Until the past two years, the vast majority of my fishing and catching experience has centered around carp and shad. Both of these species are toothless at least in the mouth and can be relatively easily released with undue trauma to the fish. I'd estimate 90 percent of the carp and shad I catch, never leave the water and the 10 percent that do it is only for a brief period of time.
Recently, I have had the good fortune to catch some nice toothy predators. Safely landing them especially in the kayak is a challenge. I actually have not landed one in the kayak. I'm usually relatively close to shore, so I normally get out of the yak to land the fish. I've been using fish grippers to hold the fish while I unbutton them. The bowfin have unbuttoned pretty easily, but I found with snakeheads it is usually easier simply to cut the hooks from the lure and pull the hooks through.
The problem with the grippers on the bowfin is they rip through the skin of the lower jaw (photo below). Is there anyway to avoid this?