Artwork and text by Ed Luterio
My love of the ocean and fishing all began about 30 years ago when my father took me on a nighttime fishing trip on Miss Barnegat Light. All I can remember is that it was a super warm, calm starlit night and the fishing was amazing! People were catching bluefish, stripers, sharks – you name it! I was fascinated at the beauty and strength of the fish that were being caught. I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon, so I always brought something to draw with on long trips like the one that night. After catching a few bluefish I was exhausted. They were big for a 13-year-old kid.
I took one out of the burlap bag that was hanging from the rail and broght it to the front of the boat with my sketchbook in hand. I laid it down at my feet and proceeded to draw him – over and over again, in different positions, as though it were a school of them swimming and eating the little bunker that we were using for bait. I’m sure if I saw it today I would be completely embarrassed at how bad it may appear, but it’s what got me started painting and drawing my favorite subject matter.
Spending time on LBI swimming, surf fishing, crabbing or just walking to the top of “Old Barney” carrying my first born daughter the whole way (What was I thinking?) all add to my mental and physical photo library that serve as reference for many of my paintings. I grew up loving all things nautical, LBI was a huge part of my life then and still is!