Sunday, January 21, 2018

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: Live baits outperforming artificials

Amberjack have been the hot topic in the area since their season opened Jan. 1. Anglers have been targeting wrecks and other large structures in depths of 80-120 feet for these tackle-testing monsters. Although amberjack are caught on a wide variety ...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Captainís Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

Extreme cold has brought backcountry water temperatures down. As in years past, extreme dips have shocked many fish, especially snook, which take the biggest hit and become extremely lethargic and often near death. Luckily the cold wonít be long, and...
Published: 01/19/18

Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

Over the past two weeks divers and anglers have been in search of amberjack. The season opened Jan. 1 and ends Jan. 27. The short season for gulf amberjack has pushed many divers and anglers to venture offshore, even in questionable weather. Donít fo...
Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

This past week has seen a variety of different fishing styles prove effective. Fishing for trout in deeper depressions with live shrimp has provided steady action. Rig as follows: Use a ?-ounce jighead, grab a shrimp from the well and pinch the tail ...
Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

Cold water has fishing in sort of slow motion. Middle bay temperatures (Gandy area) are holding in the 54-56 degree range. During this time of year the stalking of large snook and redfish take a back seat to finesse fishing and trying to figure out w...
Published: 01/10/18
Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

With colder weather the first big change is what bait to use. Before the cold fronts in the first week we were using greenbacks and catching a bunch of snook. With the cold weather that has hit us we are now shifting gears and using shrimp and throwi...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18