drpepper gave me the idea for a new thread, something I had not thought much about, but something I was carefull of. If you dont intend to release the fish, then read no farther. I am not an expert in fish biology, but I have handled quite a nice flatheads over the years. I know it works, on most of the fish I release because I have caught the same big fish several times. Again this if for big fish. Please dont pick them up by the gills, they are probably good as dead if you do this. What I do is put one hand in the lower mouth and partially raise the fish up, then I slide my other hand under it's belly and hold it up with both hands supporting it's weight. Like in my avitar...I have held a few big fish with both hands in the lower mouth, but dont like to do it this way, on fish above 40-lbs. I feel that they would survive, but I had a friend do this once, and you could hear the bone breaking in the jaw. Just a tip, and something I do without thinking much about it, but I would never pick a big fish up by the gills.