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Dahitman44

Question -- What size would you mount?

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Well we are headed to Lake of the Woods and I always wonder when to mount a fish. Walleyes are easy for me -- I have a 27.5 taken 10 years ago - -so bigger than that!!!

Perch -- Caught some NICE jumbos this winter -- but what would be mounting size? 14 inch? 15 inch?

How about a sauger - -the biggest I have ever caught was a 17.5 inch? How big should those be? 18 or 19 inch?

Smallmouth? -- same as sauger? 18 inch?

Northern - -over 40-inch for sure.

Thoughts?

Thanks

Hitman

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Those are tough questions to answer, since it's really up to you and no one else. But since you asked, here are my thoughs on the subject ......

Fish that I see and catch most frequently don't do much for me as mounts. I've never mounted a pike, even though I released a 40 incher back into Minnetonka a couple years ago. I've never mounted a walleye, even though I've caught several that have been 30 inches. Same thing for smallies, largies, pannies, etc. --- I've caught some that were big enough to make nice mounts, but I wasn't interested in those mounts.

When I see mounts of those "common" species I occasionally see mounts that I really like, but to me a lot of them are just another fish. I'd rather see a really outstanding mount, ie. a fantastic paint job or pose or arrangment with driftwood or other props, etc., than just see a mount of a big fish.

The only fish I've had mounted are a Chinook Salmon, a Lake Trout, and a Steelhead. I like those mounts because I almost never fish for or see those species, so I think they're more interesting to see and have. And they're bigger fish than you typically have with walleyes or pike or bass or pannies --- the King and the Laker are both mid-20 lbs, and the Steelhead is 12-13 lbs --- so I think that adds to their appeal.

One fish that I'd really consider mounting is a big sauger, something in the range of 24-25 inches, maybe 23 inches. I like the coloration on them and that they're different than walleyes.

Not sure if any of that helps you or not, but if you think the fish would make a nice mount, then mount it or get a replica. Have a great trip and I hope you get the ones you want!

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perchjerker--i agree with a lot of what you said! although, since i love walleye, i'm waiting to get one over 30, and then that one is going up on the wall. dont know if i am going to do a replica or keep the fish, that will be a game time decision.

i completely agree about the rarer fish species and mounts... we started making a annual trip to alaska for king and halibut fishing, and i have been waiting to get a mount worthy king. last year, my little brother for a 38 pounder, and he is getting that mounted. on last years trip, i didnt catch anything over 25, and have told myself that 35lbs in the threshold i need to make in order to get one mounted.. last week, when we were up in AK, i got a 30 pounder (after being dead for 3 hours and bled out, so more like 31 or 32). and i am really debating on whether or not to get it mounted. i really want to mount a king, but i also really want a HUGE one to mount... what do you guys think? here is a pic, should i mount this guy?

DSC00663.jpg

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From Perchjerker's perspective, I shoulda kept that 30" dogfish I had on the opener this year. J/K

Guess I'm more of a traditional guy with wanting to mount a walleye or pike. I had a 29" walleye on the opener in '08 that was CPR'd, so I may have a replica made. Even if I catch a 30"+ fish, I don't think it will have the same level of excitement as my first large one, so I may move ahead with the 29".

To be honest, a 42"+ pike would get me more excited than the walleye though. I love looking at large toothy pike. Aside from the related Muskie's, there are not that many freshwater fish that are such perfect predators. Everything about them is built for power and dominance. Someday I'll get that fish, and I'm sure it will be CPR'd with a replica after the fact.

How about mounting a huge rockbass? I've had some large ones, but that's an untypical mount!

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Dahitman44,

I always said if I caught a 30" I'd mount it, and I did last winter. 31" 12lbs 4oz.

Pike, I always said if I caught a 42"er I'd mount it and I did two winters ago grin 21lbs 14oz

I'm waiting on a 16" crappie! That will be my next goal. Hopefully this year will be the year. I've caught a lot of 14 and 15"ers but not quite the 16"er.

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I am leaning towards replicas for all of the bigger fish i catch. I have a 28" replica eye mount, 2 other eye mounts 29.5 and 30.5 skin mounts. I have a 15" black crappie skin mount normally wouldn't have mounted it but a buddy was starting out, and a 16.5 white crappie skin mount(deeply hooked) wouldn't probably have survived. I have put back bigger crappies and the benchmark for walleyes for me has increased to 32" and above. I personally will put back all trophy fish and record them with pics and measurements to get a replica made. Ultimately, what you decide to keep or release as a trophy is your decision. It is a great decision to have to make though grin

Tunrevir~

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You pose a very good question and for me, I don't know what the answer is. It will have to be bigger than what is the current bests.

