You’ve done it. Landed a whopper. Not something merely for the frying pan; a true trophy fish. Now what? How are you going to remember this magnificent fish and accurately communicate the massive proportions to others?
Anglers are more conservation-minded these days, rarely putting a trophy on a stringer. They recognize that the oldest fish are going to take the longest to replace. The largest fish are needed in aquatic systems to spawn, eat smaller fish, and help control the population balance. The catch and release movement has contributed greatly to the quality of fisheries all over the country. Here’s how you can share your trophy without ever taking it from the water:
1. Traditionally, many anglers believe they have the power to convey accurately the size of a trophy fish to others by holding their hands apart. It is also tradition that these hands grow farther apart with time and distance from the water… and that no one believes this estimate.
2. To combat this, anglers try to take photographic evidence. Unfortunately, this too can be misleading as many anglers are prone to holding the fish at arms’ length, thus tainting the proportions and making the audience skeptical.
3. If anglers remember a tape measure and scale, they can back up their claims with actual data. Weight, and/or length and girth measurements are hard to dispute.
4. If these figures are impressive enough, they may be worthy of angler recognition like Michigan’s Master Angler Award Program.
5. Finally, to share the most accurate description of your trophy fish combine the figures, add a photo, and you can make a Fiberglass replica.
“We match up a mold and use a gel coat and layers of resin and Fiberglass to create the fish mount blank,” shared Troy Denson, president of Mount This Fish Company. “The seams are sanded off and the (replica) fins and (replica) eyes are attached. We then use the photograph to paint accordingly.”
The result is the ultimate conversation piece. A memento of paths that crossed, and that may cross again someday. A life-like replica on the wall says, not only did I catch that fish, but it is still out there!
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.