How Much Does It Cost to Mount a Fish? (Cost With Examples)

Are you an avid fisherman looking to mount your latest catch on the wall? Or you’ve inherited a family heirloom fish that needs mounting. Either way, the question on your mind is likely, How much does it cost to mount a fish?

How much it costs to mount a fish depends on the size of the fish, how complicated the mount will be, and which taxidermist you choose. Tiny fish could cost between $150 and $300, medium fish between $300 and $500, and big fish between $500 and $1,000 or more. Adding unique scenes, rushing an order, or making more changes can also increase the price.

 This short guide discusses the costs and things to consider when hanging a fish.

What is Fish Mounting?

Mounting a fish is a way to keep the fish’s appearance after it has been caught. It is done by making a copy of the fish or a natural skin mount. The replica mount is made by taking a mold of the fish and then making a copy out of fiberglass, wood, or resin. The fish’s skin and scales are kept for an actual skin mount so that the mountain looks like the fish itself. It needs careful attention to detail to ensure the fish’s size, shape, and color are all shown in the mount. Anglers often mount their catches to remember them and show off their trophies at home or in the office.

How Much Does It Cost to Mount a Fish? (Expenses)

Fish speciesPrice (per inch)
Walleye $11-$16
Pike $11-$18
Trout $14-$19
Striped bass $16-$22
Tarpon $14-$21
Snook $13-$19
Billfish $15-$25
Swordfish $14-17$
Redfish $15-18$
 Crappie $17
Shark $20
Marlin $13
Tuna $14
Replica fish mounts (all species) $9-$15

Factors Affecting the Cost of Fish Mounting

  • Size of the fish: The bigger the fish, the more supplies and time it will take to make a mount. Because of this, hanging a bigger fish can be more expensive than a smaller one.
  • The complexity of the mount: Some mounts are more complicated than others, like ones with more than one fish or lots of small features. Creating these mounts can take more time and skill, which can raise the price.
  • Type of mount: There are many kinds of fish mounts, including full-body, half-body, and shoulder mounts. Full-body horses are the most complicated and expensive, while shoulder mounts are the easiest and cheapest.
  • Type of fish: A few fish are more complicated to mount than others, like those with small scales or strange shapes. Climbing these fish can take more time and skill, which may affect the price.
  • Quality of the mount: Higher-quality climbs can be more expensive because they take more time, skill, and attention to detail. But a high-quality plate can be worth the extra money because it will last longer and look better.
  • Customization options: Certain taxidermists let you make changes, like painting features or making your bases. These choices can add to the price of the mount, but they can also make a unique and personalized show.
  • Shipping and handling costs: Shipment and handling costs can add to the total cost of the mount if the fish has to be sent to the taxidermist.
  • Location of the taxidermist: Expenses can change depending on where you live, and taxidermists in more expensive or urban places usually charge more.
  • Availability of the taxidermist: A few taxidermists may charge more if they are in high demand or have a long list of people looking for their services.
  • Additional services: Most taxidermists give extra services, like cleaning, skinning, or preserving, which can add to the price of the mount.

Average Cost of Fish Mounting

The price of hanging a fish can change significantly based on our discussion. A simple copy plate of a medium-sized fish can average costs between $150 and $300. But skin mounts of more significant or unusual fish may charge more than $500.

For example, a natural skin mount of a 40-inch musky may be between $800 and $1,200, while an imitation mount of the same fish could be less than half that price. The experience and name of the taxidermist can also affect how much it fees to hang a fish, with more skilled and well-known taxidermists asking more.

Before you choose a taxidermist to put your fish, you should look into their prices and services and compare them. That will help you find a taxidermist whose work is good and reasonably priced.

