Just wanted to make a quick comment on the gill thing. There is a difference between in the bottom of the gill plate and in the gills.
There are fish that you may need to have control of to avoid the injury of both you and the fish. Big Pike for instance. Big Walleye for another. My hand is in the gill plate at the bottom and my thumb and index finger have the 'essox clamp' on it. It's gills are fine, the fish is fine, I am fine and we all went our merry way no worse for the wear. I am going to make the assumption that bucktail has gripped it right and not jump him. Without evidence at all to the contrary it is not fair to just condemn people.
The dirt's probably not so good though. But who's to say he didn't eat those panfish. They are plentiful, not overly big, so no sin there, they are tasty fish and last I checked, it was still legal. The grass is no less safe than turning a fish in the water so it's eye is 1½" from a sharp rock. "Freeze or you'll put your eye out kid."