Chesapeake Bay enthusiasts love T-shirts, stickers, posters, prints and other collectibles that display their favorite regional icons including fish, seafood, lighthouses and boats. There are endless designs to choose from, varying from simple text only slogans to intricate logos.
Collectors interested in this famous estuary often look for t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, golf shirts, Chesapeake Chiropractor raglan jerseys, tank tops, sleeveless tees and other apparel to show off their interests. Art and craft lovers also choose items such as stickers, prints, posters, coffee mugs or other items to remind them of the waterway.
Some designs feature a species of fish or shellfish while others include lighthouses, navigational aids or unique boats of the estuary. The following list outlines some of the most common icons seen on artwork of the region.
Rockfish – These beautiful fish are the undisputed icon of area fishing. They have deep bodies with alternating stripes of brown and silver.
Summer Flounder – These flat fish have both eyes on the same side of their head. Their color varies, from dark brown to tan, depending on surroundings.
Bluefish – Bluefish are known for their fierce bites, aggressive feeding and brute strength. These fish range from 1-20 lbs and are greenish-blue in color.
Red Drum – These large drum are among the largest fish that visit the bay. They have heavy bodies with a coppery coloring and may exceed 50 lbs.
Black Drum – Another large fish, adult black drum are anything but handsome. Adults are dark gray to brown with faint stripes while younger fish have a more prominent series of silver and black vertical stripes. Both adults and young fish have chin barbels.
Speckled Trout – These beautiful fish have silvery gray backs with a white belly. The upper parts and tail of the fish have an iridescent sheen and black spots. The dorsal and tail fin are also spotted.
Gray Trout – These beautiful fish have a dark olive back, iridescent blue and copper sides and a silvery white belly.
Spadefish – These fish highly prized by lower bay fishermen who find them in late spring and summer. They have angelfish shaped bodies and prominent vertical bars of alternating black and silver.
Blue Crabs – These brightly colored crustaceans make up the bulk of present day Chesapeake Bay seafood landings. These crabs have a green shell with white face and legs. Males have brilliant blue claws while the smaller females display orange-red coloring on claws and legs. Prized by seafood lovers, they are steamed and eaten as is, prepared as crab cakes or cooked whole when they are in their soft shelled stage.
Oysters – Seafood enthusiasts seek out oysters, eating them raw on the half shell, steamed or cooking a variety of local recipes. Local t-shirts display bay oysters in their natural state or shucked and ready to enjoy.
Lighthouses and Navigational Aids – Famous lighthouses of past and present include Chesapeake Lightship, Thomas Point Lighthouse, Concord Point, Fort Washington Light, Seven Foot Knoll, Cove Point, Point Lookout, Drum Point, Piney Point, Hooper Straits, Blackistone, Sandy Point Shoal, Turkey Point, Smith Point, Solomons Lump, Holland Island, Tangier Light, Cape Henry Lighthouse and others.
Boats – Boating enthusiasts love work boats, including skipjacks, bugeyes, schooners, deadrise boats, oyster buy boats and other working craft of the bay. While some of the these wonderful boats have disappeared, their legacy continues on t-shirts, prints and local artwork.
The author maintains art related websites including Chesapeake Bay T Shirts and Nautical Art.