Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

Florida Fun: Feeding the Fish on Islamorada

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Islamorada may very well be the most exotic sounding—and looking—stop in the Florida Keys. But we didn’t see much of this sliver of an island. We only detoured to feed the fish.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

I know what you’re thinking: feed the fish? Why on Earth would I want to do that? That was exactly my reaction when friends who had been to Islamorada before told me a stop at Robbie’s of Islamorada was an absolute must on our Keys road trip.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

I have to admit had Florida native Erin Street not been one such person, I probably would have brushed off these recs. But girlfriend knows her state, and I do what she says. So feed the fish we did.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

Anyone can stop by Robbie’s Tarpons and do just that; it’s $3 for a bucket of smelly sardines if you eat at the restaurant or $5 if you don’t. We ate there and then purchased two buckets of goodies to tempt the tarpons.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

It was actually really fun. And those tarpon were huge. I’d never seen anything quite like it before. Let’s just say: I would not want to fall in the water.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

We were told to beware of the pelicans, and I’m glad they warned us.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

On several occasion, those sneaky suckers almost stole our fish from right beside us on the dock!

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

They even nipped at some of the kids around us, so seriously parents: Watch out for the sneaksters. At one point, a Robbie’s employee had to come out and start prodded them away with a pole.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

We wanted to witness a tarpon vs. pelican brawl, Alabama-Auburn style, while there so we decided to stir the pot and toss our bounty to the birds floating just above the fish. They got their just desserts, though, when a seagull swooped down and started stealing the sardines the pelicans were stealing from the tarpons. Circle of life and all that jazz (or maybe just karma).

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

You can also fish for the tarpon, which weigh anywhere from 80 to 150 pounds, at Robbie’s but we were content on fattening them up for the fishermen among you instead.

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

I’ve never seen any as big as at Robbie’s, though—it must be all those free sardines!

Robbie's Tarpons, Florida Keys

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COMMENTS
  • December 13, 2013

    I am so glad you did this! One cannot but help but giggle with delight/mild fear when a giant tarpon comes to eat out of your hands. SO Florida!

  • December 13, 2013
    Natalie

    Been a few times! Now go have a pizza at No Name. It’s in the same area of the Keys as Robbie’s. (Great decor!)

  • December 13, 2013

    You guys are such badasses, starting a brawl! The picture of the seagull sniping in is hilarious!

  • December 14, 2013

    They had these guys in Cayman too — enormous! They are really fun to dive with 🙂

  • January 13, 2014

    I love the pictures, did you took them yourself?

  • January 15, 2014

    First of all I would like to congratulate you for sharing such a great post here.Great stunning pictures captured.But would like to know more about this place because I am looking forward to spend vacations in Florida Keys.

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