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. 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....

    Volunteers gather fishing line, trash and other marine debris during a recent beach cleanup.

 [Tampa Bay Watch]
  2. 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.
  3. '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....

    Morris is all about balance, in every way, so he trains on slacklines in his homemade backyard gym.
  4. 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.
  5. 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....

  6. 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.
  7. 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."...

  8. 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 torso arm machine with help from Bob Kissel at his MaxQ Fitness studio in St. Petersburg.
  9. 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....

  10. 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.
  11. 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....

  12. Proposed red snapper rules spark debate


    ST. PETE BEACH — Dave Markett has been fishing the Gulf of Mexico for more than 50 years, but the Tampa charter boat captain and former commercial fisherman fears his grandsons will not be able to do the same if federal fishery managers move ahead with new red snapper rules this month.

    Markett, and more than 100 angry recreational fishermen, packed into a tiny ballroom at the Sirata Beach Resort this week to hear representatives of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council discuss "Reef Fish Amendment 40," also known as sector separation....

    A red snapper, a species that may get new regulations, is shown about 50 miles west of St. Petersburg.
  13. Amberjack season opens Friday


    GULF OF MEXICO — Some anglers prize grouper for their delicate flesh. Others praise king mackerel for their long, fast runs. But when it comes to on-the-water entertainment, the great amberjack just can't be beat.

    Pound for pound, you won't find a better fighting fish in the gulf. After a two-month closure, the season for these offshore brutes — which can be found from Key West to Pensacola — reopens today....

    James Russo shows off the huge amberjack he caught aboard the Friendly Fishermen out of John’s Pass. Amberjack season opens today.
  14. Half the task of catching lobsters is finding them


    Forget about getting anything out of Tom Matthews. The lobster biologist is as cagey as the crustaceans he studies.

    "The problem is that lobsters are notoriously hard to count," said Matthews, who works in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's field office in Marathon. "If you took all of the lobsters and put them in one room, they would all gather together in one corner."...

    The two-day lobster sport season is next week, with hunters facing the usual challenge of locating the speedy, always-on-the-go crustaceans.
  15. Guy Harvey Resort features aquarium


    ST. PETE BEACH — Keith Overton didn't know what to do about his skinny snook. The avid angler had caught the linesiders in Tampa Bay and transferred them to his new 33,500-gallon fish tank, but now he watched helplessly as the apex predators slowly wasted away.

    "There was plenty of food in the tank," said the man behind Guy Harvey's RumFish Grill & Bar on St. Pete Beach. "But for some reason the snook just weren't eating."...

    Keith Overton, an avid angler and the GM of the new Guy Harvey Outpost, caught most of the fish in the 33,500-gallon aquarium, background, at the resort’s RumFish Grill. The aquarium was featured on Tanked.