Fun on the wa­ter

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FOR IN­SPI­RA­TIONAL speaker John Coutis, there’s noth­ing like fish­ing in your own backyard.

Mr Coutis was born with a se­vere dis­abil­ity that ren­dered his legs use­less and he later had them am­pu­tated.

Mr Coutis, a mo­ti­va­tional speaker who has vis­ited 120 dif­fer­ent coun­tries and spo­ken at more than 4000 ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions around the world in the past 12 years, dropped by the Whit­sun­days last week to catch up on his favourite pas­time with his son Clay­ton. “I love my fish­ing,” he said. The Whit­sun­days didn’t dis­ap­point; the fa­ther and son spent two days with lo­cal fish­ing char­ter Bar­ra2Bill­fish, nab­bing some bar­ra­mundi and man­grove jack in the Proser­pine River on Thurs­day and some nan­ny­gai, red em­peror, sweet lip and coral trout around the is­lands on Fri­day.

Although Mr Coutis and his son grabbed a good mixed bag of fish over their two days, he re­served his high­est praise for Melissa John­son and Ritchie Draper from Bar­ra2Bill­fish.

“When I go fish­ing I need al- ter­a­tions made to the boat so that I can fish,” Mr Coutis said.

“I can’t em­pha­sise enough how much Mel and Ritchie (the own­ers) went out of their way to make me com­fort­able. I can­not rec­om­mend them enough for what they’ve done.” Af­ter his week­end fish­ing in the Whit­sun­days, John is head­ing back to China, where he will con­tinue his speak­ing rounds.

“I know that with ev­ery talk I give, my goal is to in­spire one per­son. If I can help one per­son, it’s worth it,” he said.

“Life’s good.”

GOOD HAUL: Clay­ton and John Coutis caught th­ese lovely Red Em­per­ors with Bar­ra2Bill­fish on Fri­day.

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