is mount taking lots of pictures helps capture the details of the fish, especially the colour, as it changes quickly after it is landed. The following are simple to follow practices to care for your trophy in the field until you have the chance to get it to the taxidermist.

Traditional Skin Mount Field Care

Select the display side – trophy care must begin at once for best results, carefully examine the fish and decide the most perfect side to show with minimal scars, missing scales or imperfections. Keep the “show side” up.

Handle with care – keep the trophy fish separate from the others or at the top. This will prevent blotches on the skin. Do not gut, cut or damage the fish. Do not place fish in a plastic bag or wrap in newspaper.

Take photos asap – plenty of photographs within 60 seconds of landing the trophy better represents the true colour and details of the fish.

Freezing – within 48 hours freeze the fish on a flat surface with the show side up and nothing touching the sides accept for the bottom. Once it is frozen it can be placed in a plastic bag.

Replica Requirements from the Field

Take photos – being careful not to stress the fish, be sure to get several high quality photographs to supply the taxidermist with for accurate replication of colour and details.

Measure length – the overall length of the fish must be measured before the release from the nose to the tip of the tail.

Measure girth – a circumference measurement around the largest part of the body is helpful but not essential if the fish is stressed.

The field care is very simple for having replicas created and there is no urgency of getting the fish to the taxidermist. In fact a replica can be created years later as long as you have the details.

Track & Tackle