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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


Twitter: @WaterTribe

  1. Cameron Dye wins St. Anthony's Triathlon


    ST. PETERSBURG — All Cameron Dye needed was open road. The 31-year-old from Colorado knew that if he could build a good lead on the bike leg of Sunday's St. Anthony's Triathlon, it would take a real speedster to catch him during the run.

    "I grew up a swimmer," the 2010 champion said. "But the bike is where I do my thing."

    Dye pulled away from the pack on the 40-kilometer bike leg and won his second St. Anthony's, this one in 1 hour, 47 minutes, 59 seconds....

    (left to right) Second place finisher, Kaleb Vanort of Mishawaka, IN, celebrates with first place finisher Cameron Dye, of Boulder, Colorado, during the 32nd annual St. Anthony's Triathlon on Sunday April 26th, 2015 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. 

2,200 people participated in the Olympic distance race, and 750 in the sprint.  

  2. St. Anthony's Triathlon Olympic distance poses a challenge


    ST. PETERSBURG — Robbie Deckard, a 19-year-old triathlon pro from Indiana who got his start at St. Anthony's in 2010, finished 16th in a very competitive men's field Sunday.

    "I am not used to racing this (Olympic) distance," said Deckard, a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder. An Olympic-distance triathlon has a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40K bike leg and a 10K run.

    "And it was hard running in this heat," he said....

  3. A structured approach to catching snook



    Tim Whitfield was in no rush. The veteran fishing guide knew he'd have to wait on the tide. Some things in life you just can't rush and a good snook bite is one of them. • "Hopefully, we've timed it just right," said the Wesley Chapel-based fishing guide. "I know these fish are hungry. The question is will they eat what we have to offer." • Whitfield grew up fishing farm ponds for largemouth bass. Like any good freshwater angler will tell you, when it comes to catching a big bucketmouth, you've got to work the structure. • Big bass love potholes, weed lines and sunken trees. In fact, all predators, from lions to lionfish, use some type of structure to ambush their prey. The legendary linesider is no different. • "Snook act a lot like bass," said the 42-year-old Florida native. "You can use the same tactics and tackle for both species."...

    Terry Tomalin, left, and fishing guide Tim Whitfield show off a snook caught near structure and docks.
  4. St. Anthony's Triathlon launches a pro career


    John Deckard remembers the day his 14-year-old All-Star baseball playing son came home and announced that he was abandoning the sport he loved.

    "He said he was tired of hearing his teammates whine and complain in the dugout," Deckard recalled. "He said he wanted it all to be on him."

    The youngster from Indiana had been watching the Tour de France on television. He liked cycling because, win or lose, it was all up to the individual....

    Robbie Deckard, now 19 and a freshman at Colorado, was hooked after traveling from Indiana with his dad to compete in St. Anthony’s in 2010.
  5. Fort De Soto Paddle Roundup set for weekend


    Making news

    Paddle event set at fort de soto

    The Fort De Soto Paddle Roundup and Shore Explore offers standup and prone races for paddlers of all skill levels today through Sunday. The family-friendly event features a 10-mile race for elite athletes around Mullet Key and a 3-mile recreational race. Other activities include a shorebird and turtle workshop, paddlecraft demos, clinics and "eco/shore" activities for the kids. See a variety of watercraft, including surf skis and outrigger canoes. Paddlers can gauge their fitness level in the PaddleFit Challenge, a hybrid event that tests power, strength, balance, endurance and paddling skills. And check out the H2YO SUP Yoga with Julie Roach. More information is on Facebook and at ...

    Paddleboarder Dennis Navarrete, 43, Palm Harbor, navigates the waters of Tampa Bay just of of Ft. DeSoto Park, 4/3/15. The Egmont Key lighthouse can be seen in the background.
  6. Training for a triathlon? You might want to team up with others



    It wasn't the swimming, biking or running that drew Tom Kennedy to triathlons back in the early '80s. It was the camaraderie.

    "We all shared a common interest," said Kennedy, a 57-year-old attorney from Clearwater. "It's always great to get together with people who like to do the same things you like to do."

    But as triathlons grew in popularity, and became more of a business than a sport, something was lost, Kennedy said....

    Coach Matt Hess, standing, works with triathletes with Kennedy Law Racing as they do a training swim off Dunedin Causeway on a recent Thursday evening.
  7. Suncoast trip pays off for kingfish tourney anglers


    TREASURE ISLAND — Today's tournament angler is faster, smarter and can run longer, deeper in search of fish.

    "Technology makes a difference," said Brian Hasson of the kingfish team Kindred Spear-It. "We can do more than ever before in a shorter period of time."

    The 35-year-old St. Petersburg resident and his teammates traveled more than 120 miles southwest of Tampa Bay Saturday morning to bring home the 61-pound winning fish in the Suncoast Kingfish Classic, one of the oldest king mackerel tournaments on the Gulf Coast....

    From left, David Raciti, Jennifer Hasson, Skyler Hasson, Brian Hasson, Sam Warner, Cheyenne Warner, Copley Gerdes and Tim Brundage show off the 61-pound kingfish that won last week’s Suncoast Kingfish Classic. The team ran more than 120 miles southwest of Tampa Bay for the catch.
  8. Taking the fast track along the Withlacoochee


    INVERNESS — My kids said that I must be getting old when I told them that I'd be exploring the Withlacoochee by airboat instead of my usual canoe or kayak.

