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You could say Robbie’s of Islamorada is most famous for three things: Sportfishing, margaritas, and getting face to face with a giant tarpon. This establishment is more than just a place to charter a fun outing on the water, it offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
It’s not just Floridians facing the thrill of hand-feeding a tarpon that can weigh as much as a full grown adult. People trek from across the globe to toss bait fish into the mouths of these hungry residents.
As is true when anything truly unique like this takes place, there’s a pretty awesome backstory behind it.
Robbie and his wife, Mona, first began feeding a tarpon they affectionately called “Scarface” in 1976. One day Scarface was spotted struggling near the shallow waters next to their dock. When Robbie attempted to help the fish, he realized his jaw had been torn open.
After some crucial medical care, Scarface was nursed back to health and later released. Scarface continued to visit Robbie and Mona, only he began bringing friends with him. Today, a school of more than 100 tarpon visit Robbie’s daily, and they stay for hours waiting for their chance at a snack.
The Pelicans enjoy the occasional bait fish as well.
Robbie’s charges $1 to go on the dock and $3 for a bucket of bait fish. The fun only begins with feeding the tarpon, as Robbie’s offers many packages for fun on the water, including fishing charters, boat tours, dining and more.