Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors/Fitness Editor

Terry Tomalin

Terry Tomalin moved to Florida in the spring of 1980 for the sun and surf. After graduating from the University of South Florida in 1983, Tomalin backpacked through Europe, returning a few months later to work for a small Central Florida newspaper, where his stories on the Ku Klux Klan resulted in the resignation of a local sheriff.

Tomalin joined the Times as a police reporter in 1986, but left 18 months later to backpack through New Zealand and Australia. He returned a year later and transferred to the sports department to cover the great outdoors.

During the past 20 years, Tomalin has lived with witch doctors in the Amazon, explored sunken Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico, sailed to Cuba, canoed to the Bahamas and swam around Key West. Tomalin loves to fish, surf, paddle and enjoy all Florida has to offer.

A fellow of the prestigious Explorer's Club in New York City, Tomalin holds a master's degree in Florida studies and is involved in many community organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America.

Phone: (727) 893-8808

Email: ttomalin@tampabay.com

Twitter: @WaterTribe

  1. Boat builders exhibition in Tampa shows industry rebounding


    TAMPA — Like many at the International Boatbuilders Exhibition & Conference, Steve Schoderer is optimistic about the future of the nation's marine industry.

    "We had some rough years," said Scho­derer of Mercury Marine, one the country's leading outboard motor manufacturers. "But things are looking up. One reason — technology."

    Schoderer, while standing on the dock outside the Tampa Convention Center, said he thinks high-tech features such as his company's new "joystick" operating system will be the next big thing in every new pleasure cruiser....

    A 34 SeaVee triple engine sits docked on display at the International Boatbuilders Exhibition & Conference, an industry trade show with more than 500 vendors, at the Tampa Convention Center on Tuesday afternoon.
  2. Superboat races in Clearwater this weekend



    Veteran racer Bob Noble Jr. knows that the secret to success on the offshore powerboat circuit is just making it across the finish line.

    "It is a long season," said Noble, whose STIHL Offshore Racing team leads the points race heading into the Super Boat National Championship. "You try to rack up points as you go, but often it comes down to the last race. That's why everything counts."...

    Bob Noble Jr., inspecting the engine of his STIHL Offshore Racing boat, says Clearwater is a favorite stop.
  3. Low-speed boating zones to protect manatees proposed for Pinellas' Intracoastal


    The perennial Florida debate over which to protect — boaters or manatees? — is heating up again in Pinellas County, where state officials are proposing rules that would slow traffic along the Intracoastal Waterway.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reconsidering speed limits because of a rise in manatee deaths. Officials have identified 21 areas along Pinellas waterways that might warrant half-mile "slow speed" zones....

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reconsidering the speed limits on Pinellas' waterways given a rise in manatee deaths. Officials have identified 21 areas, including the John's Pass area, that may warrant half-mile "slow speed" zones. 
[CHERIE DIEZ    |   Times]
  4. St. Petersburg man swims 20-mile Catalina Island to California route


    Chris Burke didn't know what to expect when he walked into the water off Catalina Island shortly before midnight on Monday.

    "There's a lot that goes through your mind," said the 52-year-old contractor from St. Petersburg. "You know you are going to have to swim through the night. … It gets kind of lonely. There's a lot to think about."

    But 11 hours, 22 minutes and 20 miles later, Burke made landfall on the California coast, completing the second leg of the coveted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming....

    Chris Burke, 52, of St. Petersburg, back on dry land on Tuesday after his Catalina Island to California coast swim.
  5. Anglers need to clean up to protect nature


    TIERRA VERDE — I consider myself a pretty good caster, but occasionally I do snag a mangrove. I take great care when removing the lure, partly because I'm a cheapskate and can't stand losing a $7 MirrOlure. But I also know that fishing line kills.

    On a warm September morning 20 years ago, I was touring the small islands of Tampa Bay, rookeries where pelicans and other birds come to raise their young. My friend Peter Clark, a biologist who had just started a non-profit called Tampa Bay Watch, wanted to show me first-hand what old monofilament fishing line can do....

    This pelican got tangled in a fisherman’s rig but survived after Tampa Bay Watch volunteers removed the hook.
  6. Get Hubbard fishing tips at Tampa's Florida Sportsman Expo


    MADEIRA BEACH — Like most fishermen, Capt. Mark Hubbard keeps his cards close to his chest.

    "I don't want to give away all of my secrets," said Hubbard, whose family has been running party boats out of John's Pass for nearly 50 years. "If you want to know how to catch fish — book a trip."

    Hubbard prides himself on keeping his repeat customers happy. He likes to send anglers home with fish for the pan, grill and smoker. But like most successful captains, he's a businessman. That's why it's surprising to see him on the list of speakers at this weekend's Florida Sportsman Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds....

