Wilmington-based artist creates Big Rock Blue Marlin t-shirt design

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — A marine wildlife artist who has shared his work at fishing tournaments worldwide said the Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament in his home state of North Carolina beats the rest.

“I am home, but I now have one of the top events in the world right here in my backyard,” Steve Goione said.

Wilmington-based Goione has traveled to countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas to create artwork for fishing tournaments. This year, he was selected as Big Rock Blue Marlin’s featured artist.

“Oh, it means everything, being attached to Big Rock,” Goione said. “It’s a privilege.”

In vibrant watercolor, Goione’s art features Mahi Mahi and Wahoo, but the focus remains on the big blue marlin.

“I had a bright turquoise ocean and a soft coral and yellow sky,” Goione said.

Big Rock retailers said since all the proceeds go to charity, Goione’s items are flying off the shelves.

“They’ve been extremely popular, especially the youth sizes.” Big Rock sales representative Katelyn Espenship said. “We are actually out of a few sizes already and the tournament’s not even over.”

“I like the big Blue Marlin on the back,” Holt Wilkerson of Raleigh said.

His sister Ellis added, “I like the way it’s pretty realistic.”

Goione said it feels amazing to be back home and see his designs all across the state.

“It makes me proud as North Carolinian living here for 12 years now that I can help represent the Big Rock and North Carolina,” Goione said. “To be able to help promote this to the world from North Carolina, that makes me proud.”

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