I live in Fredericksburg, VA but I'm from Virginia, MN. I go home and fish Vermilion every summer. Grew up on Fraser Bay but fish Wake em Up and Head of the Lakes mostly. Last summer I found a deep main lake point and fished it evenings with a slip bobber and leech or crawler. We caught (Dad, Mom, daughter, wife, friends) 36 walleyes over 22 inches and 2 at 27". Made the paper!! This past August the fishing report was bleak. Not many fish were being caught. We went out to our spot and did the same thing as the previous year. We caught 24 walters over 20 inches and my friend caught his trophy 28.5 inch fish(released). Unbelievable memories!! In all my years fishing the west end of Vermilion we rarely caught fish over 23". Really cool for Dad. He has a 30.5" walleye out of the Rainy River but until last year, his biggest Vermilion fish was 5 lbs. That was over 30 years of fishing!! Know his best is a 27"!! We always caught plenty of 14"-17" eating fish. In 2 summers now, we only caught 2 fish to eat!!
Is this a problem or not? What's the priority, catching big fish or catching and eating fish? I can't answer yet.
Vermilion has a 17"-26" protected slot. When is the time to change a slot, like Mille Lacs, and go to a 20"-26" so a person can keep a few 18" to eat? Don't get me wrong, catching quality fish is a lot more fun than small fish. But eating a walleye is fun too!!
It must be tough for the DNR to manage our waters!