Freeze dried fish won't be much better Dave. You are much better off going with a good quality reproduction. Small fish are easy to cast yourself or you can buy them from a reputable reproduction supplier like Lake Country Replicas.
Those are the ones I've been using. I think I found freezedried ones yesterday after some time on the internet. They want $20 a piece for the painted ones. I'm ordering one and see what they look like.
It's not the size of the shop, it's the quality of the work!