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How to Mount a Fish

Measure and document your catch


If you ever consider having a release mount made of you trophy catch, you should be prepared to safely and quickly record the necessary information required to reproduce your treasure.   Knowing what to do in advance is always the best option, especially when your focus is on releasing the fish unharmed.   Excitement and clutter in the cockpit as well as consideration for the fish all come into play at the same moment so being ready to record the following info is definitely a good idea.

For starters, you will need the length measurement. The measurement of the overall length is often the best way to quantify the size of your fish.   The length measurement can often be taken while the fish remains in the water and can be done in a variety of ways.   The method you select should be the most appropriate for the situation. In the event you are not carrying a measuring tape. You can use a piece of monofilament and simply cut or knot the line equivalent to the length of the fish.   If you’re on a large boat you might want to hold the fish along side while remaining in gear. Mark or note the location of the head (or the top of the bill) and the tail on the gunnel (gunwale). Later you can go back and take an exact measurement.   Things can get a little tricky in the case of large billfish or shark and using your common sense for your own safety should come first. Sometimes, it might be best to simply estimate.

The girth measurement is the next thing you will need. Again, the objective is to release the fish unharmed and taking the girth measurement may not always be in the fish's best interests since additional handling is required.   Regardless, you should make a mental note if your catch is particularly long or big gutted and report that information when ordering your mount.

Photographs can also be used in quantifying approximate catch size, but naturally photos are more important to the artist during the final stages of painting. It's always best to take some shots before the fish has reached the point of exhaustion in order to capture the most vivid and striking colors. Even if the lighting is poor or the photos are not properly exposed, the individual fish’s markings can usually be identified and the photos will help with individual markings such as those on a Mahi Mahi (dolphin), redfish or barracuda.   In the event that photos are not an option, most marine artists refer to a collection of colorful references of similar fish landed in the same geographic area. The artist will then use these references for the final point job while uniquely blending transparent colors, pearl and shimmers to produce dazzling results.