A trophy fish serves as a daily reminder of that special trip shared with friends or family or that once in a lifetime trophy. For some the outing takes place at the local farm pond or lake, and for others the fish may have been caught half way around the world. A trophy fish doesn't have to be huge, just a reminder of that special trip.
Fiberglass reproductions- Fiberglass fish replicas are produced by making a mold from an actual fish. The mold picks up all the minute details of the original fish. We have access to thousands of fiberglass replicas for saltwater and freshwater fish. The quality of today's replicas is fantastic. When the fish is painted and finished it’s very difficult to tell that it's not the actual fish.
Measurements- If you are going to have a replica made it's important to take good measurements before you release it there is a quick and easy way to record these sizes. After taking pictures, lay the fish down flat and stretch a piece of mono-filament fishing line from the end of the tail to the end of the jaw. Cut the fishing line to the exact length of the fish. Take a second piece of line and wrap around the belly of the fish to
record the girth. Coil these pieces of line and put them in you r wallet so that you can later measure them. This method only takes a few minutes and the fish can be quickly released unharmed.
We still do hundreds of skin mounts each year. This process uses the actual fish and we only use the skin of the fish. I t is cleaned, preserved, and positioned over a custom carved manikin. I t looses it's color bu t is painted to match your photographs. The beauty of a skin mount is that we can put the fish in any position, hard curve, no curve, mouth open or mouth closed. Anything is possible.
There has been a lot of bad press about skin mounts, mainly to promote replica mounts instead. A high quality skin mount can last a lifetime. I have two Arctic Char in my shm oom that my father caught and I mounted in 1984 that are still i n terrific shape.
There are many places these days where catch and release is you r only option because of lake restriction s or the difficulties of freezing a fish. However, many other lakes, farm ponds and strip pi ts are suffering from lack of harvest Save smaller fish to eat and keep a larger one to mount or, measure it and let it go if that makes you feel better. Many of the larger fish are past prime breeding age and will begin to go downhill. Don't feel guilty about saving a trophy fish from a watershed that doesn't have much pressure.
If you keep a fish to mount, take pictures as soon as possible as most markings and colors begin to fade rather quickly. Wrap the fish in a WET towel or cloth, place it in a plastic bag, seal it airtight and freeze it The wet towel will keep moisture around the fish and prevent the fins from becoming damaged in the freezer. Never use dry newspaper to wrap a fish. It is the worse possible thing you can do.
Custom HD Urethane of wood carved replicas.
For discriminating customers who want a one of a kind fish replica we also do custom woodcarvings and HD urethane replicas. HD (high desity) urethane is a dense foam, nearly as hard as wood, that is commonly used to machine tooling patterns for industry. It can be carved, shaped and sanded like wood to make a custom replica. A fish replica can be carved entirely from this product (including the head and fins) or replica heads and fins can be used with a custom carved body. Scale details are pressed or ground in, and the finished sculptu re is finished and painted like the original fish. It is very difficult to tell it is not an actual replica. This is a good option for unique fish where there are not many choices available for existing replica blanks. I t is also a good choice for someone is wanting a specific pose that is not available.
I am very experienced in making fish from wood. Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro, commissioned me to carve over a dozen different species of fish to world record size proportions. These displays are in glass cases at the Bass Pro museum and most viewers do not realize they were carved from wood.
A woodcarving is the ultimate choice for an angler who wants something special. We can carve any size fish, in any position. We offer fully detailed wood sculptures where every scale is carved in, or we offer "smoothies". On smoothies, the shape of the fish and the fin ray detail is carved in however scales are not. The scale detail is painted in. When viewing from a few feet away i t is very difficult to tell the scales are not defined. Smoothies are less expensive than highly detailed carvings, and are the preferred choice for wall hanging fish woodcarvings.