It’s impossible to read Ray Johnstone’s ad and not want to drop everything, fly to Australia, and take him fishing. Johnstone, 75, posted a simple yet heartfelt ad to a classified-ad website, asking for what many anglers take for granted: someone to go fishing with.

My name is Ray Johnstone. Australian. I’m a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous mate is now deceased.

I am a land-based fisherman. I have all the gear for all types of fish that is required for land-based fishing. What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with.

I am willing to share all costs, e.g. petrol, bait, and should you happen to own a boat, [I’m] willing to pay all ramp fees, but happy if you are also a land-based fisherman.


As things like this so often do online, the ad went viral, receiving 13,000 views within a week and 101,530 as of this writing. It also sparked its own hashtag: #illfishwithray.

Countless anglers offered their time and assistance, but one stands out above the rest. Mati Batsinilas, 22, reached out to Johnstone and volunteered to fly him and his grandson to Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Queensland, for a two-day, all-expenses-paid fishing trip.

“This is just something where I feel like I can help and I do it with passion,” Batsinilas told The Advertiser. “I want him to have the best experience of his life.”

In addition, Daily Mail reports that a local retailer Boating Camping Fishing has also donated hundreds of dollars of equipment toward the trip.

Tight lines, Mr. Johnstone!