Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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I have a feeling this year were going to get a fish worthy of mounting! I myself have never mounted a fish. There is plenty of folks on here that have and that also do taxidermy. How bout some advice on what to do from the catch on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I've never had a fish mounted either, but first decision you would make, I would imagine, would be weather you're making a replica or mounting the actual fish right?
Don't eat it!!!!!!
Hey Jeremy...from the looks of things, it appears that you all have already caught some crappie that I would say are worthy of wall space! Since I was a teenager, I have had a number of mounts, both skin-mounts and replicas, and from a variety of species. Here are just a few of many things to consider...

First off, if the fish is a trophy to you, then it is indeed a trophy! Don't be concerned as to what the other guy has on his wall and how big it is. Your fish is special to you, regardless of the percieved 'trophy' size.

Second, consider the options of a skin-mount ( your fish) as opposed to a replica ( a fiberglass or graphite mold of someone else's fish that is very similar to yours). Skin mounts are beautiful, but are more fragile than replicas. In some mounts, coloration fades over the years and certain areas on the mount deteriorate, like the head and base of the fins as they are attached to the skin. Fins may also break, and repair work would be in order.

High quality replicas will hold their color and will have no shrinking, making for a long lasting durable mount with sturdier fin work. Some replicas have overtly thick fins that appear un natural and may clearly make the fish appear as a fake. Some replicas lack the fin, scale and mouth detail due to older molding procedures that could not capture such detail. Nowadays, fish replicas by the top taxidermists are remarkably detailed. I have two replicas that cannot be distinguished from the real thing...a tribute to the craftsman and improved work in the industry.

And finally, both replica and skin-mount work can vary greatly in both price considerations and quality. If you truely have a special fish, you will want only the best in workmanship for a memory of a lifetime. I would research several taxidermists and see whats going to make you happy.

And on a final note...you might want to contact Tim Overbaugh on this site. I have never seen better work than his! Good Luck!
damm bluegillboogieman you taking all the fun out of it. Though that's why I go fishing.
Me a replica would and will be what I'm going to do this year. That way I can EAT IT.
Take good picture with acual size listed. Most good relica people have a hard time tell the diffrents. Jeremy it has to be one you catch not that nice looking wife of yours. LOL
Can you have a replica made by a photo and some measurements only? If I caught a fish of a lifetime I think I'd want to release it and have a replica made.
I cant get a chance to get me one! I usually back her up in the hole and let her just go at em! Shes already scored crappie from the baby range of 4" all the way up to 13" 14" 15" 16" and 17" My biggest is only 15" I get more pleasure from watching her drag in the big ones. Its good braggin rites to catch a mounter but its even better when your trophy catches em!
Tim Overbaugh
Need your in put if you have time. YOU ARE THE MAN
I've pm Tim to join us. I've seen some of his work and they are a geat peace of work. Love these discussions. Keep me from doing my work here at the office.
Well, I would have to say that Jim knows what he is talking about and has excellent advice.
If you want to release the fish and made the decision to get a replica then the best thing to do is; Handle the fish carefully, take a good side view picture of it so the taxidermist can paint it like your fish, take two measurements, one of the length and one of the girth (largest measurement around the body) for this you will need a flexible measuring tape. If you don't have a flexible tape for the girth and have a weight scale, get the weight of the fish.
If you are going to have it mounted handle the fish carefully, take a picture, and get it to the taxidermist as soon as you can. If you can't get it there right away wrap it in a wet cloth, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it. Before choosing a taxidermist look at their work.
For me to do a replica for you (free if it is in my list) I need the fish. I will make a mold of YOUR fish and from the mold I produce the replica. It doesn't get any better than that!
Replica verses a skin mount is debatable both can be done well and both can be done horribly. Check out the artists work before you start dishing out the money.
Replicas in my opinion have a more accurate anatomy which make them more true to life.
Tim thanks for your input.
Tim, my brother and I have both been lucky enough to catch mount worthy fish this year, how do we contact you about have our fish mounted? I have a 10.25" bluegill and he has an 11.5" redear.
Hey 2 lbgill, I would have to say that those mounts are very nice and I would consider them above what you see in alot of todays taxidermy work. Nice work for skin mounts.

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