I saw a storm of posts Friday afternoon regarding the passing of Jose Wejebe. The angling world lost a great ambassador for the sport. I never personally knew Jose, but I did see episodes of his series Spanish Fly. We at the frenzy want to add our condolences to the family and friends of Jose Wejebe.
Here is the story from Outdoor Life:
“The fishing world lost one of its most popular personalities late last week when Spanish Fly host Jose Wejebe died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from Everglade Airpark in Florida. Wejebe, 54, was the sole occupant of the homebuilt single-engine plane.
The Cuban-born Wejebe was a colorful and popular personality in the fishing community and the host of Spanish Fly since 1995. He is survived by his 28-year-old daughter Kristin. Outdoor Life sends its deepest condolences to the Wejebe family.
From the Wejebe family:
We would like to invite all family and friends to a Celebration of Life in honor of Jose Wejebe, Sunday April 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM at the International Game Fish Association Museum (IGFA) in Dania, Beach Florida. All those who were touched by Jose are welcome to attend.”
Here is a bio from the website Spanish Fly on Jose:
“Born in Havana, Cuba in 1958, Jose Wejebe and family fleeing Fidel Castros’ revolution moved to South Florida to start a new life. Growing up in Miami, Jose Wejebe cut his teeth on the waters of South Florida. After his first experience with fins and a snorkel, it was a life changing experience that marked the beginning of Jose’s marine based career and life.
After encounters with fishing greats and pioneers, Jose learned from the best including Stu Apt, Flip Pallot and Lefty Kreh. His travels and passion for learning new fishing and rigging techniques took him all over the world where he learned new and non-traditional methods.
Jose took this knowledge back to his home waters of the Florida Keys and shared it with his charter clients and leaders among the fishing industry. Building relationships with trade leaders such as Shimano, Mercury and other boat companies, Jose was an intetgral part in the development of the booming light-takcle industry.
After joining long-time friend Flip Pallot for the filming of several episodes of Walker’s Cay Chronicles, Jose was approached by producer, Jerry McKinnis, to star in his own show on the brand-new ESPN2 network.
In 1995, the first episode of Spanish Fly was aired. Filled with breathtaking underwater footage, spectacular cinematography, complimentary editing and Jose’s signature on-screen style, the show shot to the top of the ratings. The light-tackle saltwater guru showed viewers each week a unique interactive style of fishing that no one had done before. He used techniques that he learned throughout his travels and continues to do so today.
Added in 2001, Jose debuted a new, unique “short show” on ESPN called Vida Del Mar (meaning “life of the sea”). It is a 2-4 minute vignette that reflects an intriguing perspective on how life below the surface can make us all better fishermen.
While not filming Spanish Fly, Jose finds time to work for several charities including Make a Wish Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He feels strongly the importance of taking the time to fish with kids and teach the next generation of anglers.
In the present day, Jose enjoys his new passion of flying private aircraft. He also continues to explore unchartered fishing grounds and expand his knowledge for local fishing techniques. While residing in the Florida Keys, Jose is keeping busy working on several new upcoming projects that will be announced very soon.”
RIP Jose Wejebe.