If you caught the largemouth legally and within the legal slot limit, you can mount whatever size fish you’d like. But most largemouth bass anglers follow the rule of 21 to 22 inches or bigger for mounting. A fish over 21 inches is rare, so many anglers find it worth mounting.
As bass anglers, we’re never fully satisfied with the fish we catch. I’ve landed my best largemouth bass and celebrated, but I still wonder how to top it. This mindset can lead to a lack of satisfaction with fishing. Sometimes, we must celebrate our milestones, and mounting fish is the perfect way.
Best Size Largemouth To Mount
There is no perfect size of largemouth bass to mount, but if you choose to mount the fish, it should hold significant value. You want to be able to look at it and not see it as just another bass. Whatever the reason, make sure it’s something you’ll look at fondly for years.
Most taxidermists are willing to mount largemouth bass eight inches or longer, so you’ll be okay if your bass is anything larger than that. Anything less than this is considered juvenile fish and too small to mount.
An average-sized largemouth bass is around 14 to 20 inches, but these sizes change depending on where you land the fish. A 20-inch bass isn’t uncommon in a place like Texas, but many anglers in the Midwest would consider that a great fish.
If you’re willing to invest in mounting a fish purely based on size, stick with those fish over 20 inches.
There are always exceptions to the rules. I’ve been in plenty of bait shops across the Midwest and seen small bass mounted, but they usually have a unique appearance or special story behind them.
Check with your taxidermist if you are questioning the size you should choose. They’ll be able to offer advice.
The fish’s weight is one of those factors that many anglers don’t consider when mounting fish. They see a 22-inch fish, and that’s enough to mount it.
The first and only bass I mounted weighed eight pounds but was only 20 inches long. I’d never seen a bass that weighed eight pounds, so I felt like I had to mount it. I haven’t caught one that large since.
If you’re mounting a fish purely on the weight, ensure it weighs at least five pounds. An older angler once told me, “A five-pound bass won’t grow to a seven-pound bass on your wall.” This put the process of mounting into perspective. If I’m going to do it, I want to make sure it’s worth it.
Should I Mount a Live Bass (Skin Mount) or a Replica?
The live bass vs. replica debate isn’t going anywhere. As long as states allow anglers to keep bass, nothing says you cannot mount the fish you catch. Legally, you won’t be doing anything wrong.
On the other side of the debate, some anglers don’t want anything that was alive to be preserved and hung on the wall. They encourage anglers to eat the fish they catch. Whatever you decide is up to you as long as everything is within the legal limits.
Preparing a Largemouth Bass for Mounting
If you choose to mount the fish you caught, get it on ice as quickly as possible. Take detailed pictures of the fish before you wrap it in a wet towel and put it in the freezer so the taxidermists will have something to reference as they’re working. You don’t have to fully gut the fish. Wrap it neatly in a towel and place it in the freezer.
The longer the fish is off ice, the more it will deteriorate. You want to give it to the taxidermists in the best possible condition.
Many taxidermists have waiting periods, so contact them as quickly as possible after getting your catch to ensure you get your bass done promptly. Plus, they’ll have good advice on storing it and keeping it until they can take it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size is a Trophy Largemouth Bass?
A trophy largemouth bass is over 22 inches and weighs six pounds or more. Again, size is all relative depending on where you’re fishing, but the general rule is the fish has to be at least 22 inches to get into that trophy category.
How Rare is a 5lb Bass?
Depending on where you’re fishing, five-pound bass aren’t overly rare. If you’re fishing during the spawn and hook into a pre-spawn female, you’ll find that many bass are over five pounds. They’re filled with eggs and carry a lot of extra weight. Outside the spawn, a five-pound bass becomes rare, but plenty of females grow to this size.
How Much Does it Cost to Mount a Largemouth Bass?
A quality largemouth bass mount will cost around $15 to $20 per inch of fish.
Can You Mount a Fish without Killing It?
Some taxidermists will create replica bass based on detailed pictures, but most of the time, you must kill the fish to mount it.
While fishing can be competitive, celebrating our victories is something we need to do. Whether we’ve been fishing for 20 years or two months, a trophy-sized largemouth bass isn’t easy to catch. If you feel comfortable, feel free to mount it.
Mounted largemouth bass are always great conversation starters wherever you are. A quality mount can bond anglers from all over the world.