Captain Joel’s Fishin’ Holes – June 21, 2018

Published on: June 20, 2018

Gopher Plantation and Ana Banana Fishing Company

By JOEL BRANDENBURG

One of our goals each year is to fish 300 days per year and hunt the other 65 days. We fish real hard during fishing season so we can afford to hunt during hunting season. Almost a decade ago we made a trade deal with Bennie and Sandy Overstreet, owners of Gopher Plantation, that we’d trade hunting and lodging for fishing and lodging. For many years Bennie and Sandy and their guests have been coming to our waterfront fishing home and fish with Ana Banana Fishing Company. The Overstreets have caught their fair share of cobia, snook, redfish, trout, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp grouper, mangrove snapper, red snapper, Spanish mackerel, amberjack, sea bass, sheepshead, porgy, catfish, ladyfish, black drum, eagle ray, jack crevalle, beeliners, kingfish, blacktip shark, reef shark, bluefish, flounder and more. They have fished with us inshore, offshore, night dock fishing, night air boat, sheepshead, mullet and black drum gigging. We’ve fished Venice, La., together too. Bennie caught the third largest yellowtail snapper in the world, weighed and verified by the state weigh master. My wife Ana caught her first marlin with the Overstreets and Quinlyn Haddon and showed Tim Salisbury and me how to catch them. Bennie has a Wednesday fish fry on his island in Douglas, Ga. The Overstreets prefer to target only fish they can eat, and every time they visit us we send them back to Georgia with coolers full of fresh fillets. 

Sandy and Bennie Overstreet with a nice cobia.

In return my family and guests travel four and one-half hours north of Apollo Beach to Millwood, Ga. and stay at the Overstreets on a one-of-a-kind plantation. Gopher Plantation is a 9,500 acre plantation in the south central Georgia area. At Gopher Plantation we stay in gorgeous 16th century log-cabin replicas. Our bed frame is partly made with giant elk antlers, and the door knobs are deer antlers — all with modern heating, A/C, electric and hot water and antique tub/shower. All the log cabins have wraparound porches with your choice of bench seating or rocking chair. Gopher Plantation has several fishing ponds stocked with big bass, catfish, bream and crappie, and we duck hunt in these ponds with world-class duck dogs. They have over 50 dogs total, some are duck dogs, some quail dogs, dove dogs, hog dogs and other dogs used to find lost deer. Gopher Plantation is a sportsman’s paradise with around 200 tree stands and tower blinds looking over dozens of lush green food plots strategically placed in pine tree rows and oak hammocks with feeders for deer, hogs and turkeys. Both of our kids have killed their first deer and hogs there, and my son and I and several of our guests have taken giant trophy hogs and big bucks at Gopher Plantation. They put out almost 1 million pounds of corn and peanut butter every year to feed the game. 

Speaking of food — they will feed you breakfast, lunch and dinner with the very best country cooking in the world.

Ana Banana Fishing Company puts together group trips to Gopher Plantation, and we can normally organize 20 to 25 guests at a time. If you’d like us to help you put together a hunting trip — big or small — at Gopher Plantation, let us know.

To fish with Ana Banana Fishing Company, or for information on the kids’ fishing camp, or for hunting information, call Captain Joel at 813-267-4401, or visit www.anabananafishing.com or www.anabananakidsfishingcamp.com, or find him in person at Village Marina at Little Harbor Resort, Ruskin.

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