Sunday, November 19, 2017

A son and daughter send a Father's Day message of love to the late Terry Tomalin


Dear Dad,

When we sat down to write this letter to you, we took time to reflect on all the years we spent together and the 12 months we've now spent apart. We have so many things to tell you, but as we sit to write this we find ourselves at a loss for words. You see, although we have so much we would like to share with you … fun and funny things you've missed, sad times you would have made better, accomplishments and challenges you would have understood best … the emotions we feel about all of these things cannot be captured in a bunch of words. There is not enough paper or pages to explain how much we miss you. We never noticed how much happens in 12 months until you weren't here to share it all with us.


Kai Tomalin, 16, left, and Nia Tomalin, 13, stand near a live oak tree on Friday (6/17/17) which they planted last year at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, a 245-acre protected area in St. Petersburg, in memory of their father, Terry Tomalin, outdoors editor at the Tampa Bay Times (picture, center), who died suddenly one year ago after suffering a heart attack. He was 55. Tomalin had been at the North Shore Aquatic Center in St. Petersburg with Kai; the two were taking a life guarding test together. He collapsed and never regained consciousness.

Eventually we decided that the most important thing we needed to say to you is, "Thank you."

While you were with us you gave us so many gifts and memories. You spent time exposing us to the beauty and wonder of all the things nature has to offer. You took us on countless adventures and instilled in us a love and reverence for life that is beyond words and guides us still. Every day.

In the time we spent together you prepared us for the challenges we would face, and this is why we are able to make it without you here beside us. Although you may not be here physically, we still see you and feel your presence all around us. We hear your voice. We see your strength.


An anhinga rests on a branch on Lake Maggiore Island on Friday (6/17/17) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg. Terry Tomalin frequently visited the park with his son, Kai Tomalin, and daughter, Nia Tomalin. "He called this place the 'church of the great outdoors,' " Kai said of Terry.

We feel your love. In the sea, in the wind, in our hearts. You taught us that with great power comes great responsibility. This is a lesson we will never forget.

We are so grateful to have had you in our lives. The love we feel for you transcends time and makes these past 12 months feel like forever and no time at all. We are certain we will see each other again. Until then, we wish you good paddles.

Thank you, Dad.

Strength and honor,

Kai & Nia

Terry Tomalin, the longtime outdoors editor at the Tampa Bay Times, died suddenly one year ago after suffering a heart attack. He was 55. His children — Kai, 16, and Nia, 13 — were his constant companions, comrades in adventure. His spirit guides their continuing journeys, and their love of adventure knows no end.


Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17