Monday, May 21, 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: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18

Captainís Corner: Here come the tarpon

Itís hot, the water temperatureís right and itís May. That means itís Tarpon Time! Aprilís full moon seemed to have opened the flood gates for tarpon arriving in our area. Weíve observed some at the Sunshine Skyway bridge for a couple weeks. On a few...
Published: 05/07/18

Captainís Corner: Swash channel is full of life

Offshore winds the past week cleaned beach waters to that pretty shade of blue we often have this time of year. The swash channel is full of life as schools of finger mullet, whiting and threadfin herring go in and out with the tide, and schools of p...
Published: 05/05/18
Updated: 05/06/18
Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Warm weather has stabilized water temperatures, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sunbathers. S...
Updated one month ago