Episode 31: Capt. Joe Rodriguez – Sábalo Loco
After his family fled Havana, Cuba, Joe Rodriguez was born on Miami Beach in 1971. His father left early on and throughout Joe’s childhood his mother played multiple rolls as a provider, roll model, and care taker of the family. Joe soon met life-long friend, Rob Hammer, and together started to explore and fish the waters off South Florida, breaking records and creating names for themselves. He later went on to win non-guided Miami MET Master Angler in 1994-1995 & 1996-1997.
Norman Jansik, Al Plfuguer Jr., and Ralph Delph quickly became his mentors in one way or another. He not only looked up to these legends but they showed him what was possible and were relatively responsible for his success for years to come. Joe became a full time guide in the Florida Keys in 1998 and hasn’t look back since. Along with angler, Julian Robertson, they won the Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament in 2013 and the prestigious Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament in 2016. Joe also won the Ladies Tarpon Fly Tournament with Jayne Kilpatrick in 2008.
As said on the podcast, Rodriguez loves to fish for anything – it doesn’t have to be just Tarpon. That being said, the people who know him, understand his relentless pursuit and unmatched passion for those silver critters. His work ethic and desire to better himself as an angler and a guide speaks for itself. If you want to catch Tarpon, Bonefish, or Permit in the Florida Keys, Everglades, or anywhere in Florida for that matter, finding a more driven guide is going to be nearly impossible. We hope you enjoy Joe’s story…