Make us your home page

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. Resolve to take on these outdoors adventures



    It seems every December people ask me what adventures I have planned for the new year. After 25 years on the outdoors beat I've been to quite a bit of this great state, and hopefully, I'll have another 25 to get to the rest. But don't live vicariously through my adventures. Start your own Florida bucket list. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    Hook a tarpon...

    Tyson Wallerstein shows a 100-pound tarpon that was caught and released off Clearwater Beach on Wednesday.
  2. Motorsports festival to help amputees


    making news

    motorsports festival to help amputees

    Street riders, dirt bikers and ATV lovers will be out in force Saturday for Barney's Motorcycle and Marine charity bike show and food drive. The motorsports festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. at the Barney's St. Petersburg showroom on Gandy Boulevard.

    Bring your motorcycle, enjoy music, food trucks and vendors, and help raise money for the 50 Legs Foundation, which helps amputees get the care and prosthetics they need to live happier, heathier lives. For information, go to

  3. Half marathon could be the fitness challenge you've been seeking


    Glenn Jacobs has run every race from 5Ks to full marathons, but the 62-year-old real estate broker from New Port Richey said he found his sweet spot with the 13.1-mile half marathon.

    "There's just less wear and tear on your body," said Jacobs, who hopes to run his 13th consecutive Florida Holiday Halfathon on Sunday. "I feel like it is a distance that I can keep doing my whole life."

    Nearly 2,000 runners are expected to run from Madeira Beach to Taylor Park in Largo in what has become one of the Tampa Bay area's most popular distance races....

    Glenn Jacobs, 62, and Leslie Jacobs, 58, pose with race medals from their previous Annual Florida Holiday Halfathon outings.
  4. A holiday gift list for your outdoors enthusiast


    My wife complains that I am the hardest person in the world to shop for Christmas. That's because I'm a gear junkie and usually buy the latest and greatest gadget as soon as it hits the store's shelves. • But I strolled through Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park the other day and picked out a few gifts that I just have to get this holiday season. When it comes to outdoors equipment, I'm pretty picky. • If it's going in my arsenal, it needs to be durable, versatile and most important, kind of cool:...

  5. Sort through possibilities at St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show



    When I win the lottery, which should be any week now, I'm going to buy not one new boat, but two or three. Maybe even four.

    That's because no one boat can do it all.

    "A center-console fishing boat will get you just about anywhere you want to go," explained Jim Naset, a salesman with Pro Marine in St. Petersburg. "If you are looking for something that's versatile, this is it."...

    A Larson boat is among hundreds at this weekend’s three-day St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show.
  6. Bay area 23-mile swim to help headache sufferers


    making news

    swim to help headache sufferers

    If you are on the water this weekend keep an eye out for Liz Hertz, an open-water devotee who will swim 23 miles from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach on Saturday to raise money for the charity, which helps people who suffer from an extremely painful neurological condition called cluster headaches. Last spring, Hertz finished second in the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 12 hours and 45 minutes....

  7. Snook season nearing closing


    making news


    Local anglers have a few more days to fish for snook before the recreational season closes Monday in the Gulf of Mexico's state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park. The season will reopen March 1. Snook can be caught and released during the closed season. State officials protect snook during the cold winter months when this tropical species is vulnerable due to lower water temperatures. Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, close Dec. 15 and reopen Feb. 1....

  8. Cold weather is perfect time to get outside



    Starting in November, the Tampa Bay area usually gets about one cold front a week. The wind, rain and cold air is usually enough to send most folks running for the Great Indoors. Not this Boy Scout. I've always got a Plan B, C and D when the weather throws me a curveball. I never let anything stand between me and adventure.

    So stop whining, get off the couch, put on your boots and poncho and take it outside....

