A dog day afternoon at Bush Point

BUSH POINT — It just doesn’t get much better than this, unless you’re a salmon or an errant rabbit. Thursday, it was sunny but cold at Bush Point as a fog bank lay just offshore. The fish have been biting big recently and a dozen or so fishers were hoping for the best.

  • Saturday, September 1, 2007 10:00am
  • Sports

Freeland's Carl Knutsen poses with his freshly-caught "almost 4-pound" salmon at Bush Point on Thursday. Knutsen and friend Roni MacGrigor come out about every other day when the fish are biting. "We love to fish

BUSH POINT — It just doesn’t get much better than this, unless you’re a salmon or an errant rabbit.

Thursday, it was sunny but cold at Bush Point as a fog bank lay just offshore. The fish have been biting big recently and a dozen or so fishers were hoping for the best.

Bob Crawford from Lynnwood has fished the waters of Admiralty Inlet for several years.

“I come up every couple of years when the humpys are running,” he said while standing knee deep in the cold waters.

“Last week was great but nothing but rocks so far.”

Suddenly, everyone’s attention shifted to Craig Sullivan’s dog Ebey, in hot pursuit of a rabbit he’d flushed out of the driftwood near the restrooms.

The rabbit skidded to stop at the water and tried to head down the beach but collided with a kayak’s hull. Cornered, he jumped into the water with Ebey close behind. Both animals paddled out about 20 feet before Ebey turned back.

Through it all, Sullivan from Clinton, kept calling for Ebey to stop, to no avail. All eyes were transfixed as the disoriented bunny attempted a comeback. Intense cold or a heart attack did the little fellow in as Robert Winter from Prescott, Ariz. waded out to bring it ashore and the day’s high drama ended.

A few feet down, Gary Cronk of Mukilteo was helping Carl Knutsen untangle his line by wading into water waist high.

Meanwhile, Knutsen’s line grew taut as it curved gracefully into the sea with a fish on the line.

Moments later he reeled in an “almost 4-pound” salmon, called a humpy.

Knutsen and his “significant other” Roni MacGrigor moved to Freeland recently from Lewis County.

“I caught my first salmon here,” she said. “We use a heavy-duty salmon reel with a 30-pound line but no bait.”

Port of South Whidbey caretaker Mike McCarthy said the place was jumping over the weekend, with up to 40 boats and 300 people at each high tide, fishing poles, drinks and picnic baskets at the ready.

Not a good thing for local homeowner Davis Skones.

“We’re gonna’ get hammered this weekend,” Skones said. “I hope people respect the property of those who live here.”

Skones explained it’s legal to traverse the 400 yards down the beach to South Whidbey State Park from the Bush Point site at mean low tide, but not when the tide is in. “Folks are welcome to walk through but can’t stop and fish,” he added.

Nothing, however, will deter Knutsen and MacGrigor.

“We love to fish,” MacGrigor said.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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