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Skin mounts & the C & R philosophy

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by dougp, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Over the years I've gotten weary of hearing the fish police shout the "don't hurt the fish" montra of the practice of C & R. Without getting into the politics of the practice of C & R, I just thought I would show you a sign that I put in my shop to display my thoughts on the matter.

    Just for the record, I DO support the practice of C & R. I believe if you are not going to eat or mount a legally caught fish then it should be released.

    Anyway...that's my take on it.


    Attached Files:

  2. DanB

    DanB New Member

    Nice sign Doug. I agree with you on the C & R thing.

  3. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    That hits the nail on the head. The skin mount fish business is in a steady decline and the C&R fish do not make up the difference. I personally have seen no improvement in the overall quality of fishing in the lakes I fish due to C&R. I think the fishing has improved in canada where I fish, not because of C&R, but because of size limits. Back in the 80's it was not unusual to have the 6 filleted pike that you could bring back be 8-12lb fish. Now it's 2-3lb fish because of the length limit. That's not a complaint. I think those regs helped the fishery. The lakes that are farther north where people are not taking "eating fish" home with them are not hurt by the occasional trophy fish removed.
    The impact of C&R to the taxidermy industry has never been more evident than in the last year and a half when the economy tanked. If people don't pull the trigger on getting a replica made within a week or two of when it was released, the chances are very good that it will never be done. If that same fish was in the freezer the chances are very good that it would eventually get mounted, even in a crappy economy.
    The people running lodges who force C&R easily forget that the mounted fish a customer has on his wall, is a constant reminder of the good times had by all on that trip. It is the single best form of advertising for that lodge. Not everyone is willing to settle for a plastic fish.
  4. Jason S

    Jason S New Member

    Yup I agree 100%, I have had customers come in for replicas, spouting [email protected] montra before. I always love the expression on their face when I tell them where their replica came from. :) Most of them don't know! :eek: They say "REALLY?" And then look at thier feet. I even sometimes think they dislike me, for mounting "real" fish. LOL.

    PS, I would have liked to see the sign with one of your muskies on it better, but can understand why you didn't. ;D

  5. Very true...
  6. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    DanB, thanks.......

    I thought some of you guys would agree. LOL!!

    Don, the Canadian thing is nuts! Most of the NW Terrritories have gone 100% C&R. It's OK to catch as many fish as you want as long as they're released. So in one week of pike fishing an angler can realistically catch 300 - 400 fish. Allowing for delayed mortality, 30 or more of those fish will die from any number of issues. In essence those fish are "thrown away" and yet the angler cannot keep a trophy and then be required to fish for another species. Once the "trophy", of a pike or whatever, is kept fishing for that specie should be illegal. That would give that fishery at least a measure of protection.
    Oh wellllll.....

    Jason......you're right!! I'll put up another one like this......LOL!!

    Attached Files:

  7. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    I think the economy has more to do with the lack of skin mounts being done then C & R. Our take of skin mounts in 07 was off the charts. C & R was just as popular then as it is now.....as a matter of fact it may be fallling out of favor . We saw a steady decline in our overall skin mount numbers since 08--- in direct relation to the poor economy. This year as been especially slow. However, our numbers are still better then most of the replica only shops and blank suppliers we talk to.
    Smelling trouble, we diversified into bird work in early 08. People snikered a little at that time, but their not anymore ;D

    You also have to factor in the effect of low cost imported replicas. How much of the pie have these taken away ? Why should someone pay me $ 20.00 per in when they can get an ok looking imported replica for $100 or less ? For that reason we discontinued doing replicas here altogether in 09.
  8. 7-Point

    7-Point Active Member

    I agree with you Doug. Good sign. I release like 90 percent of my fish, however if I catch something nice, I'd rather keep it and skin mount it. It has more meaning than a repro to me anyways.
  9. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    I never did agree with catch and release, unless i had the fish, i wanted....like the other poster said...it has all to do with limits...here in maryland we went from fill the ice chest with all the seatrout you can fit in to now 1 a day...same with panfish(bluegill,crappie,etc)..went from all u want to 15 a day....that helps fish, not catch and release, as said before a lot of them die...I use to wear a t-shirt in the day that said "Katch and Kill"...catch,eat and mount it"...JMO
  10. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    When I mention that skin mounts are in a steady decline I'm refering to the last 25yrs. In the late eighties if I added up the total fish mounts (skin and replicas) being done by just the full time shops in a 50 mile radius of me, a population of 1 million people, and compare it with the numbers for the last five years, it's not even close.
  11. another problem with catch and release is alot of people do nt know how to release a fish the lake we go to in wisconsin is big on catch and release but you go up there on monday after a busy weekend theres dead muskies floating on the water beat to death with anet or the bottom of a boat ps what about the native american catch and release policy ???
  12. kikkertinz

