Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Outdoors

Take a look back at some of Terry Tomalin's most memorable stories

Times' Outdoors writer Terry Tomalin knew the swamps, beaches and forests of the Sunshine State about as well as anyone. He brought them all alive for readers with dozens of first-person narratives, often funny, sometimes poignant, always pure Florida. Here are a few from over the years.

In pursuit of the famous Skunk Ape

Knife in hand, Tomalin hopes to capture one of Florida's most elusive creatures. He wrote:

"A couple more feet and I would be famous. 'Man captures Skunk Ape,' the tabloids would scream, 'and lives to tell the tale.'

One man, a kayak, the open, angry sea: Solitude is the quest

Tomalin loved a good adventure. In this one, he took on "The Outside," the 75-mile stretch of unprotected waters down the west coast of Florida ... in a kayak ... all alone.

The power of the paddle

In 2003, Tomalin took readers on a trip to Bimini by canoe. "Keep paddling," yelled one crew members as waves broke across the deck. "Keep up the speed!"

Big fun for small fry

Tomalin often included his family of his adventures. In this 2003 story, he wrote about fishing with his then 2-year-old son.

Portrait of a nephew as a young, happy camper

Family was also featured in Tomalin's 1991 column about taking his 6-year-old nephew Tyler camping for the first time.

Camp fright

Tomalin went looking for ghosts in the Florida wilds, including Edgar J. Watson, the planter, trader and murderer who terrorized swamps at the turn of the century.

Scare tactics

He also explored the art and science of telling a good campfire ghost story.

The grouper catch: You order grouper; what do you get?

Tomalin also wrote some hard hitting stories, including a two-part special report about how the grouper you eat often isn't grouper. Tap here to read Part 1. Tap here to read Part 2.

Father's Day means lure of memories

Fishing with his father wasn't so much about catching as it was talking, Tomalin wrote. "It was just he and I, pals for life."

Comments

Captainís Corner: Trout fishing is going strong

Over the past three weeks my charters have experienced the best trout fishing Iíve seen since before the Red Tide outbreak of 2005. Our fish have had a solid average of 16-20 inches, with a few coming in at 21 inches or better. All have been released...
Published: 10/20/18
Updated: 10/21/18

Captainís Corner: Oxygen system for bait well proves major benefit for anglers

With Red Tide affecting our nearshore and offshore waters, weíve had problems getting our wells full of live pinfish and threadfin herring. Live bait is crucial offshore and will continue to be the bait of choice until water temperatures get into the...
Published: 10/19/18
Updated: 10/20/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing remains consistent as summer temperatures linger

Summer is lingering in West Florida. Elevated temperatures are also allowing Red Tide blooms to persist, although very patchy to nonexistent along the North Pinellas coast. Fishing has been consistent this past week, even through a weak moon phase. B...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18

Captainís Corner: Stone crab season starts off strong

Stone Crab season opened Monday and initial results are good. The availability of healthy and big stone crabs seems to be better this year than this time last year. The big difference, so far, has been the larger concentrations of egg-bearing female ...
Published: 10/18/18
Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

New Mexico is full of history, culture and amazing outdoor adventures. My Farmington, N.M., adventure started with hiking in the 45,000-acre Bisti Wilderness featuring rolling badlands.Itís like being transported to another planet. To cool off, try h...
Published: 10/17/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

New Mexico is full of history, culture and amazing outdoor adventures. My Farmington, N.M., adventure started with hiking in the 45,000-acre Bisti Wilderness featuring rolling badlands.Itís like being transported to another planet. To cool off, try h...
Published: 10/17/18

Captainís Corner: Plenty of trout, albeit small, still around after hurricane

Hurricane Michael and the first front shook things up a bit. Trout have been around but on the smallish side. Though small, theyíre rod-bending fun for kids and novice anglers. I generally run a 40-pound leader and a long shank hook this time of year...
Published: 10/16/18
Updated: 10/17/18

Captainís Corner: We need cooler water, and fast

Warm waters in the gulf remain a nuisance for anglers. We are ready for cooler temperatures. Normally, the high is 81 degrees at this time. Even with shorter days, revealing less hours of sunlight, itís not the case. This is probably one of the worst...
Published: 10/16/18

Captainís Corner: Water clearing up, and remaining warm

The water is finally starting to clear back up after the blow from the hurricane. I am not seeing any signs of Red Tide from Pass-a-Grille South and throughout the Fort De Soto area. It looks like we will stay in our summer-like pattern for at least ...
Published: 10/15/18

Captainís Corner: Trap tips to help maximize catch

Nowadays most offshore charter operators use pinfish traps on a regular basis. When minnow baits are hard to find, or during winter, many inshore guides use them as well. The traps are baited the evening before the fishing trip and retrieved on the w...
Published: 10/11/18