14-year-old hooks wallet holding $2,000 while fishing

MOORHEAD, Minn. (WDAY) – A teenager in Minnesota who loves to fish recently made a big, and pricey, catch.

Days away from the beginning of his freshman year at Moorhead High School, 14-year old Connor Halsa had the best summer vacation that ended with the discovery of a treasure while fishing.

He was fishing with his family on Lake of the Woods when he hooked a wallet.

“I thought I had a big fish, and I set the hook really hard,” he said.
Inside the billfold was money.

“My cousin Brandon, he opened the wallet up and he … said some words that you probably shouldn’t say and then he said there was some money in it and he showed everyone and then we took the money out and placed it all on the dashboard to let it dry off,” Connor said.

There was a total of $2,000 inside the wallet.

“My dad said we should give it to the person, so I told him we should, too,” Connor said.

The money and other items in the wallet were covered in moss and water. The group found a business card and called the number, eventually tracking down the owner.

The owner turned out to be Iowa farmer Jim Denney.

A year ago, Denney was fishing at the same lake. He said he was sitting in his boat, which was rocking back and forth when his wallet slipped out of his back pocket and fell into the water.Denney didn’t even realize it was missing until he reached into his bib overalls to pay the final bill at the resort.

“They had to kind of float me the money for the whole deal,” he said. “Was the suckiest feeling I ever been. I didn’t have a penny on me.”

The chances of Connor recovering the wallet are hard to calculate. The lake is 1 million acres and 70 miles long, while the billfold is about the size of a deck of cards.

“The odds of ever finding a billfold in there, a billfold in 20-foot water, I don’t think there would be a number,” Denney said.

Denney made the trip from Iowa to Moorhead, Minnesota where he met Connor and his family and even offered to give the teen a reward.

“I tried to get them to take the money, and they wouldn’t do it,” he said.

Instead, Denney gave Connor a personalized cooler.He also gave Connor a compliment worth more than the money found at the bottom of the lake.

“I would take Connor for a grandson any day and I would fight for him any day,” he said.

Along with the cooler, Denney also took the whole family out for dinner to say thanks.

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