Congratulations! You’ve just caught the largest fish of your life and you want to mount it and show all of your buddies! This is the question: do you want a skin mount, or will you release the fish and get a fiberglass reproduction? Whatever your decision, here are the steps you need to follow.
– Find an old towel and thoroughly saturate it with water. Wring out as much water from the towel as possible, and lay the towel out on a flat surface.
– Place the fish in the center of the towel and be sure that all of the fins are lying flat against the body.
– Carefully fold the top of the towel over the fish. Next, fold the bottom of the towel over the fish. At this point, the entire fish should be covered by the towel. Fold the towel over the head and toward the tail. Finally, place your hand over the tail, then fold the excess towel over your hand ensuring that the tail fin is not bent.
– Place the towel-wrapped fish in a trash bag and wrap the bag around the fish. Gather the open end of the bag and seal with masking tape or a zip-tie. Place the fish in the freezer lying on a flat surface.
There are 2 measurements you need to take on your trophy fish before returning it to the water. These measurements should be taken with a tape measure. If one is not available, you can use rope or string and mark it for the different measurements. The first measurement you need is the total length of the fish from the front of the closed mouth to the end of the tail. The next measurement is the girth or circumference around the center of the fish at its widest point. Another useful measurement is the true weight of the fish. This isn’t critical information, but could help the taxidermist in ordering an accurate reproduction.
Due to the differences in coloration and patterns among fish of the same species, it is always helpful to provide photos of the fish taken shortly after it was caught. This helps the taxidermist replicate the look of your specific fish.