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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We were told to beware of the pelicans, and I’m glad they warned us.
On several occasion, those sneaky suckers almost stole our fish from right beside us on the dock!
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.
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).
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.
I’ve never seen any as big as at Robbie’s, though—it must be all those free sardines!