    Mark Hubbard, right, whose family has been running charter boats out of John’s Pass for nearly 50 years, will share offshore fishing tips at this weekend’s Florida Sportsman Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
  7. 'American Ninja Warrior' says he's really training for life


    Sean Morris is a reluctant warrior. The soft-spoken communications student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg never dreamed he'd be an "American Ninja." He just sort of stumbled into it.

    "One of the things I have always prided myself on is my balance," said the 6-foot-2, 170-pound extreme athlete. "But this was something that I just fell into."

    Morris, 26, a former skateboarder who was born and raised in Sarasota, installed hurricane shutters part time to help pay his way through school....

  8. Jetovator creates full-thrust fun


    TAMPA — Taking off on a Jetovator isn't hard. It's the landing that hurts.

    "Are you okay?" Eddie McNamara asked as I climbed out from beneath the hydro-powered water bike. "You landed pretty hard."

    I grumbled something, rolled back to my feet and made a mental note: Next time stay in deep water, far away from the sandbar.

    "You were doing pretty good," McNamara added, "until you crashed."...

    Eddie McNamara gives a sneak preview of the Jetovator demonstrations he will conduct this weekend.
  9. Guy Harvey Outpost to host lionfish tournament



    Lionfish tournament at Harvey Outpost

    The Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach is hosting a lionfish spearfishing tournament on Sept. 6. Lionfish are an invasive species that compete with native fish such as gag and red grouper on local reefs. The only way to get rid of lionfish is to shoot them. Divers who participate in the Lionfish Safari must surrender their catch on Sept. 7 when the Outpost hosts a Family Fun Day. All lionfish captured during the tournament will be filleted, cooked and served to participants. Lionfish have venomous spines, but when handled properly, are fine dinner fare. The entry fee is $20. The deadline to sign up is Saturday. Go to guyslionfishsafari.com....

  10. Anglers wary about Red Tide



    Nothing creates more confusion and anguish among anglers than the words "Red Tide."

    For weeks now, a harmful algae bloom has been lingering 5 to 20 miles offshore between Tarpon Springs and Dixie County. There have been reports of fish kills in deep water, but as of today, there have been no issues reported inshore.

    Local fishermen and boaters remember Tampa Bay's last major Red Tide. In 2005-06, water- and tourism-related businesses lost millions as dead fish covered local beaches and shorelines....

    Treasure Island was among areas affected by the last major Red Tide to hit the Tampa Bay area, in 2005-06.
  11. Hunting for scallops


    TIERRA VERDE — Organizers don't know what to expect when hundreds of snorkelers hit the water Saturday to look for scallops.

    "We have had some really good years, and others … they have been hard to find," said Peter Clark, president of Tampa Bay Watch, sponsor of the Great Bay Scallop Search. "But one thing is for sure. The water quality in the bay is the best it's been since the 1950s."...

  12. MaxQ Fitness formula: 30 minutes of exercise a week, plus diet, equals lean body



    Shea Showalter thought it sounded too good to be true. "Work out for 15 minutes twice a week and lose weight?" she recalled. "Let's just say I was skeptical."

    The 38-year-old from Tampa had heard about Bob Kissel and his magic machines from her life coach. "I didn't have a particularly active lifestyle," she admitted. "I had been a swimmer when I was younger, but I hadn't done anything in years."...

    Kim Royals, 47, of Lutz works to complete a set on the rowing machine with Bob Kissel’s guidance at his MaxQ Fitness studio in St. Petersburg, at 360 Central Ave. The workout takes just 15 minutes on machines that Kissel, 52, developed and patented. It’s exhausting, which is the point, and is to be done twice a week, with rest in between.
  13. Amberjack season to close


    making news

    AMBERJACK season to close

    Add greater amberjack to the list of offshore species off limits to recreational anglers. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council announced this week that the season will shut down on Aug. 25 and remained closed until Jan. 1, 2015.

    According to the Gulf Council, sport fishermen will reach their 888,839-pound catch limit by Aug. 24. The Gulf's amberjack stocks are split between the recreational and commercial sectors, with roughly two-thirds of the quota going to sport fishermen....

  14. Florida still loves its snook


    ST. PETERSBURG — Ron Taylor was just a boy, maybe 7 or 8 years old, but he remembers that first snook as if it were caught just yesterday.

    "It was the biggest tussle … such a robust catch," recalled the 72-year-old marine biologist. "Over the years, the visions of snook in my brain, instead of fading, just became more brilliant.

    "For many people, fishing for snook is not a sport," he said in a slow Alabama drawl. "It is a religion."...

    Snook expert Ron Taylor is a fixture at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s research lab in St. Petersburg.
  15. Regular season for spiny lobster opens




    If you missed last month's two-day recreational lobsters season, don't worry. The regular season for spiny lobster in Florida state waters in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean opened this week and runs through March 31.

    Many veteran bug hunters wait for August, when the crowds are gone, to dive for spiny lobster. If you are a newcomer to the sport, make sure you measure the lobster in the water. The body shell must be longer than 3 inches. If the lobster is "short," leave it in the water....