how to get a fish mounted without killing it

Are you a passionate angler who respects aquatic life and wants a keepsake of your memorable catches? Yet, the idea of having to kill a beautiful fish for a mount doesn’t sit right with you. Well, you’re exactly in the right place. So, how to get a fish mounted without killing it?

To get a fish mounted without killing it, take clear, well-lit photographs of your catch from multiple angles and measure its length and girth. Safely release the fish back into the water. Use the photos and measurements to order a custom-made replica from a reputable taxidermist.

Stick around till the end as we share the problems with traditional fish mounts, explain in detail how you can get a fish mount without hurting the fish, and look into other cool options like metal fish replicas.

Traditional Fish Mounts And Their Drawback

Ever been to a fishing lodge and noticed those beautiful, lifelike fish displays on the walls? Those are traditional fish mounts, and as glorious as they may look, they carry a hefty price. Not much in terms of your wallet, but especially for our finned friends and the environment.

The Background:

The traditional process of creating a fish mount starts with the unfortunate task of having to kill the fish. Yep, you heard it right.

That majestic creature you wrestled with in an epic battle of strength and willpower, it has to lose its life for the sake of a wall decoration.

Not exactly the hero’s ending you’d imagined for your catch, huh?

Once the fish is caught, it’s handed over to a taxidermist who uses the actual skin of the fish over a mold, adds glass eyes, and paints it to look as lifelike as possible.

The Problem:

While the result can be impressive, the process is a little gruesome and certainly not in line with catch-and-release practices many anglers respect today.

But it’s not just about the ethical issue of killing the fish. Traditional fish mounts have their own set of practical drawbacks as well.

They can fade, crack, or peel over time due to exposure to light and changes in humidity. To learn about the longevity of fish skin mounts, check out our detailed guide on how long fish skin mounts last.

Moreover, it is indeed a time-consuming process to get your fish mounted. For instance, it can take almost 3 months to up to a year. Yes, because it’s a time-consuming process. The taxidermists (the professional who prepares the fish skin mounts) have to first treat the fish skin and then only they can prepare the mount.

So, in short, traditional fish mounting is not only time-consuming, but it’s also not the most durable option. And let’s not forget about the maintenance!

Cleaning a traditional fish mount requires special techniques and materials, making it a bit of a hassle.

What’s The Solution?

Now, I know what you’re thinking,

“Is there a way to commemorate my catch without all these issues of killing the fish?”

Well, yes, and for that, you need to explore the second option – which is fish replicas.

Fish replicas offer a more environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and hassle-free solution. No fish has to lose its life, and you still get a breathtaking, lifelike mount to showcase your angling prowess.

These replicas are more durable fiberglass material and resistant to fading, cracking, or peeling like traditional fish mounts.

Interested to learn more about the ins and outs of fish replicas? Check out our guide on what fish replicas are made of. It will give you a complete idea of what material is used to prepare them.

Another point to note is that the fish replicas are also more affordable and customizable, letting you choose the exact size, style, and color you want.

The best part? All they need is a simple dusting or a wipe with a damp cloth to keep looking their best.

Here’s How To Get A Fish Mounted Without Killing It:

  1. First things first, gear up! Before you even head out on the water, make sure you have a good-quality waterproof camera or a phone with a waterproof case. You’ll also need a soft measuring tape, as it’s more flexible and works best for getting accurate measurements of your fish. Having a weight scale is also preferred.
  2. Once you’ve hooked that monster catch and reeled it in, it’s showtime. But remember, the health of the fish comes first. Minimize the time the fish is out of the water and handle it with wet hands or wet gloves to protect its slime coat.
  3. Start by getting the measurements. You’ll need the length – from the tip of the mouth to the tip of the tail – and the girth at its widest point. These measurements are crucial as they help replicate the exact size and shape of your fish.
  4. Next, it’s photo time. Good photos are the secret sauce to creating an authentic-looking fish replica. Take a series of clear, well-lit photos from different angles. Snap a few close-ups of the head, the tail, and any unique markings. These photos will help ensure the color and details of your replica are spot-on with your original catch.
  5. Now, for the most important part – the release. Lower the fish and release it in the water gently. When it’s ready, it will swim off on its own. Congrats, you’ve just caught and released your fish, and you’ve got all the info you need for a fantastic replica!

With your measurements and photos in hand, the final step is to order your replica. Be sure to find a reputed taxidermy shop or professional taxidermists to get the job done.

We highly recommend reading our guide on where to get the fish mounted to learn more about some of the best fish taxidermists.

Metal Fish Replicas: A Great Budget-Friendly Alternative


Metal fish replicas are more than just wall decorations. These accurate depictions of various fish species dazzle with vibrant colors, and their realistic features are enhanced by special printing techniques that provide depth.

Surprisingly, these affordable and durable replicas look just as realistic as pricier traditional mounts.

Perfect for any setting, like a cabin or a living room, each piece highlights the unique attributes of the depicted species, making it an excellent gift for fishing lovers and fish enthusiasts.

Browse our store to explore our vast collection of premium metal fish replicas.


In short, you don’t have to harm a fish to remember your remarkable catch. By capturing detailed photos and precise measurements, you can release the fish unharmed and still obtain a lifelike mount.

Traditional mounts can be costly, time-consuming to produce, less durable, and require significant upkeep. In contrast, fish replicas are affordable, durable, and easy to maintain.

Finally, for an innovative and budget-friendly alternative, consider metal fish replicas. 

So, next time you’re out on the water, remember – your big catch deserves a big display, not a big farewell. Consider a fish replica for a guilt-free, practical, and superb way to remember your fishing wins.

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