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WhiskeyPete

Catch and Release

33 posts in this topic

IF...I SAY,"IF", I catch the wallhanger this year, I'm entertaining the though of keeping it for the mount. I know you can take a bunch of pictures and get the mount made by recreating the trophy. But, does it ever replace the monster eye you pulled from the deep? What's your opinions?

...the fish in this photo was released...

100_0012.jpg

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You just need to hold it closer to the camera to make it look bigger grin

I had the same question about the mounts.

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I had the same decision to make. It didn't take long for me to decide to release it. I figure I would let the monster live and give someone else the chance to feel what i felt catching that fish. Im getting a replica and I feel it will be kind of cool having the fish and the wall and thinking hes still swimming around in the lake somewhere. Plus replicas last forever skin mounts don't..

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Pete I would mount it just because you already have that doubt in your mind. Pictures are very nice and it helps with the story but having IT on the wall makes the story. The only thing I would do is to find the taxidermist you want right now and don't let a friend practice on your trophy. Make sure to see a mount of a walleye like the style you want in his shop-log with a plant or 2 and maybe a perch or 2 and if he only has pictures see if you can contact some of his customers. You are going to spend a lot of money so make sure it gets done right.

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Obviously, it's a personal decision to make. I did a release of a fish I thought about mounting on the '08 opener. Since it was caught in the waters that I spend 80% of my time fishing, it's great to think that she'll probably be full of eggs again this spring.

I personally like the replicas better than the skin mounts. If I'm going to go through the expense, I want it to look great 10, 20, and 30 years from now. I've seen some skin mounts that look really nice for the first 5-10 years. And I've seen some that are older and are looking pretty tough. I'm sure a lot of this depends on the taxidermist though.

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I had to make this decision this weekend with my personal best 30" walleye.....i decided to let it swim after taking a few pics....

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Ah the ageless question. This is a question people seem to constantly be asking me. A question I have spent a great deal of time thinking about. A question that can only be truly answered by the individual. Are you a trophy hunter or a conservationist?

My take- I'm too much of a conservationist. Like solbes said think about the reproductive capabilities that monster. Also if its going on the wall I too want it to look good in 40 years. Like Ktrapper mention I too hope it will be around for others to catch. The one thing I like about fishing over hunting is that I can take my trophy without having to kill it. Without removing it from the general population.

I would never keep a trophy fish. They all will go back. At the end of the day only you can make the decision.

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I agree. To me, once I net that trophy and look at it...living, breathing. I begin thinking about what a long journey it was to get to where this fish is currently and how the numbers are stacked against her. With some of these fish being more than 20 years old I wouldn't feel right taking it's life in order to hang on my wall. It's just my opinion. I think skin mounts look pretty gnarly after 15-20 years too.

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For me to each their own.I do not have a problem if some one keeps one to mount but I will say that to watch them keep it bothers me a little so I just look away.To wonder if I may have release it years ago?or is that the one that snapped me off last time?How many time have I jigged this pig off the bottom to have her just swim away?How many of her offspring have I caught?But the biggest thing for me is how many fish like the one in your photo did she put in the lake last year,this year,next year etc.makes the decision pretty easily for me.And the fact that the cost of a mount is a new fishing toy!

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I think it's up to you. If you want the actual fish, keep it. If you want the replica, go for it. It's your fish, your trophy, your memories .... no one should begrudge you whatever your decision is.

I do a lot of fishing for walleyes, pike, muskies, crappies, perch, etc. For whatever reason I don't have any interest to mount or have replicas of any of those 'common" fish, regardless of how big they are. I like photos. The fish mounts I have are a chinook, a steelhead, and a lake trout .... they're big, and I think they're interesting because they're not something I catch very often.

jimalm makes a GREAT point, which is if you want to get a skin mount, find your taxidermist NOW. And find out what your taxidermist wants you to do regarding caring for your fish before it gets to him.

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is there a price difference between getting the actual fish mounted and a Replica????

thanks

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Replicas are more expensive, i do have several fish mounted, but the last one was in the early 90's. i now have the wall of fame behind my bar. it is all photo's that i have blown up to 8 by 10's. all the pics i have are fish that have been caught out of my boat. it is pretty cool to look at. its a lot cheaper and all the fish were released and all of them have a story. i have one that is my favorite, its of me and my son with a 7.5 lb northern he caught when he was 5 yrs old. he still talks about that fish to this day. i also have 4 pics of muskies i caught on mil lacs in 2 hrs on mil lacs. what an evening. if you do go with a skin mount i'll go with the other guys, make sure you get someone who is good, even if its more $.

