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Quick Start Guide: Mounting a Replica Fish – How-to Guides by Finn’s Fishing Tips

The fish of your dreams is ready to be a part of your daily life and you’ve bought a fish replica mount! Whether it’s a replica (which we think are a much better choice) or a traditional stuffed fish, you’ll want to make sure it’s mounted correctly. So how do you mount a fish?

Do you have the proper tools to install it? What’s the best way to ensure it’s applied correctly? What about the rest of the room’s decor? Keep reading to learn what to do.

Buy a Replica or Stuff Your Fish

bass mount on driftwood

First thing’s first – you need to get your trophy fish ready to mount, and this means buying a replica (which often costs less than stuffing,) or by taking your prized fish to a taxidermist. 

Get the Proper Tools.

Depending on the type of mount you have, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper tools and hardware to mount the fish.

Most replicas come with a mounting bracket on the back – which makes your life much easier. If your fish mount comes with a bracket and screws, then just make sure your drill is charged and that you have the correct drill bit size and you can move on to the next step!

For fish mount owners without a bracket, you may need to get creative.

Authors Note: We suggest you weigh your fish mount and pick your screws and mounting bracket accordingly. Depending on how much the fish mount weighs, you can use plywood to make your mounting bracket.

Depending on the weight of your mount, you might be able to use something as simple as a bracket for hanging large framed wall pictures or even use a short length of wire in combination with two screws and washers to create a wire hanger.

Check Your Mounting Surface.

Sailfish on wall

Now that you’ve got your fish mounting hardware figured out, it’s time to check the mounting surface.

Depending on what your walls are made of, you will need to use different types of screws.

The most common wall material is drywall; for drywall, you’ll need to use drywall screws (crazy, I know). For wood walls, traditional carpenter screws should work great. 

Pro Tip: It is always a good idea to mount your replica into a wall stud if at all possible, this will ensure that your mount will now pull out of the drywall, but drywall anchors mounted only in the drywall work very well, especially for lighter mounts.

Brick or concrete will require you to pre-drill holes in the wall, then use concrete screws.

Consider The Design Elements of The Room.

crappie mount scene

You’re almost ready to mount your fish, but there’s one last thing we want you to consider/think about before drilling.

What is your fish mount going to look like with the rest of your room’s decor? Now we may not be the first person to ask you this (ahem, girlfriends, and wives/S.O.s we hear you.) We understand that design and feng shui is very subjective, but here are some general tips and tricks.

Tie Your Mounted Fish into an overall Theme for the Room.

We think mounted fish are a great addition to game rooms, libraries, or bonus rooms.

These rooms often have a more fun/lighthearted vibe that a mounted fish will play into well.

Pro tip: For winning over a skeptical girlfriend or wife – why not decorate the room with other fun tropical, woodsy, or western-themed items? Cabin chic is so in right now…

Hang Other Memorabilia on the Wall with Your Fish

Do you have a picture of the fisherman/woman catching it or other fun memories from the trip? Hang them on the wall with the fish so it tells a story.

This idea makes for a great conversation starter when you have guests over, and breaks up the starkness of having just a big fish on the wall. Plus it gives your wife/girlfriend/SO another opportunity to provide their input.

Don’t Forget the Lighting in The Room

Depending on where you mount your fish it could either be brightly lit or in the dark.

It’s up to you to decide which one you want, as they both can work well depending on the look you’re going for.

If the mounted fish is going in a room with a lot of natural light, then you’re most likely good to hang it anywhere, but if it’s going in a room without a lot of light (like a basement, game room, or garage), then you may need to add additional lighting to display your fish.

Mount The Fish!

Tuna on wall

It’s time! You did your pre-work and you’re now ready to mount your fish.

The number one rule with home improvement/construction projects is to measure twice, and cut (or drill) once.

Use erasable pencils or painting tape to mark where your screws will go, then drill away!

Authors note: Painter’s tape works great for mocking up your fish will fit on the wall (cut out pieces that are the length and width of your fish and apply them to the spot you chose.)

Do Routine Safety Checks.

Congrats! Your pride and joy is up on the wall, Now you get to bask in its glory and remember the glory of reeling it in.

But don’t forget to routinely check the stability of your fish mount. Depending on how large your fish mount is, the weight of the fish can loosen the screws in your wall, this can be especially true for large fish like tarpon or yellowfin tuna.

Author Note: If you notice your screws beginning to loosen, you may need to tighten them with a drill. In extreme cases, you may need to re-mount your fish in a slightly adjusted spot so the screws have a fresh hold on the wall. If done properly, however,


Maintaining your mount after you have successfully hung it on the wall is very easy.

Simply dust it off like you would any other type of furniture, but be gentle around the fins, as they can easily break if you bump them hard enough.

You can also use water with a cloth with just enough water to make it damp and wipe down the mount to give it that nice sheen like the fish just came out of the water.

Enjoy Your Trophy Fish!

How to mount a fish

Fish replica mounts are awesome, fairly affordable, and they make for great conversation pieces with each mount telling a story.

While many anglers still get flesh mounts made, we highly encourage anglers to choose a replica mount and practice catch and release to help maintain great fisheries for the future.

We hope you picked an awesome spot for your fish mount, and that this guide helped you mount it exactly how you wanted. Still looking to buy a fish mount? Check out our page on some of the best replica fish mounts on the market right now.

Happy Hunting!


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