Walleyes

Me-30

Wife-25.5

Northern

Me-41.5

Wife-40

All released

Thinking about it I think maybe a nice pre-spawn 33" walleye, 14 plus pounds or a 45"+ pike would probably get a replica, but that's just me. Maybe a 50"+ Musky, definitly a 55"+. Making a late fall musky run to Leech this year, maybe that can happen. grin

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I always said if I caught one that was 30" it was going on the wall. I caught a 30 1/2" in June a few years back and it just did not look like it was 10 pounds so I released it. I have caught a couple 29 1/2 " that were a heck of a lot bigger and released them as well and right now I think no matter what size they will all get released and I will get a reproduction made if I want one for the wall.

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what do you guys think? here is a pic, should i mount this guy?

DSC00663.jpg

Nope - Dont mount it. Stick with your own guideline of 35, especially if you will continue to go every year.

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I have caught many walleyes over that 30" mark so my benchmark now is any eye over 32" (looking for that 33" PR) or one smaller that is very fat or has some sort of significant markings that make it a cool one of a kind.

I look at mounts like this. I only mount a fish if I think I will never catch one as big again or at least in the next 10 years.

I think I should have mounted the Laker in my avatar but oh well.

Its a very personel decision as far as size so do what you feel is right. As long as your ok with looking at it on the wall all the time than thats cool.

I will say I prefer reproductions just because that fish stays in the water to swim another day and maybe be caught by someones little kid later on down the road. Heck maybe even you will catch it down the road when its bigger. grin

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I have a 30.5 on the wall and a 16 inch crappie perch would have to be 14 and for me me it depends on the eye if i got a 28 that was prespawn and 10 lbs i throw it up, always looking for that 32 plus eye or that p4 prespawn that is 14lbs

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I have a replica of a walleye that's a little over 30". Personally, I would much rather have her swim away and make a replica. For another walleye to end up on my wall, it would have to be 32".

For a northern, it would have to well over 40"... probably at least in the 44+ range.

I don't have a 50" musky yet, but it will happen. They're starting to be more common so if it was barely 50, I'm not sure that I would get a replica made. 51" or 52" with good girth I probably would.

It's fun to think about!!

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has anyone ever had or heard of someone getting a replica made just a little bigger than what they caught, say, like a 29" wally made into a fatter 32"?not gonna do it but curious if the taxidermy or artist would even go along with it.

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Wait it out JW! It would be a nice lake MI fish, but no joy for AK:)

My personal best from AK is 45, and my target is 50, so I'm still waiting....!

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has anyone ever had or heard of someone getting a replica made just a little bigger than what they caught, say, like a 29" wally made into a fatter 32"?not gonna do it but curious if the taxidermy or artist would even go along with it.

It's a replica so if you really wanted to have a larger fish just tell them it was 33X22 and see what they can make.

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You can have any size fish made you want. You wont have a truthful story to tel about it on the wall but it will be there. Myself I couldnt live with that lie. Now if you just want a big fish on the wall go ahead.

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Yup you could have a replica made in the dimensions you want, but it wouldn't really change anything. The only reason I would like to mount a fish or replica is the memory. If it's not close in proportion, then it seems like a waste of moeny.

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I have 3 boys (11 & under) that are an unintended influence on the mount list, my personal goals are these:

Walleye 31" or 12.5 pounds

Northern 43" or 22 pounds

Perch Won't mount unless I get a stringer of 8 at 14" or bigger (had a start on day with 4 but could get the other 4)

Crappie Don't think I would mount

Muskie Not sure I still need to get my 1st one! But a 52" would be nice.

Now you know how it works, if I get a nice, oh say, 28" walleye and my boys start working on me I may have a tough time holding my goal at 31". But I welcome that challenge for some big fish.

The bad thing is my boys have goals and that will start to cost me some money.

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sdpike ull find a 12lber if u keep fishing them early SD eyes if you know what i mean.

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Pretty much the same for me on walleyes as others have stated...most break 30" for a mount but other factors will determine that as well.

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Walleye- 35" or State Record.

Smallmouth- 23"

Northern- 48"

Muskie- 55+" or State Record

Lake Trout- 40+"

Never would I ever keep any fish unless it was a state or world record fish. Put them back and catch it in a couple years.

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sometimes a special moment, a special time, a special place, and a not so trophy fish is all you need to mount. i think graphite reproductions are the way to go. everyone pays for their license and has a right to do what they want as long as its leagal. i would just recommend to realease all large fish regardless of species except rough fish.good luck.

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TrophyEyes- State or world record? That's some pretty lofty goals. If you did want one on your wall, you could always get the replica made and still watch her swim away.

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