Modern Sport Fishing Trophies – Part 1

78 likes on your latest chinook Instagram photo is pretty impressive for a fishing photo, even among your sportsmen friends. But a photo is a photo, a 2D partial representation of the mighty sea beast you took 35 minutes to reel in. Sure you have the blisters, your best fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii guide’s word and a fading memory, but what about something more permanent – a trophy perhaps?

 

Before the 1970s, your only option was a skin mount, a method that is still practiced today. A skin mount involves removing the scaled skin of a fish and attaching it to a styrofoam mannequin to give it body and shape. The skin is treated with a preservative before the application to the foam. It is also brushed with formaldehyde.

Skin Mount by Dave Campbell

These trophies can look wonderful in any living room but this process had two major flaws: durability and longevity. Over time, skin mounts leak natural secretions that eventually separate the fish skin from the foam. Skin mounts also easily damaged by contact. Glass cases are usually the expensive answer to the durability problem.

 

Enter the replica age.

 

Currently, the most popular method of mounting is reproduction mounts or ‘replicas’. These reproductions are made from moulds of actual fish that are replicated using fibreglass, sold to taxidermists and personalized with paint for anglers around the globe.

Fish Mount by Gander Taxidermy

Reproduction mounts offer a durable product that often has more animation than a skin mount. They also allow for catch and release, so your mighty Tyee can eventually spawn and share its superior genes with a new generation of chinook.

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