How Much Does It Cost To Taxidermy A Fish?

The cost of taxidermy fish skins varies not just by a taxidermist, but also by species and fish size. So, what’s the ballpark range for getting your prize fish framed and mounted on the wall?

How Much Does It Cost To Mount A Fish

A low-cost offer may result in a poor-quality service or one that deteriorates rapidly and requires restoration, which may be more costly than getting it done correctly right away. When taxidermists fill a fish, they usually charge per inch of length.

Cost To Mount Fish in 2024

Catching a gorgeous fish while on a fishing excursion is an excellent feat that may be quite thrilling for everyone (including non-fishermen and women). It’s no surprise that individuals want to show off or mount their catch out of pride or a passion for fish.

Even though taxidermy is a do-it-yourself project, it is best left in the hands of a professional for the best results. If you opt to have a fish mounted by a taxidermist, three main factors affect how much it costs to mount a fish:

  1. Size
  2. Species
  3. Taxidermist

1. Size:

Size is important when determining how much it costs to mount a fish. Fish taxidermy is normally priced per inch, therefore a huge fish will cost much more than a medium-sized fish.

The cost of mounting a fish is often between $10 and $20 per inch. For example, depending on the cost per inch, it will cost $400 to $800 to have your forty-inch catch skinned, mounted, dried, and painted.

2. Species:

The cost of mounting a fish is heavily influenced by the fish species. Skinning a fish without harming the outer skin might be difficult. As a result, the price varies depending on the species.

The entire procedure of transforming a caught fish into a well-decorated wall mount is determined by the species of fish. For example, the price of a Bass or a Trout may differ by $3 per inch. The expense of mounting a Tarpon and Billfish might be substantially higher.

3. Taxidermist:

The taxidermist is another pricing option. Choosing one may be similar to hiring an architect to design your home. If you don’t have any recommendations from friends, the easiest way to find a skilled taxidermist is to look at their work examples.

You might choose him or her if you think their work is of great quality and realistic. If you want to mount a fish on a budget, search for a reputable taxidermist rather than a high-end one. However, it is preferable if you never skimp on quality. A poor taxidermist’s work is more likely to end up in the trash than on your wall.

Also Check: The 6 Most Important Trout Fishing Rigs Setups

List of Fish Taxidermy Cost by Species: (latest 2024 updated)*

Fish Species Average Cost (Per Inch)
Trout $16
Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) $13
Striped Bass $17.50
Walleye $13
Pike $13
Crappie $15
Salmon $16
Shark $19
Marlin $12
Billfish $17.50
Swordfish $14
Tuna $12
Tarpon $17.50
Redfish $14


The Cost Of Taxidermy Depends On The Fish Type

When it comes to skin mounting, taxidermists divide fish into three categories:

  • Warmwater fish (bass, walleye, pike, and other similar species): $11-$15 per inch
  • $14-$18 per inch for coldwater fish (salmon, trout, etc.).
  • $15-$20 per inch of saltwater fish

Because their skin is more oily and takes a longer drying process, coldwater and saltwater fish are often more expensive to stuff than warm-water fish.

Warmwater fish comprise almost all freshwater game fish, except salmonid species like trout, salmon, and char, which are coldwater fish.

Skin Mount Vs Replica: Which One Should You Choose in 2024?

The skin taxidermy process is removing your fish’s skin, head, and tail, then wrapping it around a foam mold that’s the same size and form as the original. As a result of this procedure, a physical portion of the fish you caught is included in the stuffed version.

Then there’s the replica production approach, which entails creating a remarkably exact, but entirely fake, version of the fish you caught. This implies that for this procedure, you just need to give the proper measuring parameters of your fish, not the actual corpse.

Even skin taxidermy is built around a plastic mold, then spray painted with artificial colors to replace the natural colors that bleach out during the drying process. You may object that a replica has little to do with the original fish you caught, but keep in mind that even skin taxidermy is built around a plastic mold.

When you look at the work of very talented taxidermists, you’ll see that the outcomes of both styles of fish taxidermy are quite similar. So, when deciding which one to select, it truly boils down to personal choice.

While a nice skin mount has more sentimental value since it contains an actual piece of the prize fish you caught, storing and shipping fish for this procedure is far more difficult than purchasing a copy.

Price Of Replica Fish Mounts

Replica fish mounts cost between $10 to $16 per inch, which is comparable to the cost of skin mounts (though replica mounts can be slightly cheaper when it comes to mounting coldwater fish or saltwater fish).

Even though the prices are comparable, remember that a replica mount involves far less effort, as you just need to take a few decent pictures and record the critical measurements of your fish before sending them to the taxidermist.

Also, because replica making does not need maintaining the fish, you can release (or eat) it after capturing it and still have a fine model to place on your wall to remind you of your great capture.


1. How long does it take to mount a fish?

The time it takes to stuff a fish ranges from 3 months to more than a year, with a year being the most usual turnaround time for most businesses.

While certain species of fish can be processed in as little as two months, the lengthier timeframes are primarily because excellent shops have a large backlog of work to complete before they can get to your catch. Some stores provide an accelerated service, which you should inquire about when you call.

Drying the fish takes the longest portion of the procedure, taking at least 6 weeks for warm-water fish and much longer for cold water and saltwater species. Because of their oily skin, the latter species must be dried for an extended time to complete the task. If you hurry this step, the filled fish may leak oil, which will ruin its beauty.

2. How to get a fish mounted?

The method you pick affects the procedure, and skin mounting is more difficult because you’ll need to preserve your fish for taxidermy.

Before you begin, decide which side of your fish you want to present as the “show side.” It’s critical to store the fish with this side up to minimize abrasion. You should not harm the fish in any manner, including bleeding or gutting it.

Skin Taxidermy:

  • Rinse the fish before taxidermy.
  • Wrap in a damp towel to keep warm.
  • Place the towel-wrapped fish in a big plastic bag and seal it.
  • Place the entire package (with the “show side” facing up) in the freezer.
  • Freeze for at least two days or until frozen.
  • Once you’ve located the correct taxidermist, you may ship the frozen fish to them using a frozen-goods delivery service.

Making a replica:

  • Measure the length and girth of the animal with a tape measure.
  • Weigh yourself (if possible)
  • Take as many pictures as you can, from all angles.
  • Once you’ve chosen a shop, all you have to do now is provide them with the information you’ve gathered, and they’ll do the rest.

3. Are fish mounts made from real fish?

Only the skin, jaws, head, and fins of genuine fish are normally included in taxidermy mounts. The skin and other fish pieces are fixed to a low-weight foam mold in the body area. The majority of fish mounts are painted fiberglass copies.


Fish taxidermy, whether it’s a copy or skin taxidermy of your dream fish, is a means of honoring your capture and preserving it as a prize. For roughly $15 per inch, a specialist can bring your magnificent catch to life. A high-quality fish skin mounts on your wall and does not come at a premium cost.

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