Hostick’s Ponds closes door on open anglers

Open match anglers at a northern commercial fishery have been told they’re not welcome by the owner fed up with their ‘moaning and bitching’.

Sam Hostick, boss of Hostick’s Ponds near Beverley, East Yorkshire, has closed his doors to the open fraternity citing their continual complaining and win-at-all-costs attitude.

He now allows only day ticket and club match bookings on his 81-peg site.
His decision mirrors that of Robert Harman, owner of Stubpond Fishery in Sussex, who two years ago quit running open matches for much the same reasons and now only hosts knock-ups organised by the anglers. All he supplies are the lakes and the nets.

“I’m fed up with moaning match anglers,” Sam said. “If a bloke wins a couple of times he’s accused of cheating by his fellow anglers and there’s absolutely no evidence. They moan before they draw ¬ I’ve had one angler win with 90lb the week before and he moaned about that. He was still whining a week later before he drew for the open!”

“The weights are good, we have good numbers fishing, good sport ¬ what on earth do they want? I honestly don’t know,” Sam continued. “Clubs on the other hand are good as gold. They come here, fish, have a good time and book again. That’s what I want.”

Robert backs him up and has an example only a few weeks ago of exactly why he knocked open matches on the head.

“Only this year I took a few bookings as part of the Angling Times Team Champs Sussex Division and last week the organiser rang me to cancel. Don’t you just love match anglers?” Robert fumed. “I now have day ticket anglers paying £10 a day instead of the match anglers paying £6 and messing me around. Day ticket anglers cause me less hassle ¬ which one would you want?”

However, they’re not all bad. John Raison has been running his Gold Valley Lakes complex for 17 years and while he does have the odd troublemaker, he gets on fine with the open anglers as long as some simple ground rules are laid down.

“I have very few problems with open anglers, but you will always get some that try to get round the rules but if you are hard on them from the start and crack down, this soon stops,” John explained. “We have what I’d call friendly banter at Gold where most of the anglers know each other and get along well.”