Additional Costs to Consider

  • Cleaning and preparation: There may be extra costs if the fish needs to be cleaned or prepared before it is mounted. The result can mean removing the hooks, cleaning and saving the skin, and getting the fish ready to be shipped.
  • Display case or mounting hardware: luckily, if you want to show off your mount, you should think about how much a display case or hanging hardware will require. That can differ based on the climb’s length and form and how you present the work of art.
  • Maintenance and care: Your mount may need upkeep or repair over time to keep it looking good. These can involve things like dusting or cleaning the surface and fixing any damage that might happen.

How to Choose a Reputable Taxidermist

  • Experience and expertise: Keep an eye out for a taxidermist who knows how to hang fish and has done it before. Ask for examples of their past work and ensure it meets your standards.
  • Reviews and references: Read what other customers have said about the business and ask for references. A trustworthy taxidermist should have good reviews and people who are happy with their work and are ready to speak for them.
  • Licensing and certification: Check to see if the taxidermist has a license and certificate from the right people. It can ensure that they handle and store animal examples according to the rules.
  • Quality of materials: Find out what foam and other materials were used to make the structure and how they were put together. If the plate is made of high-quality materials, it will last many years.
  • Turnaround time: Discover how long the taxidermist takes to finish a job. Even though a faster turning time might be better, verify that it doesn’t hurt the quality of the result.
  • Communication: Pick a taxidermist who tells you clearly and quickly how your project is going and answers any questions you may have.

Tips for Saving Money on Fish Mounting

  • Shop around: Don’t choose the first taxidermist you find. Compare the prices of different taxidermists to find the best deal for your money.
  • Choose a more direct mount: A simple expand, like a skin mount, can be cheaper than a copy frame with more parts and details.
  • Preserve the fish yourself: You don’t have to pay a taxidermist to keep the fish alive if you have the skills and tools to do it yourself. It can save you money on things like expenses for work.
  • Choose a local taxidermist: Using a local taxidermist can save you money on shipping costs, which can add up quickly for more significant pieces.
  • Negotiate the price: Some taxidermists might be willing to try to get a lower price, especially if you have a big job or are a customer who returns repeatedly.
  • Group discounts: You can get a group deal if you want to mount more than one fish or know others who wish to attach fish.
  • DIY mounting: You can try to put the fish yourself with a do-it-yourself kit if you have the skills and time. That can be less expensive than paying a taxidermist, but you must know what you are doing.
  • Preserve only certain parts of the fish: If you only want to show off the head or tail of the fish, you can choose to keep those parts instead of the whole fish.

Types of Fish Mounts

There are many different fish mounting options, each with unique features and benefits. Outlined are a few of the most common fish mounts:

  • Skin Mounts: The usual way to hang a fish, where its skin is kept and put on a form. Skin mounts look natural and have many details but need more care than other climbs.
  • Fiberglass Reproductions: A fish model is made for this mount, and plastic is poured into it. The result is a solid fix that doesn’t need as much care as a skin implement.
  • Fish Replicas: Casts of the fish are used to make copies, which are then painted to look like real fish. That kind of mount seems very real and needs less care than skin progress, but it can cost more.
  • Half-Mounts: Half-mounts are skin decorations with only the fish’s front half. Such a climb is cheaper than a full skin mount and takes up less room on the wall.
  • Three-Dimensional Mounts: The fish is put on these grows, with a background or the fish’s natural environment. The mount type can be tricky and expensive, but it makes an exciting show.
  • Freeze-Drying: This way, the fish is freeze-dried for hanging fish and then put on a form. The result is a very light mount that doesn’t need much upkeep but can be expensive.

Each type of fish mount has pros and cons, so you should choose the one that fits your wants and money the best. To make sure you get the best possible result, you should also select a taxidermist with a good reputation who has done the type of model you want before.

Cost of Fish Mounting by Type

How much it costs to place a fish depends on the type of mount. Here is a general idea of how much each type of mount will cost:

  • Skin mount: $10-$20 per inch of fish
  • Reproduction: $15-$25 per inch of fish
  • Replica: $20-$30 per inch of fish

Keep in mind that these are just rough figures and that the price can change based on where you are and what kind of fish you want.

