A young fisherman from Minnesota, Connor Halsa, made an unexpected discovery while fishing on Lake of the Woods over the July 4th weekend.
Halsa did not have much luck in his search for walleye but reeled in an old brown billfold covered in moss and muck, which had been submerged for nearly a year, according to a Fox News report.
“I was shocked,” Connor Halsa of Moorhead, Minnesota, said in an interview with Fox. “We were doing some walleye fishing and then going out to an island on Lake of the Woods.
“I felt something on my line and I reeled it up,” he continued. “I thought it was going to be a really big walleye — bigger than what we usually catch up there, by the way it felt.”
As he reeled it in, his cousin Brandon readied a net to help land what promised to be a whopper of a fish.
“At first I thought it could have been a fish, I guess, because it was brown and slimy,” the young fisherman explained about his unexpected catch.
Upon closer inspection, the wallet contained a driver’s license, several credit cards and a whopping $2,000 in cash, the report noted.
“Everyone started going through it to try to find the dude it belonged to,” Halsa said. “When we kind of got a general idea of what was inside, we put it in the console of the boat so it didn’t get blown out.”
Determined to return the wallet to its rightful owner, Halsa and his family embarked on a quest to locate him, according to the Fox report.
“It wasn’t my money,” Halsa explained.
The wallet contained an ID but there was no direct contact information. A business card from a Wisconsin cattle rancher named Sherry provided a crucial lead, the report noted.
The wallet belonged to 75-year-old Jim Denney of Mount Ayr, Iowa, who remembered the day he lost his wallet while fishing on the lake in July 2022.
“I reached back there and there’s no billfold,” Denney said. “I was devastated. I just didn’t know what the heck to do.”
“There I was, broke.”
Upon learning of Halsa’s discovery, Denney was astonished.
“I said, ‘That’s impossible,'” Denney recalled, considering how long his wallet had been under water. Grateful for the young man’s honesty, Denney insisted on meeting the Halsa family in person.
“I told them, ‘I am coming to Minnesota to meet you folks because I’m going to take you out for the biggest supper you ever ate,’” Denney expressed.
In a gesture of appreciation, Denney gifted Halsa a customized Yeti cooler during their meeting.
“He is the top of the line,” Denney praised Halsa. “He said he knew I’d worked hard for my money. He and his dad both made that remark. They wanted to get it back to me.”
The unexpected encounter has forged a bond between the two families.
“They’re quite the family,” Denney declared. “I think we’ll stay in touch, no doubt.”