while were on the subject, just wanted to know one thing. I never have caught me a muskie yet but when I do, and if it is big, I would like to mount it. Just one and the rest I will release for every one else to catch. Anyways, what procedures should I take after I catch a fish if I don't get it molded? Like do I gut it? Throw it in the freezer whole? Or take it straight to a taxidermist?
no such thing as cheap and quality in the same investment
freeze it whole, don't put a knife to it, if possible, wrap a wet towel around the fins to protect them from splitting
the graphite replicas are cool for conservation, but I dont think I have seen a good one yet
Tanglewood Taxidermy is well worth the wait-IMO the only place to go
"Cheap" and "good" are not compatible terms when talking about taxidermy. IMHO the best around is Tony Cannova in Denver. I have 2 skin mount pike that he did for me in 1990 that look as good today as they did back then.
I highly reccommend Jeff Mourning he is the best in the nation and we are so lucky to have him right here in colorado. He has won several national championships and he specializes in fish yes he can be a little more expensive than others out there but he is a true artist and His work is worth every penny. I did alot if investigating and he is not the most expensive either. He is very fair. You have to remember this is a life time trophy you are going to hang on your wall. You can find his number in the yellow pages under taxidermist. He did an Arctic char for me that actually looks better than when I caught it. If you still can't find his number throw up a post and I'll dig it up for you.
PH...kudos for planning ahead. Most anglers don't even consider this until they've landed the big one and realized they haven't brought so much as a breadsack to pack it out in.
Wait for that really great fish. Then...don't throw away a great catch by taking a chance on the cheap route. Do some reasearch, make some calls, and even swing by their studio or shop to look at some previous work.
One of the main reasons I go to the Outdoor Expo (and other shows) is to see the fantastic taxidermy work. Even though I preach catch and release 99% of the time, I selfishly leave that 1% open to those once in a lifetime fish. When my bones are to weak to stand, hands to cramped to cast with everything else fading...I want to look at a few old friends (mounted fish) and mumble..."Wasn't that a great day!"
P.S. I've also been known to eat a few high mountain trout. One of the biggest downfalls to fish is that most of them taste really good.
It was mentioned before about catch and release and then doing a replica mount...which is the best idea of...if you do a skin mount...I have had several taxidermists say to wrap the fish completely in a wet bath towel and freeze air tight in a plastic bag...the frozen wet towel will prevent fin breakage and protect the skin...