It was a unique day of fishing for Brodie and his uncle. The boy had just received a new fishing rod and wanted to try it out with his uncle. The afternoon was very special, but not for the reason they thought it would be. Because when the boy had an old bag on the line and not a fish, they decided to call the police.
The adventure started with lots of screaming and waving. When Brodie saw his fishing rod start to bend, it could mean only one thing: he had caught ahold of something big. His uncle realized he couldn’t pull it up on his own and ran over to help. But no fish came out of the water…
The men were afraid of losing their catch, so they carefully pulled the line out of the water. Once their catch was almost out of the water, they slowly started to see a leathery object appear. And no, it was not a fish.It was meant to be a special fishing day for the 11-year-old Brodie Brooks. And it sure was, but not in the way he had thought. His uncle had invited him to go out on the water with him. Brodie had received a brand-new fishing rod for his birthday and needed to test it out, of course.
The fishing adventure quickly turned into a strange moment, especially for a kid. He was fishing with his uncle and cousin out on the lake to catch fish with his new fishing rod but caught something else entirely.
Brodie and his uncle had chosen Lake Hartwell in South Carolina for their fishing adventure. His uncle had hoped to give him the time of his life. The day started with preparations for their escapade. The three of them talked amongst themselves while waiting for something to bite. Having to call the police on such a calm day was something they never could have expected.
Ben Myers, Brodie’s uncle, was thrilled by the idea of helping his nephew with his new fishing rod. He explained how to attach the bait and use the rod for an optimal result. It was Brodie’s first fishing trip on open water, so Ben wasn’t expecting him to catch anything at all.
It turned out Ben was wrong. The boy soon thereafter started to scream that he had caught something. But once he realized what his nephew had caught, his excitement quickly turned to fear. He was fixated on what came out of the water… something he wasn’t prepared for.
“My rod was splashing back and forth,” Brodie said. “Whatever was on my line was extremely heavy and I thought I had caught a huge fish.” He was more than proud that his first outing with his new rod was such a success. But he had one fear: “I was afraid my rod was going to break.”
Once the leathery object was out of the water, they were sure it wasn’t a fish. It appeared to be an old bag. Not just any bag. The weight of the catch made it pretty clear that there was something inside.
Brodie didn’t think about it for a single second and undid the zipper. Once he saw what was inside, he was shocked and called over his uncle Ben. Ben immediately saw that it was an old bag when he lifted it up. How old it really was, he couldn’t be sure of. But something slipped out of the bag and revealed its truth.
You wouldn’t expect any of the bag to even be left over. Anything that has been in the water that long doesn’t look great. That wasn’t the case with this bag. The leather was muddy and faded, but still strong and sturdy. The men opened the bag and looked inside again. They saw random objects, some of which they weren’t able to identify. But once Ben saw one of the objects, his heart started racing.
The uncle quickly became anxious about the objects inside the soaking wet leather catch. The first thing his nephew removed was a stack of old, bleached photos. The men didn’t recognize anyone in the pictures, so they kept going through the bag. They had loads of questions, but one thing was certain: this was a woman’s bag. The contents confirmed this. Ben couldn’t believe it. He had been fishing here for years with his friends and never seen such a thing.
Oddly enough, all the contents of the bag seemed to be in good shape. There were a few shopping cards, lipsticks, and a comb. What happened to the owner of this bag? And how long had the bag been at the bottom of Lake Hartwell. Their find led to many questions.
First and foremost, there were several photos of people in the bag. Based on the color and quality of the photos, they had been taken tens of years ago. It seemed like a mission impossible to find the owner of the bag. Or maybe not? When they opened another pocket in the bag, they found the answer to the mystery.
The bag had another pocket that could easily be missed. Inside were even more old pictures. Ben and Brodie took the pictures apart so they could dry them off. One photo stuck out to the men. One of the people in the pictures was staring at them. They got shivers down their spines and called the police.
His uncle recognized the face of a woman in one of the pictures. Brodie recognized her too. Ben knew her from years ago, a family friend. He hadn’t seen her for the past ten years. Why was her bag in the water? Would this help a case?
Ben and Brodie called the authorities. The uncle searched Facebook to find her name and her family and friends. In his search, he found her nephew’s profile. Ben let him know that they had found the bag. The nephew was stunned to hear that they had found the bag at the bottom of the lake after all these years. He quickly called the rest of the family to let them know.
The owner of the bag was April Bolt, who would have been 49 years old at the time. And she’s still alive! The woman couldn’t believe that the bag she had lost in 1992 had been found. She had always believed that someone had taken it with bad intentions.
On a certain day in 1992, April was at an event by Lake Hartwell. They were on a boat and decided to indulge in a barbecue. “There were two boys fishing there and – I don’t want to accuse anyone – but when we got back, I immediately realized that my purse was gone,” April says.
“I cried so hard. It took so much effort to block my ID’s and credit cards,” she remembers. “My favorite lipstick was in that bag too, and the color was no longer being made.” But there was something else in the bag that was much more important than her belongings. Her heart broke when she lost it.
“The worst part was that I had pictures of my son in the bag,” the woman says. When Ben and Brodie found her bag, her son was already 26. In the photos he was just 15 months old. Her bag also held the copies of photos that she had made by a professional photographer. “The photos now have water damage, but you can still see him clearly,” she says with tears in her eyes.
The boy and his uncle couldn’t believe what had happened to them that afternoon. “What are the odds of fishing an old bag out from the bottom of a lake and recognizing the owner from the pictures inside,” Ben said. Brodie was a little less pleased. Brodie had gone out to test out his new fishing rod. His goal was to actually catch fish, but that didn’t go as planned. Due to this unique catch, he didn’t cast any more lines that day.
Brodie looked very disappointed at the end of the day because he hadn’t caught any fish. Pulling up an old, leather bag during his first fishing trip was the last thing he expected. His uncle told him that he had caught a true treasure, but the 11-year-old didn’t agree. The person who probably got the most joy out of that day, was April. She was finally reunited with her belongings that she had lost almost a quarter of a century ago.
April can’t contain her excitement. She’s overjoyed at the fact that she finally had some of her most precious belongings back. But she believed that there was a deeper meaning. “There must be a reason why this happened now’” she said. “I’m sure that God will tell me why when the right moment is here.”