Ray Johnstone Mati Batsinilas fishermen
Ray Johnstone and Mati Batsinilas display their big catch Mati Batsinilas Facebook

Australian pensioner Ray Johnstone's wish came true when a young Australian man responded to his online search for a fishing mate and took him on his dream trip.

Mati Batsinilas, 22, got in touch with the 75-year-old widower after spotting his viral Gumtree ad for a fishing friend. He invited Johnstone to go fishing for two days in Moreton Bay, Queensland, paying for his flights and accommodation and introducing him to his family over dinner.

Several photos on Batsinilas' Facebook page show the pair smiling and proudly displaying their catch, which included a giant mulloway.

Johnstone, a great-grandfather of nine, placed the online ad after his fishing partner of many years died in a car accident. In a touching message on Gumtree he wrote: "My Name is Ray Johnstone. I'm a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous fishing mate is now deceased. What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with." The post was viewed more than 15,000 times and was widely shared on social media.

Batsinilas told the Courier Mail: "I did it out of good will. Honestly, it touched me. I come from a family of four boys and we love fishing. We do it all the time. If something was to happen to us and our old man was left on his own, that's just awful. There's no way I would want that to happen to my old mate or my grandfather."

Ray Johnstone Mati Batsinilas fishing
Mati Batsinilas (right) invited Ray Johnstone on an all expenses paid fishing trip after spotting his Gumtree ad Mati Batsinilas Facebook