    kikkertinz Glass half full

    love the sign
  13. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    When I was brought up, we THREW BACK fish we couldn't legally keep or didn't want. There was no philosophy involved. The contemporary practice of C&R includes the philosophy that most, if not all fish, should be released to sustain the resource. There are few, if any waters, where that is true. Those who support C&R aren't just fishermen who throw back unwanted fish. They are misguided anglers who fail to realize some simple fishing facts. Fish reproduce and state/federal agencies stock many species with the intent of PUT & TAKE. They fail to grasp the reality that regulated harvest is good conservation. They dismiss the fact that very big fish are almost always very old, and that very old fish are not great spawners. They disregard the mortality of numbers of fish that expire after release. It comes across as the "nice thing to do" to release fish. "Don't use live bait. Remove the barbs from your hooks. Use a special C&R net or CRADLE. Wet your hands before handling a fish. Hold the fish gently while removing the hook. Don't use treble hooks. Resuscitate the fish before release. And by all means, hold that fish by the tail for a photo before you gently put her back." C&R fishermen really believe they are the good guys for releasing fish. The corolllary is that those who keep fish are bad for doing wrong. If there is anything that could piss off a statue it's a C&R priest who condemns a fisherman for keeping a legal limit or a "trophy" size specimen. It happens frequently when a guy posts a photo on the web of fish he caught and kept. IMO there is respect due to the fisherman who chooses to keep a special fish and have a skin mount done of it. Great sign DougP. You do have it posted INSIDE of your new shop don't you? [​IMG]
  14. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Perca....good post, I agree. I really have a problem with people who just don't take responsibility for the fish they kill, accidently, after the fish is released. Delayed mortality is real and can be significant. The thing is, since some fish won'rt actually succumb for quite some time and then sink to the bottom of the lake, there is no evidence". That plays very well in the C&R agenda. Some of the prominent musky guides especially get under my skin. I had one "pro" who fishes throughout the midwest and Georgian Bay tell me on one of the musky boards that he's a "black belt" in C&R and his release techniques are an "ART" ::) LOL!! Give me a break :p Some of these guys are dillusional. He does catch a lot of big fish and certainly kills more in one year from various issues than I will even catch!!

    I won't rant......I won't........wel l l ...I won't!

    A quote that really says it for me is by Doug Stange from IN FISHERMAN mag. In an article exploring C&R he said that a prolific C&R angler can be more harmful to a fishery than an angler who catches and keeps his limit and then quits fishing.

    I like Doug Stange...!! LOL!!

    YES, I DO have that sign displayed in my shop.....gonna make a bigger one ;D ;D

  15. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    Love it Doug.......and your awesome work.....you da man.......
  16. wisokilr

    wisokilr New Member

    Love it Doug....

    concerning muskies though....i think everyone here is way off their rocker. Skin mount muskies mean thousands of eggs lost for reproduction and extension of the resource.

    Kill the Perch, walleye, bass, whitetail etc.....

    Dont be killing the muskies "just" to satisfy an ego and pleasure people who look at a decaying piece of junk skin mount. Replicas are the only way to go with these apex predators whose numbers could be severly impacted by just 1 "kill"

    I may look good skin mounted...but i dont want you to do that either.
  17. Jason S

    Jason S New Member

    everytime I see a muskie tourney, or a guy who carrys a huge photo album full of muskie pics, that's the only time I think of "egos"
    Not when someone decides on a skin mount over a replica.
    Last time I checked, muskies were stocked by the dnr, and even muskie clubs and associations.
    I will ask you to look at the fairly old pike thread, for 36 years old it doesent look like a "decaying piece of junk" to me. :)

    "Kill the perch,walleye,bass......really? ??? I guess they don't reproduce huh.

    Have a good day! :)
  18. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Wiso.....you're post is a little silly. Since this is your first post I assume this is an important issue to you. OK, if you would like to discuss your point of view, this is a great place for it. Let's talk about it.

    Essentially, my position concerning muskies specifically is; I support and practice C&R unless and until I catch a fish that I would like to mount. Should that fish be legal to keep I would not hesitate to do so.

    I'm an "average" musky fisherman. I get to fish muskies 1-2 weeks per year. Over a 22 year period I've caught maybe 50-60 legal muskies. I've kept 6 to mount.

    Any muskie guide or prolific musky fisherman that claims to put 50 or more fish in the boat in a year probably kills more fish through delayed mortality in that year than I have in 22 years.

    C&R is NOT a "no kill" practice. Many biologist agree that a mortality rate of 5-10% is realistic in releasing muskies.

    As far as your claim of a "decaying piece of junk skin mount" I guess I will refer you to a mount of the Cal Johnson musky that was caught and mounted in 1949......as attached. ;D

    Looks pretty good for being over 60 years old.

    I can also refer you to a pic of a pike skin mount posted by "our own" Jimmy Lawrence in another thread here. This fish was done in 1974...!!

    I think it would be better for you to accept certain facts and not swallow all the propaganda from the "musky police" ;D ;D ;)


    Attached Files:

  19. Taxmen

    Taxmen New Member

    Save the Muskies its the last one on eartf, dont hook them spear them or mount them on wood for the world to see im perfection forever. let em all go so they can die anyway.
    Ive been sitting and looking at this for a long time and I just want to say Thanks Doug for putting out the facts. I saw a Muskie while fishing one time and to me it looked like a fish not a god.
  20. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    Nice post Doug and Wizzokilr, can you say Hypocrite?