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I bring 'em onboard the boat.

Only thing is when alone and they are a bit too big for me to handle the rod and the net, I'll just bring 'em alongside and grab hold of the lower jaw with one hand. Once that is successful will put the rod down and grab hold with the other hand and hoist em aboard. it only bleeds for a little while and the scabs are cleared up in a week!:smile2::smile2::smile2:

Get the hook out, weigh 'em, take a pic, and back in the water gently.
 

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I net them and bring em up. It was a challenge finding a net beefy enough to the bigger fish. I haven't seen the ideal net yet... I have a lip gripper, but just haven't learned to trust it enough - or trust myself about dropping it in the water - to use it without having the fish in the net first.
 

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I try to keep my handling of a flathead to a minimum.

If it is a small fish that I don't want to bother snapping a picture of, I will try to lip him and remove the hook and let him go without bringing him into the boat. If it is a situation where I cannot lip him, too much current or something like that, I will net him but leave the net in the water, remove the hook, and let him go directly into the river.

If it is a fish that I want a photo of, I will net him and remove the hook and leave the net in the water until I am ready to photo - when ready the fish comes out of the net - smiles pretty for a picture - and right back into the water with as little handling as possible.

If it is a really big fish or I am alone trying to handle a big fish - I will net him and lift him carefully into the boat. I have found that taking a very soaking, wet rag and placing it on their head to cover their eyes will sometimes keep them calm and prevent them from thrashing around. I try to get them back in the water as quickly as possible.

I have never tied off a fish. I'm not sure how you would do that. I would hate to see someone running a rope through their gills or cutting a hole in their jaw for a rope. I do have a very large, soft duck decoy bag on my boat just in case I want to try to keep a large fish alive for longer than a quick photo. It will hold a very large flathead with no problem and wouldn't hurt the fish that much. I've never used it yet but I am prepared just in case I need a large "Keep" bag.
 

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I aint caught any big enough I couldnt drag on the bank an get a stringer in thier lip yet. I done use a net ,just lip all my fish.
 

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I try to keep my handling of a flathead to a minimum.

If it is a small fish that I don't want to bother snapping a picture of, I will try to lip him and remove the hook and let him go without bringing him into the boat. If it is a situation where I cannot lip him, too much current or something like that, I will net him but leave the net in the water, remove the hook, and let him go directly into the river.

If it is a fish that I want a photo of, I will net him and remove the hook and leave the net in the water until I am ready to photo - when ready the fish comes out of the net - smiles pretty for a picture - and right back into the water with as little handling as possible.

If it is a really big fish or I am alone trying to handle a big fish - I will net him and lift him carefully into the boat. I have found that taking a very soaking, wet rag and placing it on their head to cover their eyes will sometimes keep them calm and prevent them from thrashing around. I try to get them back in the water as quickly as possible.

I have never tied off a fish. I'm not sure how you would do that. I would hate to see someone running a rope through their gills or cutting a hole in their jaw for a rope. I do have a very large, soft duck decoy bag on my boat just in case I want to try to keep a large fish alive for longer than a quick photo. It will hold a very large flathead with no problem and wouldn't hurt the fish that much. I've never used it yet but I am prepared just in case I need a large "Keep" bag.
nice flathead:wink:
 

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I cant stand it if it is a monster and hes along side the boat flopping so i will bring him aboard in my net and gently take a pic and release or hold in my livewell until i have to weigh in time at a tourny, Then release
 

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I grab the bottom lip and hold on. It will cut up your knuckles, but hey it like having a trophy for the catch.........
Have known a few guys that keep a small gaff in their boat and gaff them through the lower lip.
 

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one more helpful pointer on netting a big fish let him settle down and stop flopping before you set him in the boat they can knock you off your feet[i know the hard way] they can knok or throw your new 150$ rig out of the boat{i know the hard way} but most important is the fish will bruse himself one more stress you dont need when RELEASING a trophy:angry:
 
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