Re: Replica or actual fish
Replicas will last longer, you don't have to worry about insects and conditions in the home with replicas as with skins. If you decide you do not want to kill a fish, you can still have a mount by taking some strategic measurements and some good photos. You should still take good photos even if you are having a skin mounted so the taxidermist can get the color right.
When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!