Mayfield trades radar for his rod and reel

Published: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

ISLAMORADA — A day after retiring as director of the National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield went fishing in the Florida Keys on Thursday.

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The Associated Press

The highlight of his daylong angling sojourn was the catch-and-release of a goliath grouper estimated to weigh 200 pounds.

"When I was growing up in Oklahoma, I usually (caught) 2- and 3-pound bass," said Mayfield. "That goliath grouper is the biggest fish I've ever caught in my lifetime.

Mayfield fished with his son Lee and several friends the day after ending a 34-year career at the center in Miami, the last seven as its director. During his tenure, he monitored more than 500 hurricanes and about 400 other named storms.

Mayfield, 58, is undecided about his future, but predicts he will remain associated with communicating the needs for those that live in hurricane-prone areas to be prepared to deal with tropical cyclones.

"He's been a real lifeline for us in the Florida Keys for all these years," said Richard Stanczyk, an Islamorada marina owner who hosted Mayfield on the fishing trip. "Now he'll get a chance to not be so busy and hopefully plenty of time to become a great angler."

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