Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

September 24, 2019

Rebuilding Ocracoke.

September 15, 2019

Ocracoke Strong!

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Ocracoke. I started visiting this glorious island 20 years ago with my then very young sons. They are grown and on their own now, but we still make our way to Ocracoke every summer to spend precious family time together. The experiences they had there helped them become the men they are today! There is no other place like Ocracoke...

The community of Ocracoke is strong and tight-knit that is accustomed to weather events ranging from thunder storms to major hurricanes. However, Hurricane Dorian dealt a blow unknown since the 1940s. On September 6, 2019, this storm blew a 7-foot storm surge across the island that inundated homes, businesses, and infrastructure. No body on the island was spared in Dorian’s wake. The reports coming from the island are heart breaking.
While the storm pummeled Ocracoke, I was stuck far away, and unable to help in any way except in notes of support. When the storm moved on, I wanted to help my friends dig out from under the rubble. But that wasn't possible either. I felt pretty darned helpless and worthless. Then, I remembered! While fishing with my friend, Norman, he said in passing, "You need to get your fish on T-shirts."

Suddenly, I realized I wasn't frozen or unable to help. I called my friend, Candice, and told her about my epiphany. She  jumped on board and enlisted her friend, Mel, who runs Bread and Butter Screen Printing. Mel joined the team, and together we developed this fund-raising T-shirt. 

“Tight Lines, Tight Community” Hurricane Relief T-shirt features my original Red Drum illustration, and is professionally designed and produced by Bread and Butter Screen Printing.

Each durable shirt is custom made, on a high-quality 100% cotton Gilden T, and is available in Mint Green, Sky Blue, and Ash Gray. They will stand the test of time, and proudly show your support toward recovery!

100% of profits will go to the Outer Banks Community Foundation for Ocracoke hurricane relief.
Check out their great work at

You can further help by making a direct donation, or order multiple shirts to share with your circle of friends and family who love or support Ocracoke.

Every little bit helps rebuild this special island.

Thank you for your support!

July 7, 2019

Mola Mola

People often ask me which are my favorite fishes to illustrate. Hands down: the weirdos and oddballs. Fishes that don't look like your average Joe fishes, don't behave like your average schooling Joe fishes, fishes named after other animals! Batfishes, Frogfishes, Squirrelfishes! Fishes that walk, crawl, croak, and otherwise do their fishy thing in their weird fishy way. See: Searobins. (So cool.) I also love illustrating fishes that mimic bottom glop, or sponges, seaweeds, or... other fishes. Colorful, crazy, messed up fishes.

Then there is the Mola. It's super boring in terms of color. It's body and fins are not challenging to render. No crazy scale rows, no intricate patterns. It's kind of dull. Except... it's NOT!
This is one of the coolest and most highly evolved fishes in the sea.

Here's an amusing little primer on this super cool fish:

June 25, 2019

Jessie Grove: A Tribute to a Great Lady

Jessie dressed to the nines for the most casual of family gatherings. 
Jessie Grove was born over 103 years ago. On June 22, 2019, Jessie left this world for another. Her life was extraordinary, exemplary, and full of joy, love, kindness, and laughter.

Jessie was known affectionately as "Grandmom" by her three grandchildren, her six great grandchildren, and her sons- and daughters-in-law––myself included. She was raised in Kansas and attended a one-room school house. Details of her childhood are, unfortunately, sparse. Jessie had one daughter––Betty––at a very young age. Times were economically challenging for Jessie. She was fortunate to have the support of a family in Detroit, Michigan, who offered to raise her daughter. Despite the distance, Jessie was devoted to her daughter and traveled extensively to see her. They remained very close for the duration of her life.

Jessie met and married Bob Grove and together they traveled the world. Their stops and journeys were marked with pins and threads on an antiqued plastic globe of the Earth. Bob was an entrepreneur, a military man who traveled in service, and a sheer wizard with tools. Bob and Jessie settled in Fort Meyers, Florida, and enjoyed a life full of work, friends, and fishing. Some time around 1986, Bob and Jessie retired from Florida and moved into a country house surrounded by gardens in White Hall, Virginia. This location suited them well, as they were able to host and partake of regular lunches, dinners, and holidays with their growing family of great grandchildren.
Bob and Jessie Gove in their Fort Meyers heyday!

Jessie and Bob downsized again in a move to University Village, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bob and Jessie were not deterred by condo living and continued with their outdoor pursuits. They built a water feature complete with plants and goldfish for all the residents to enjoy. They also built a garden below their balcony, fed the hummingbirds, made many many friends. Bob also built –– by hand! –– a fanciful playhouse out in Free Union, VA, for family friends. It stands today as a fine remembrance of his handiwork.

Granddaddy Grove and Grandmom with their second great grandchild, Drew.
Granddaddy Grove and Grandmom with their fourth great grandchild, Dave.
Bob passed away around 20 years ago. Jessie, in her characteristic way, lived on always with a cheerful, positive, and kind manner. She often talked of and joked about Bob as if he were sitting next to her. Her stories flew from her memory with clarity and warmth. Jessie was not one for regret, sorrow, or remorse. Jessie did not have a mean, spiteful, angry, or bitter bone in her body. Jessie was always kind, loving, gentle, sweet, and super funny. She never, ever complained, and she never left the house without lipstick on! Jessie was cheerful to her core and always quick to laugh.
Grandmon at Grandparent's Day with her great grandson, Dave (and me).

Jessie eventually fell and wound up in the hospital. Although she longed to live independently as she alway had, she moved into assisted living without complaint. She continued to share in family dinners and was visited often by her clan of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jessie Grove was a fine lady full of grace, charm, warmth, and kindness. She lived a long, prosperous, and full life. Jessie loved well and was well loved in return.

Godspeed, Grandmom!
Jessie's 101 birthday celebration with all her adoring friends and family.

June 4, 2019

Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia!

It's been a VERY busy couple of years.
No time to post here... but... I'm baaaack! (At least for now)
After 6 years of development, Tunas and Billfishes of the World is in press and due to be available in September.
Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia is also in press, and due out this Fall, too!
Like I said, I've been super busy...

I just launched the website for Freshwater Fishes of Virginia, below.
Please check it out!