The phrase “mounting a fish” might make some young boys snicker, but for adults, it means attaching a fish you caught to a wooden plaque so you can hang it up on the wall or display it for all to see in your home or office.
In order to mount a fish, first you should measure the length of the fish using a measuring tape. If you have a rope with you, you can use that, marking the head and tail locations on the rope with a pen or marker.
Next, it’s time to measure the girth of the fish. This is kind of like trying to dress up a pet dog or cat. You’ll have to handle the fish, wrapping the measuring tape around the fish as best you can to determine its girth.
If you have a camera with you, try and take a picture of the fish soon after you catch it. This can be used by a professional to highlight certain colors and areas when they mount it.
Taxidermists typically mount fish, and consider fish to be one of the toughest animals to work with since their skin loses color once they dry out—that’s why it’s good to take a picture soon after it’s caught.
Using a filet knife or scalpel, a taxidermist will skin the fish. Any leftover skin or meat can be preserved using salt (Borum and alum) or formaldehyde injections. Eventually the skin is stretched out over a mold and shaped into a certain pose, or firmly filled with sawdust. Glass eyes replace actual eyes. In some cases, the fish you catch ends up being recreated with some or even all man-made materials. After preparation, which includes several weeks for the fish to properly dry out, the fish is mounted onto a wooden plaque for display. Mounting a fish is a way to preserve the memory of a great day of fishing when you caught “the one!”