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steffanf

Trophy Mounts: Real vs. Replica

8 posts in this topic

I really do not want to start a flame war on this, especially with my fellow muskie anglers. However, I am looking at the possibility of getting a trophy mount in the future should the "big-one" fall in the net. What do mounts cost with pricing differences between the real fish and getting a replica made? Say this was for a 50" fish.

Also, how would one transport this fish? For real now, I don't think you would want to put it in a livewell (assuming you have one big enough). I sure wouldn't want to retrieve that live monster out of there later! Would you wrap it up in a wet towel of something? I would assume you would want to get it to a taxidermist ASAP. However, what if that was impossible to do within a 12 hour or even a 24 hour time frame? Say you caught the fish at 9 PM on a Saturday evening? Once home, I know I do not have a walk-in freezer, or even a large chest I could store the fish in. I don't suppose there is any such thing as a taxidermy that is open 24/7. I know this all just strengthens the argument towards getting a replica, but pricing is a factor to consider. Also, what happens if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot revieve the fish? You never know. Thanks for any insight you all may have...

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Joe Fittante and Rick Lax charge the same for skin as a replica, harvesting a fish is your own personal decision but we need to consider whats in a good mount vs. a good replica.

A good mount consists of artificial Head and Fins blended into a foam filled body with the only part of the original fish being the skin stretched over and blended with putty.

So you have a replica with the skin stretched over it.

60210020-lg.jpg60400004-lg.jpg

GAFM.jpgGMfins.jpg

A good replica has taken the fish one time either by harvest or a floater, the cost of restocking and 15-20 years to grow the fish far outweighs and benefit from having the fish on my wall.

Besides that the replicas look fantastic.

Below is a Fittante replica

replic.jpg

Some guys really want to have part of that fish and thats their prerogative, I have a few old mounts of Bass and Trout collecting dust in my basement now I wish I had let swim but thats hindsight; in the end its your choice, if its a $$ vs. $$ choice the big picture needs to be considered first then the aesthetic value, after that the value on HSOList when you pass on or just don't want it anymore.

Good luck, I hope you get to touch that fish of a lifetime, I'll never forget mine.

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Another advantage of a replica is that many of the taxidermists will stand by their work as long as you have the mount should anything happen. They will also not fade and show signs of wear like when the skin is used from an actual fish. When I had a northern done by fibertech he told me if someday my wife throws a kitchen plate at my head and I duck with it breaking the fin off my fish, bring it back to him and he'll gladly fix it for free.

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Does anyone have some actual figures concerning how much it actually costs to get a fish mounted, either real or replica? Say, a 48"... 50"... 55" dare I say: 60"!

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A good 3-D replica mount of say a 51-52 on a base will be about 11-1200, for one side on the wall mount I'm not sure but I would say about half that, heres Joe's number 1 800 261 2327, I should have asked him about prices when we talked today.

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Off the top of my head I want to say replicas are about $12-13 an inch or so for wall mounts, and around $18-20 per inch for full bodies.

Actual mounts are $9 to $11 per inch I believe or as muskiefool said some places charge the same price.

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I believe the going rate these days is $11 to $12 an inch, whether you're getting a replica or a skin mount. My brother had a replica done of a 52"er about 4 to 5 years ago. Very nice mount with some driftwood as well as an engraved plaque. Everyone that sees it thinks it looks like the real thing. It cost him around $700. Replicas are definitely the way to go.

Aaron

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Well, it sounds like the replica is likely the way to go... especially if we are talking about a difference between the real thing and a replica being less than $100, even for a big fish. Either way, it is quite an investment. Now, if only I could get that guy to finally send me my picture (although, I have lost hope awhile ago now)...

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