Ray blows up the net

NEW internet sensation, and Lewiston man, Ray Johnstone has snagged more fishing mates than he could have ever imagined after his Gumtree advertisement, in search of a new fishing mate, recently went viral.

Mr Johnstone, a widowed pensioner who also lost his regular fishing partner recently, posted the plea online on January 19, with a message that read: “What I want is a fishing mate, in a similar position to myself, who also wants someone to go fishing with.”

Fast forward two weeks later, and the 75-year-old has been inundated with offers for interstate fishing charters, has had contact from international media, and has met a Pooraka couple who will become his new fishing buddies.

“It’s been hectic,” Mr Johnstone said.

“Monday morning (last week) my phone started at about 7.30 in the morning and it finished at about 11pm that night when I put it on charge, but I had to charge it up about three times that day.

“But, I have got one definite, he’s from Pooraka…he works four days one week and six days another week.

“He is a truckie and he has got a 20-foot boat himself.”

Keen fishers Amy and Peter Haynes – the Pooraka couple who reached out to Mr Johnstone – are thrilled that their offer has been accepted.

“When I first saw the ad I thought of Pete, he lost his dad when he was 21 and that was his fishing buddy, so I thought this could be good for both of them,” Mrs Haynes said.

“He could get someone to go fishing with, and Pete could, kind of, get a surrogate dad.

“Ray seems, as well, to be a funny man and likes joking around, which is exactly like Pete, too.”

Along with spending time with his new-found fishing partner, Mr Johnstone has an array of other adventures in the pipeline including a fishing charter to Sydney, potential charters with players from his two favourite football teams – Sturt, where he is a former player and life member, and the Adelaide Crows – along with featuring on the popular television show, Ifish.

When he finally hits the water, Mr Johnstone is hoping to reel in either some “big kingfish or GTs (giant trevally)”.

“The only things we have been getting locally is whiting, maybe a few breem and garfish, that’s about all you can get,” he said.

“Unless you have a boat…then you can go out and get the bigger stuff, like snapper and those others.”

Remarkably, Mr Johnstone’s original advertisement was placed in a local store, where he didn’t receive one call for over five weeks.

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Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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