Robbie’s Marina is one of the premier tourist spots in The Florida Keys offering fishing, snorkeling, boat rentals (motorized and non), and stand up paddle boarding – however, what they are truly famous for is the tarpon feeding.
Visitors pay a couple of bucks to walk out on the dock and few extra for a bucket of bait. Then the spectacle begins: 5- and 6-foot long tarpon, some weighing 100 pounds, crashing and smashing in the water to be the first to reach the prize.
Even I, a local, had to ask. How did this get started?
According to the web site (robbies.com), Robbie and his wife Mona found a floundering tarpon with a torn jaw they quickly dubbed “Scarface.” They called the local vet to sew it up, then rehabbed the fish in the oxygen-rich shrimp tank before releasing him to the wild. “Afterwards, Scarface continued to frequent the docks; sometimes bringing a friend. Soon more and more of the fish began to appear.”
After you are done feeding the hungry tarpon, why not mosey on over to the Hungry Tarpon (the restaurant located on Robbie’s property) and satisfy your own hunger. Offering a full bar and spectacular waterfront views, visitors or locals can relax and unwind after a Keys day trip. If you’re a lover of Bloody Mary’s try their signature Trailer Trash Bloody Mary garnished with stuffed olives, and jumbo shrimp (not an oxymoron). Robbie’s offers live music Wednesday to Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Once you’re done eating/ drinking, check out the wide array of the shops also on the property to find that perfect souvenir to end a perfect day.
MM 77, Islamorada, $
MM 77, Islamorada, $$