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Do Tarpons Bite? We Found Out at Robbie’s! (Islamorada, Florida)

  • On April 3, 2014

We just recently learned how to fish for tarpon. Today, we’ve changed it up and went to feed them…. HAND FEED these "silver kings!!!" I first learned about this cheap thrill from an Episode of TripFlip from the Travel Channel and was inspired to add it to our itinerary. Experiencing such a thrill in the states was unbelievable. They didn’t even ask us to sign a waiver.

Distance Traveled

~23 miles one-way from Riptide Carefree RV Park


77522 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL

Cheap Thrill

$1.00 /per person
$3.00 /bait bucket

Tarpon Facts

  • Fossil research shows that tarpon have been swimming in our oceans since prehistoric times.
  • Tarpon can reach sizes up to 8 feet and can weigh up to 280 pounds.
  • Because of its strength, stamina, and fighting ability, the tarpon is one of Florida’s premier game fish.

(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife)

Tarpon is a bony fish so it’s considered more trouble than it’s worth to eat.

But what do tarpon eat?

Mullets, pinfish, marine catfishes, Atlantic needlefish, sardines, shrimp, and crabs.

What eats tarpon? Sharks!!!

Two Bull Sharks Steal Trophy Tarpon (1:34)

Let’s go feed some Tarpons!!!

PIC: Bill at the Entrance of Robbie's

PIC: Maya has her bait buckets and is getting ready to feed tarpon at Robbie's Marina

PIC: Robbie's Marina Dock - walking towards the Tarpon Feeding area

PIC: Pelicans hanging out hoping to steal any bait fish the tarpon don't snatch up first.

PIC: What Tarpon (aka Silver King) looks like up close

What Does the Inside of a Tarpon’s Mouth Feel Like? Sandpaper!!!

This tarpon leaps out of the water and puts his mouth halfway up my forearm to grab the bait fish.

PIC: Maya's first to feed the tarpon

I got off with a few scratches…

PIC: Maya's hand after feeding the tarpon

PIC: Maya's forearm after feeding the tarpon

It did sting a bit… Bill’s turn!

PIC: Bill's hand in the tarpon's mouth

PIC: Bill's hand in the tarpon's mouth

PIC: Bill's hand in the tarpon's mouth

Bill bled a little more than me, but it was worth it!!!

PIC: Results of Bill's hand in the tarpon's mouth

Complete Photo Gallery

Feeding Tarpon at Robbie’s

QUESTION: Are you ready to grab your bucket of bait fish and head down to the dock at Robbie’s Marina?!

On This Day In History

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