    "I once paddled all the way from the Green Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico," I told the airboat captain, hoping to establish some river cred. "It took three days."

    Steve Brown looked at me like I had just confessed to eating road kill. "Why?" he asked. "Nobody had a real boat?"...

    Terry Tomalin takes us airboating on the Withlacoochee River with Wild Bill's Airboat Tours, 12430 E. Gulf to Lake Highway, in Inverness. The tour loops through a section of the 141-mile-long Withlacoochee River, which originates in central Florida's Green Swamp, east of Polk City. It flows west, then north, and then turns northwest and finally west again before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico near Yankeetown.
  9. Kingfish Classic kicks off spring tournament season


    Making news

    spring tourneys will begin with kingfish classic

    The kings are on the beach, signaling the start of the spring tournament season. First up is the Suncoast Kingfish Classic with a $10,000 prize for heaviest king mackerel on April 11 at John's Pass Marina on Treasure Island. Sign up for this Southern Kingfish Association's Division Six competition at The Wild West tournament series opens April 18 at John's Pass Village in Madeira Beach with more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. The four-tournament series continues May 16, with fall events scheduled for Oct. 10 and Oct. 17. Go to to learn more....

    Terry Tomalin takes us outside on Kings Bay in Crystal River, Citrus County (arguably the manatee tour capital of the world), with the Crystal Lodge Dive Center 's Manatee Tour. Kings Bay is Crystal River's headwater, or point of origin, and is fed by 28 springs in the bay that produce a constant temperature of 72° F all year round attracting and providing a habitat for hundreds of manatees during the winter months looking to escape the cold water of the Gulf of Mexico.
  10. Pompano provides plenty of pleasure


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Yarrington was worried about the water temperature.

    "You should have been here last week," the angler declared. "They were biting like crazy."

    Pompano, Yarrington's favorite prey, are not difficult to catch. But they can be hard to find. Popular with both recreational and commercial fishermen, this member of the jack family can be caught in the bay and off local beaches....

    As a child, Rick Yarrington was drawn in by “these silvery fish flashing in the surf’’ on Sunset Beach. He’s loved pompano since.
  11. Gag grouper regional season about to open


    Making news

    gag grouper regional season close to opening

    Residents of the west-central Florida coast in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson or Taylor county can start fishing for gag grouper on Wednesday. This regional season will be open through June 30. Gag grouper anglers can also fish the waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass. Gags caught in state waters (out to 9 nautical miles offshore) can be landed on the Gulf County side of Indian Pass and the Dixie County side of the Steinhatchee River, but may not be taken ashore in other closed areas. Local anglers must wait until July 1 to catch and keep gags. The season will be open through Dec. 3. The season in all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico opens July 1 and closes Dec. 3. Gag grouper must be 22 inches long. The bag limit is two per person....

  12. Program aims to build strong stock of Florida largemouth bass


    WEBSTER — Rick Stout watches over his largemouth bass fingerlings like a farmer nurtures a field of corn.

    "It won't be long now," he said, looking over a tankful of fish. "We'll produce more than a million fish a year. Who knows, maybe you will catch one of them someday."

    The Florida Bass Conservation Center, located off State Road 471 in the Green Swamp, doesn't look like much from the outside. But inside the 39,000 square foot facility sit six 80-foot concrete raceways, each filled with 13,000 gallons of fresh water and more fish than you can count....

    The Florida Bass Conservation Center is located off State Road 471 in the Green Swamp. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times] 
  13. Biologists seek help researching horseshoe crabs


    Making news

    wanted: help in researching horseshoe crabs

    Every spring, horseshoe crabs gather on beaches throughout the state to mate. Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission need the public's help to pinpoint places where horseshoe crabs spawn.

    Beachgoers are likely to have the most luck seeing mating horseshoe crabs at high tide, just before, during or after a full or new moon. The conditions around the new or full moon (today and April 4) will create an ideal opportunity to view the spawning behavior. Males cling to the shells of the larger females as the females head up onto the beach to lay eggs....

  14. Show the sheepshead some respect


    MADEIRA BEACH — Sheepshead could be called the Rodney Dangerfield of sportfish. They don't get no respect.

    "Everybody wants to catch grouper and snapper," said veteran charter boat skipper Mark Hubbard. "But sheepshead are just as much fun to fight. And the great thing is, you can catch them from a boat or from land."

    Hubbard makes his living taking hard core anglers far from land to catch everything from amberjack to blackfin tuna. But every now and then in between charters, he likes to kick back on a seawall and do battle with these notorious bait stealers....

    Terry Tomalin holds a sheepshead he caught in Boca Ciega Bay near a seawall and dock area. One well-known tip for catching the frustrating species: Learn to set the hook before you feel the bite.
  15. Gary Loomis to make Oldsmar appearance


    Making news

    loomis to make appearance in oldsmar sunday

    Legendary fishing rod manufacturer Gary Loomis will be at Fishing Supply Liquidators, 180 Race Track Road N, Oldsmar, at noon Sunday. The man behind Temple Fork Outfitters, will meet fishermen, sign autographs and answer questions regarding everything from trout to tarpon.

    Marine Yard Sale at Eckerd College...