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the replica may be a small amount more expensive, but it will far outlast the real fish mounts.

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I had to make this choice last night at around 11:30 pm. fishing by myself. I caught a pig a hair over 29" with a monster girth. I have caught a 30", 29 1/4", and a 29" prior to this fish. The 30" was caught in the summer, so it didn't have that fall feedbag in it. Anways, I have never kept one to mount, or even replicate. All fish were released. What struck me about this fish last night was the absolute monster girth on the fish. I was speechless. I knew that I had to think fast whether or not to keep that fish to mount or let it go. I measured it and thought for about 30 seconds on what I should do with this fish. I let her go, I can't find it in myself to kill just a beautiful fish. Once I put her head gently in the water, she kicked and took off like a rocket and showed her appreciation of letting her go by soaking me in the face with water. What a great release! One thing I really wish I had gotten was a picture of that magnificent fish. All I have is the memory and I know that I caught a fish of a lifetime. In the end, I am happy she is still swimming. She deserves it. The adrenaline is still pumping, gotta love it!

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My largest is 29inches. I wanted to keep her but wanted to do the right thing and let her go. I Tried to let her go and moved the water over her gills for a while and she took off but then popped up a minute later. the right thing to do turned into keeping the fish. If I had to do it again I would get great measurments and pictures and hopefully get it to survive. My vote it for the replica. Especially if you fish the waters a lot.

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That's what I would have done also. If the release is unsuccessful, then I would keep the fish to mount. Was this one maybe brought up from deep water?

Congrats to DHanson! Sounds like a great fish and release. I have no problem with people keeping a trophy, but these C&R really help keep the genetics and reproduction in our waters strong.

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I would go with a replica every time just because they look so good these days and it will last way longer than any skin mount.

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The nice thing about a replica is that there is no need to panic or a need to figure out a way to keep and preserve your trophy. If you take a pic or two and do your measurements the reps will be excellent. If the fish can't be released then keep it and hurry to your favorite taxidermist!

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What measurements do you need to make to get the best results from a replica?

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I personally would go with the skin mount. Those larger fish don't provide as much spawning potential as a 20-26" fish, so the impact there wouldn't be felt too hard. Also, the genetics are usually the same in most fish in a lake and the size really depends on forage, so agian, if there's a good forage base, I'm not worrying. Also, I think skin mounts look WAY more real than a replica. Just me, but if I was gonna spend several hundred for a mount, I'd want it to look as real as possible.

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Still undecided on what I will do in that given moment. I did take your advice about retaining a taxidermist. I'm talking to a friend of mine who has had a couple northern monsters mounted and getting his take on the subject. I mention the northerns because they were speared, no choice afterwards.

Thanks for all the different angles to look at...good luck fishin' grin

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I really have no need or want for a fish mount on my wall, even a replica. I will put that fish back down the hole after I get a few photos with it.

I don't expect that something hanging on my wall will actually compare to the experience I had of catching that fish.

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I have a 10# 30" skin mount on the wall from a few years ago. I have the picture taken that night just above the mount. Most replicas I have looked at are too 'perfect'. My mount and picture match well, right down to the irregular spines on the dorsal fin. It is a little hard to dust after 7 years though.

More fuel for debate: I let another one pushing 10 go Saturday from the same lake. The DNR reports from this lake state that most of the walleye population are stocked and they don't think they naturally reproduce. Would the decision to go skin or reproduction depend on the body of water? The body of water I'm on definately determines if I keep anything of any size.

One thing is for sure, no one should EVER criticize another for mounting his first trophy. Some friendly ribbing would be in order if he has several dozen on the wall.

TC

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I always go with a skin mount, I think replicas look so fake.

Quote from chickywing: One thing is for sure, no one should EVER criticize another for mounting his first trophy. Some friendly ribbing would be in order if he has several dozen on the wall.

yes never criticize someone for keeping a fish or shooting an animal. if its legal leave them do what they want.

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