How To Mount A Fish Without Killing It


When it comes to fishing, you either catch them or release them. And that’s about the extent of most anglers’ knowledge when it comes to this pastime. Fishing is typically a fleeting experience — from tip to tail, it lasts for a few minutes and ends. You get your photo and maybe even a few good stories, but then it’s back to the real world. That is until you want to eat your fish again. As an avid fisherman knows — catching that perfect catch only means so much if you don’t know how to preserve it and have leftovers for tomorrow night's dinner. Preserving your catch isn’t as simple as putting the fish in the freezer or on ice (which are great options, by the way). There are plenty of other ways to store fish for later use other than throwing it back into the lake or river where you found it. To help get you started on your next fishing trip with a planned sequel, we’ve put together this ultimate guide on how to mount a fish without killing it.

Why Should You Learn to Mount a Fish Without Killing It?

To put it simply, you don’t want to have to kill your fish just to save it. There are many ways to properly preserve a fish without killing it and even more methods to store and preserve it after it’s been killed. If you are angling for an especially fine catch, you may want to preserve your catch for bragging rights. Or maybe you want to save a few bucks by preserving your catch. Not to mention, mounting your fish instead of throwing it back into the water will also help prevent other hungry fish nearby from eating your catch before you have a chance to eat it.

How to Mount a Fish Without Killing It: 4 Methods

There are a few ways to properly mount a fish without killing it. You may not be able to persuade your fish to pose for a photo, but you can still mount it to show off your catch and keep it around for a few days. The best way to mount a fish without killing it is to use a fish mounting method that doesn’t require killing the fish in the first place. There are four main ways to preserve a fish without killing it: - Dry Storage is one of the oldest and most traditional ways to store fish, and there are a few different ways to do it. - Salting For a method that’s been around even longer than dry storage, you can salt your catch. This is a great and simple way to store fish like salmon and sturgeon. - Smoking Smoking your fish is a great way to preserve it for longer periods. - Hot- and cold-smoking Hot-smoking is a simpler method of preserving fish that’s best for fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel. Cold smoking is better for fish like herring, sturgeon, and mullet.

Salt Storage

Salting your fish is one of the easiest ways to store it. You can use any type of salt (not just table salt) to store your fish in a jar or a vacuum-sealed container. The process is pretty simple: you’ll want to gut and clean the fish, then pack the fish in salt. If you’re using a jar, you’ll want to make sure to pack the fish in tightly. Fill the jar with the salt, then place the fish in the jar and seal it. You’ll want to leave the fish in the salt for several weeks. How long you leave it will depend on the size and type of fish you’re salting.

Frozen Storage

Freezing your fish is another easy way to store it for longer amounts of time. This is especially true for fish that are best served cooked, like tuna, salmon, and mackerel. You’ll want to make sure to gut and clean your fish, and then store it in a vacuum-sealed bag or a container with as little air in it as possible. You’ll also want to be careful not to freeze your fish at a temperature that’s too high — it could cause freezer burn.

Shaking and Tumbling Method (Exposing the fish to enzymes)

This method is the easiest of the bunch and makes for a great way to store your fish without killing it. When anglers have been known to use this method, they usually employ it in conjunction with the hot- or cold-smoking process. To shake and tumble your fish, you’ll want to gut it, clean it, and then roll it up in cheesecloth with any spices you want to add to it. You can then either hot- or cold-smoke your fish. After your fish is done smoking, you’ll want to open the bag or container and expose your fish to the enzymes inside the bag. The enzymes will help break down the fish even further and will help preserve it for a few days.


The best way to mount a fish without killing it is to use one of the above methods. Dry storage, salt storage, frozen storage, and shaking and tumbling are four methods you can use to preserve your catch without killing it. If you’re looking to mount a fish without killing it, you’ll want to make sure to do your research and find a method that works best with the fish you’re after. Be prepared, though: mounting a fish requires a bit of effort and time, but it’s worth it. Mounting your fish will make for an excellent decoration in your home, and it will make for a great dinner conversation when you have guests over.

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