I enjoy reading this website as I love to fish and hunt. I found the website because I recently caught a blue marlin in the Caymans. As he has was my first blue marlin, I was going to have a replica done at Gray's as I had several done there before, but I'm looking for other options and I've been reading some things about them recently that make me hesitant to use them again. I thought that I might get some honest opinions as to what other options I have.
I'm not chincy, but they sound overpriced. The matlin was 6-1/2' (78") from the tail to the tip of the lower jaw. The captain estimated him to be 230 - 250 lbs. He was a very strong fish and had that lateral double curve of the muscle down the side, like larger ones I've seen mounted. When I gave Grey's the specs, they came back with a total overall length of 109" and a quote, including shipping of $2400.
If the fish was 6-1/2' from lower tip of jaw to tail, isn't 31" additional for top of mouth and the bill seem excessive?
Was this a fair price?
Who would you reccomend other than Gray's?
I'm sure I'll get hammered a bit here, as it is a bit odd asking these questions to people who probubly are in many cases in competition with Gray's, but I'm looking for some honest answers and reccomendations from people other than Gray's who are in the business. It appears there are quite a few options out there. Who better to ask than you folks. Hopefully you can lead me to some additional sources to use.
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I can highly recomend Mike Kirkhart from New Wave Taxidermy. Great folks to work with and a high quality product. Dont have their phone number at hand now but look for them on their website www.newwavetaxidermy.com
Give them a call for quotes.
Since you have found this site , go over to the taxidermist web site section and check some of the taxidermist from your state. There may be someone close at hand that can help you out. Most post prices and photographs of their mounts.
Give Deb and Mike a call. He has some of the best repro's on the market. You will be pleased.
If your fish was measured in the water by IGFA standards, it would have been measured from the tip of the lower mandible to the tail fork. That fish wouldn't have been legal to kill in most waters. I doubt it weighed the amount stated by your eager captain, either. Upper mandible length can vary a bit and the additional length added by the tail fork to the tips would add some additional length, but I doubt that it would be 31".
Like the others said, I believe that Mike Kirkhart is one of the most honest fellows in the field and his reproductions certainly have the detail you desire. Both Mike and Deb are experienced with our native billfish and can provide an excellent replica that is scaled to the 78 inch measurement you gave.
I don't meant to bust your bubble, but that is a rather small blue marlin. If it was a white, it was a decent fish.