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My son caught and released a relatively big, 45-inch, Nebraska muskie over a year ago.  It was a trophy fish by anyone’s definition and Daniel wanted a mount of her.  Just recently the graphite reproduction of that fish was completed and delivered.  Here is what the fish looked like when he caught her:


And here is what the mount looks like:


I am pretty sure Daniel is really happy with the mount.  I know I think it looks great!

Let me show a few more photos, close-ups, so you can get a better idea of the work that was done.

Here is the head.




Some close-ups of the side:



And the tail:

DSCN6001Now I am not saying that there are not some local taxidermists who could do an excellent job, all I am going to tell you is who has done a bunch of display mount work for us and who has done work for my family members–Artistic Anglers.  I know this, with some good photos of the fish before it was released, and the length measurement, a reproduction mount can be made that matches the fish–it looks just like that muskie when it was released.

I have also touted graphite reproduction mounts because they are relatively light and can be hung anywhere.  They also will age A LOT better than an actual skin mount and if there is damage, they are relatively easy to repair.

This is not exactly a fair comparison as this mount was done by a high school buddy of mine when he was just learning taxidermy.  It has some sentimental value to me, but notice how the mount of this 40-inch Nebraska pike has aged over the years:



Some scales coming loose:


Pike are not a fatty fish at all, but there are still some oils and fats that show up over time:


As I said this is not a fair comparison as my buddy was just learning taxidermy at the time, but . . . .


Yikes!  I think I am saving that photo for Halloween!

Oh, one other thing I should mention, the old mount of that pike weighs considerably more than the fish ever did when it was alive.  Combine that with the large wooden “plaque” it is mounted on, and a person has to be sure to anchor it securely; it cannot be thrown up just anyplace on any wall.

Anyway, I am up on my graphite reproduction mount “soap box” again.  My fishing partners and I have released every big fish, trophy fish, we have caught for a long time now.  Even if I was to harvest a big fish that I wanted a mount of, I would still pay extra and get a graphite reproduction mount–I like them that much.

The best part is that 45-inch muskie is still swimming in Nebraska waters, assuming that she is still alive and well.  Daniel and I intend to catch her again when she is even bigger.  Who knows, maybe someone else can catch that same fish, release it, and have a mount of their trophy too–all from the same fish.  Those big fish can be recycled ( Fish Recycling )!

The only problem now is we have to figure out where to display almost 100 inches of Nebraska muskies!  I am thinking I need to order a mount too ( The Beast ).

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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