14-year-old Connor Halsa of Moorhead, Minnesota, was out fishing with his family on Lake of the Woods when he hooked bills instead of gills.
“We were doing a walleye drift, so we stopped the boat, put some spinners on, and let the waves take us,” Halsa told WDAY-TV.
Of all of the places he could have drifted to on the lake — some 85 miles long and 56 miles across at its widest — those serendipitous waves brought Halsa over the resting place of Iowa farmer Jim Denney’s lost wallet, stuck 20 feet below in the glacial deeps.
The summer prior, Denney reportedly came up against rough waters and went overboard. Although he managed to bring himself out of the murk all right, Denney later realized when readying to pay his final bill at the resort that the pocket on his overalls was down one billfold and $2,000 dollars.
“They had to float me the money for the whole deal. That’s the (worst) feeling I ever had, didn’t have a penny on me,” Denney told the station.
This summer, Halsa struck on the wallet, but mistook it for a nibble.
Ready for a fight, the boy “set the hook really hard.”
The incoming freshman at Moorhead High School came out victorious, but what came out of the water was no walleye. Rather, the 14-year-old had reeled in Denney’s billfold, packed with $2,000 in cash.
“My cousin opened the wallet up, and he said some words you probably shouldn’t say,” Halsa told WDAY. “He showed everyone, and we took the money out and let it dry out.”
$2,000 can go a long way, especially for a 14-year-old, but Halsa explained, “We didn’t work hard for the money. He did. It was his money.”
“My dad said we should give it to the person, and I said we should too,” Halsa recalled.
After setting the cash out to dry, the family looked for some way to identify the owner. All they could find inside the water-logged wallet was a business card with a phone number belonging to a livestock owner in western Wisconsin — and that proved to be enough.
They called the number on the card and eventually got in touch with the owner of the wallet.
Although the wallet made its way to his farmhouse in Mount Ayr, Iowa, Denney traveled to Moorhead to visit Halsa, amazed by his luck and the boy’s virtue, reported the Star Tribune.
“I tell you what, I have the billfold in my hands, and it is still hard to believe,” said Denney.
The farmer reportedly offered to give the boy a reward, but Halsa refused.
“To meet people like that, who are that honest, I tried to get them to take the money, and they wouldn’t do it,” said the farmer.
While Halsa refused a reward, the Iowan gifted him a custom-made cooler and paid him a compliment: “I would take Connor as a grandson any day, and I would fight for him any day.”
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Teen hooks wallet full of cash while fishingyoutu.be