Ausnew Home Care | Blind big-game fisher urges people with disabilities to 'chase your goals' after massive tuna catch

Blind big-game fisher urges people with disabilities to 'chase your goals' after massive tuna catch

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A blind amateur fisherman who fulfilled his dream of catching a giant tuna off South Australia's south-east coast says people with disabilities should be given the opportunity to pursue even extreme hobbies.

Caleb Murray, from Adelaide's southern suburbs, reeled in an 85-kilogram southern bluefin tuna off Port MacDonnell during a trip with a charter company last week, amid 3-metre seas.

The 41-year-old grew up fishing with his family in New Zealand but only got into game fishing three years ago.

The trip to Port MacDonnell was his fourth to the South East in pursuit of a "barrel" tuna, rather than smaller tuna that travel in schools.

Mr Murray can handle most of the skills involved in fishing, such as tying rigs, baiting hooks and casting; he just cannot steer the boat or drive to the marina.

He said "everything just worked in my favour" on the day to find the fish and reel it in.

Two men holding a giant fish in front of advertising signs
Mr Murray with Tyson Kain, left, and the southern bluefin tuna he caught.(Supplied: Want to Fish)

Mr Murray, who has been blind since a car crash when he was 16 years old, says it is hard to know how the catch would have been different if he could see. 

"I suppose never having caught one with sight, it's a bit hard to make a comparison," he said.

"But it was just an exhilarating experience and [I was] so proud to be able to knock it off finally."

Help from supporters

A friend who is a disability support worker drove Mr Murray to Mount Gambier and Port MacDonnell.

The boat was crewed by 17-year-old Georgia Barrett, a member of Port MacDonnell Offshore Angling Club.

Mr Murray said he was glad to have people around him who supported his dreams.

"They've been willing to listen to my aspirations and what I want to pursue — within safety realms and whatnot," he said.

"They've been able to encourage me to chase those goals so ... within reason, there's nothing really that's out of reach.

"I'd love to be able to encourage the able-bodied world to sort of step back and take a thought of why not?

"Give people who are doing it a little bit tougher a shot and, for those particular people, whatever their difficulties or hardships are, wherever there's a will, there's a way.

"Ask the question, get the supports around you and chase your own goals because it's pretty easy to sit back in a corner and be pretty bored."

A man on a boat holds a curved fishing rod
Mr Murray reeling in his catch.(Supplied: Want to Fish)

More to tick off

Want to Fish charter company owner Tyson Kain brought Mr Murray out on his boat.

He said he was confident Mr Murray could catch such a large tuna, having seen his ability with the rod and reel.

"That was an unbelievable feat for someone like Caleb who has no vision whatsoever," Mr Kain said.

"He's a very keen fisherman. He's been trying for a long time to get one and it was great to finally get him connected to a big fish like that and tick that off his bucket list."

Now, Mr Murray, who has his own Facebook page and YouTube channel called Fishing in the Dark, wants to catch his "holy trinity" of a sailfish, marlin and swordfish.

But he will need to travel outside South Australia for the chance.

In the meantime, he and his family will be eating lots of tuna.


Source: ABC

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