 Process of Mounting a Fish

A few phases involve mounting a fish, prepping the fish, and ending with the mount’s design. The following is an explanation of the procedure:

Step 1: Cleaning the Fish

You have to clean a fish before you can mount it. It means taking off the fish’s skin, meat, and bones. How much it costs to clean a fish depends on its size and where you get it cleaned.

Step 2: Preparing the Mount

After cleaning the fish, the next step is to get the plate ready. It involves choosing the type of mount you want, such as a wall mount, table build-up, or pillar mount. Getting the frame ready can cost different amounts based on the install type and the design’s complexity.

Step 3: Mounting the Fish

The fish is put on the hang once it is ready. The following is done by placing the fish in the pose you want and connecting the cleaned skin to the climb. The size and complexity of the fish and the type of mount used can change how much it costs to place it.

Step 4: Finishing the Mount

The last step is to finish the mount once the fish is on it. It entails putting the finishing touches on the rise, like eyes, fins, and other features, to make it look as accurate as possible. How much it charges to make a mount depends on how detailed and complicated it is.

Can you get a fish mount from a picture?

No, it is not possible to get a fish mount from a picture alone. Fish mounts, also known as fish taxidermy, require a complex process to create a lifelike replica of a fish, which involves several steps such as skinning, sculpting, molding, and painting.

While a picture of a fish can be used as a reference for the taxidermist, it cannot provide the necessary information about the fish’s size, weight, and texture required to create a realistic fish mount. Additionally, the process of creating a fish mount requires specific tools and techniques that cannot be replicated simply from a picture.

If you are interested in getting a fish mount, it is recommended that you consult with a professional taxidermist who can guide you through the process and help you choose the right fish for your mount. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have about the procedure and provide you with a lifelike replica of your fish that you can display for years to come.

Tips for Finding the Best Fish Mounting Services

  1. You can look up possible service providers online and read reviews from other customers.
  2. Look for a service that has done it before with the type of fish you want to mount.
  3. Ask about the tools and materials that were used to place the picture.
  4. Get an estimate and compare prices from different sources.
  5. Find out if the service company guarantees.

Conclusion: How Much Does It Cost to Mount a Fish?

In conclusion, the price of mounting a fish can change a lot based on its size, type, and level of difficulty, as well as the taxidermist’s location and level of experience. It’s important to think about your money, but it’s also essential to choose a skilled and trustworthy taxidermist if you want the best results. Investing in a good fish mount is a great way to keep a prize catch or a family heirloom, and it can give you years of pleasure and memories.


How long does it take to mount a fish?

How long it takes to mount a fish depends on how busy the taxidermist is and how hard the mount is. A fish mount can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months on average to finish. But mountains of rare or unusual fish can take even longer.

Can I mount a fish alone, or do I need a taxidermist?

Even though you can put a fish on your own, you need to know how to do it. Taxidermists are the best people to hang fish because they have the knowledge and the right tools.

Is it possible to mount a fish without skinning it?

No, you can’t put a fish without taking off its skin first. The skin is vital to make a mount that looks real.

Can I choose a custom pose for my fish mount?

Yes, most taxidermists will work with you to make a pose that is unique to your tastes.

How do I care for my mounted fish?

Dust your mounted fish often with a soft brush or cloth to keep it in good shape. Please don’t put it in full sunlight or a place with much dampness, as this can damage it over time.

What factors affect the cost of mounting a fish? 

Size, type, and difficulty of the mount all affect how much it costs to place a fish.

 How much does it cost to mount a specific type of fish, such as a trout or bass?

How much it costs to put a fish depends on its type, size, and the taxidermist you choose.

 Are there any additional fees or expenses to consider when getting a fish mounted?

Shipping, wrapping, and unique bases for the mounts may cost extra.

  Can I get a price estimate for mounting a fish before committing to the service?

Before starting work on a fish print, most taxidermists will give you an idea of how much it will cost.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.