    Rain over Clearwater Beach as a front portends the arrival of cooler weather, but don’t let that send you indoors.
  9. Foilboarding gaining momentum in Tampa Bay



    Bill Chamberlain loves living on a peninsula. • "No matter which way the wind is blowing, you've always got some place to sail," said the 50-year-old foilboarder. "I can't think of a better place to be." • Foilboarding, also known as hydrofoil kiteboarding, is one of the fastest growing extreme watersports in the U.S, with a small but dedicated following in the Tampa Bay area. • But Chamberlain and his fellow foil fanatics think it is only a matter of time before you see as many people foilboarding as you do kite surfing. • "I've crewed on everything from America's Cup boats to high-tech catamarans," said the Michigan native. "But I gave that all up when I saw my first foil board." • A foilboard looks like a short surfboard with one major difference: It has a carbon fiber hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. The foil provides lift, which causes the board to rise above the water and travel at a much higher speed than a conventional kiteboard. • "Just head down to the Skyway, Tierra Verde or Pass-a-Grille on a windy day and you will see people ripping across the water," said Chamberlain, a wealth manager from St. Petersburg. • "The speed is addictive."...

    Foilboarding, which has a small but dedicated following in the Tampa Bay area, is known for exhilarating speed.
  10. Tampa Bay Watch seeking 400 volunteers to restore Rock Ponds


    making news

    help sought for rock ponds restoration

    Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, needs 400 volunteers to plant salt marsh grasses to restore the Rock Ponds (near Ruskin just north of Port Manatee) from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday. Salt marshes are key to restoring the natural balance most recreational and commercial species need to thrive. The physical address for the project is 4480 County Line Road, Palmetto. Go to for more information and to register for the project....

  11. Fishing is magical at Disney World



    In my house, dad never wins. I hate to admit it, but kids rule. When it comes time for vacation or a weekend getaway, what the old man wants doesn't matter.

    When I get a day off, I like to do something worthwhile, like watching football or napping by the pool, not standing in line for a roller coaster that will probably send me into cardiac arrest.

    But it doesn't matter — this holiday season you will probably find me, and a couple of thousand other dads, chasing my kids through Walt Disney World. And for once, I don't really mind....

    With numerous spots and trip options, Disney offers some of the best largemouth bass fishing in Florida.
  12. New Hammer duathlon takes racers off-road


    Kip Koelsch likes a challenge. It should come as no surprise, then, that the adventure-athlete-turned-race-promoter designs race courses full of surprises.

    "So you are running along this flat trail and all of a sudden there's this hill that comes out of nowhere," he explained with a smile. "Nobody is going to be expecting that."

    Koeslch, 48, has run, biked and paddled from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in the legendary "Coast to Coast" race. Now the St. Petersburg man thinks he's got the next great challenge for weekend warriors looking for a change of pace: the off-road duathlon....

    The Hammer’s distances ranged from the Little Hammer (1-mile run, 6-mile bike, 1-mile run) to the Sledge Hammer (1 mile, 16 miles, 6 miles).
  13. Fall King of the Beach tournament is this weekend



    Jason Stock has fished for king mackerel out of everything from a plastic sit-on-top sea kayak to a 36-foot Yellowfin.

    "It doesn't matter what size boat you are in," said the 29-year-old charter boat captain. "If you keep your eyes open, and have a little luck, you can catch a tournament-winning king."

    Stock, who grew up in St. Petersburg and charters out of Anna Maria Island, doesn't have a triple-engine offshore machine. He typically fishes for kings out of his 23-foot Hanson, a locally-built boat known for durability and versatility....

    Charter boat captain Jason Stock will pursue big kingfish during this weekend’s King of the Beach tournament.
  14. Fabien Cousteau adds to family legacy of tackling an ocean of environmental issues


    In Fabien Cousteau's world, people will live, work and, of course, play under the sea. The grandson of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau spent 31 days last summer hanging out in a marine laboratory 63 feet below the water's surface in the Florida Keys.

    "It was one of my fantasies," said the 47-year-old aquanaut, a headliner at this week's Blue Ocean Festival in St. Petersburg. "I always want to go deeper, stay longer … that is where our future is, under the sea."...

    Fabien Cousteau will speak Tuesday at the Blue Ocean Film Festival.
  15. Bay area duo second at redfish tournament


    making news

    tampa bay duo second in tourney

    Brett Norris of St. Petersburg and Kris Howell of Tampa finished second out 105 teams in the 2014 Inshore Fishing Association Redfish Tournament in Houma, La. last weekend. The Tampa Bay anglers entered a combined weight of 35.12 pounds for the two-day tournament, winning $28,000. It was their first trip to the Louisiana IFA Championship series, which included teams from all over the Southeast. Norris and Howell also won Team of the Year honors for most points in the three-tournament series, which included events in Sarasota and Punta Gorda....