Ray Johnstone's gone fishing after viral gumtree ad

By Darren Cartwright

Ray Johnstone with his fishing mate Mati Batsinilas. Photo / Supplied via Facebook
Ray Johnstone with his fishing mate Mati Batsinilas. Photo / Supplied via Facebook

Adelaide pensioner Ray Johnstone not only landed a fishing mate but a big catch on his all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime off the southeast Queensland coast.

Mr Johnstone's plight to find a fishing buddy went viral after he posted an ad on Gumtree on January 19.

On Tuesday, he was gliding across Brisbane's Moreton Bay with 22-year-old local carpenter Mati Batsinilas and several deckhands in a 26-foot boat.

Mr Batsinilas paid for Mr Johnston's flight and accommodation as well as taking him out on the bay where they headed towards Peel Island.

Mr Johnstone reeled-in several fish including an 80cm mulloway on the first of his two-day fishing trip to Queensland.

"It was a really good day," he told The Courier Mail, while being driven in a four-wheel drive near Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island.

"The highlight was being taken out fishing in the morning."

They headed out at 5.30am and got back to shore at around 9am.

The 75-year-old widower first posted a sign in a local shop and then on Facebook before making a call-out on Gumtree and even offered to share all costs including bait and petrol.

Mr Johnstone, who lives in a granny flat, went in search of a fishing mate following a suggestion from his care nurse.

His long-time fishing buddy had died several years ago in a car accident.

Ray Johnstone and Mati Batsinilas. Photo / Supplied via Facebook
Ray Johnstone and Mati Batsinilas. Photo / Supplied via Facebook

Mr Batsinilas heard of Mr Johnstone's plight and wanted to make Mr Johnstone's wish come true.

He said they would camp overnight at Amity Point before, weather permitting, fishing at first light on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow will be a little fishing but it will be land based and then he'll be heading home," Mr Batsinilas said.

"This has been more of an adventure than a trip for Ray."

- news.com.au

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