Catch of The Day: A Young Boy Reels In a Purse With Mysterious Contents

Published: Oct 08, 2023

A sixth-grader from South Carolina had a thrilling day. Brodie Brooks was taking a brand-new rod on a fishing trip that promised fun. He was just interested in catching a large fish.

Even though his plans for the day didn’t exactly pan out, Brodie did haul a whopper ashore that day. And the enigmatic catch set the stage for an amazing tale.

The Little Boy’s Lucky Catch

When 11-year-old Brodie’s line sunk into the water that day, he knew for a fact that he had a large catch on his hands. When questioned Brodie after the trip, he said that he thought he had been lucky and caught a big fish.


Source: Clark Young/Unsplash

He pulled and pulled until he got it up to the surface, excited that he was about to see a huge fish. When he saw what was at the end of his line, he realized that what he had caught was not a fish.


A Memorable Catch Indeed

The struggle to pull up his catch on that July day in 2017 is one that Brodie will never forget. He was happy and excited to fight with what he thought was a huge fish and dreamed of showing his catch to everyone. 


Source: Cavan Images/Getty Images

But the item hanging from Brodie’s rod which he was eventually able to bring to the surface was not what he expected. In fact, he will remember that time as the beginning of an incredible tale.  

Mystery Behind the Catch

When Brodie reeled in the big catch at Lake Hartwell in Anderson County, South Carolina, the young man and the other members of the small fishing group that he had joined for the day shared their excitement with one another.


Source: blahedo/Wikimedia Commons|CC BY-SA 2.5

But all of that excitement was quickly replaced by surprise when it was revealed that Brodie had really caught something that had nothing to do with fish at all. The youngster’s winnings consisted of an old bag that was leathery and had been soaked in water.

Testing Out Brodie’s Ugly Stik Fishing Rod

Young Brodie just had one thing on his mind as the group went out for the fishing trip to the nearby reservoir that morning: his brand-new, still-in-the-box Ugly Stik fishing rod. He couldn’t wait to test out his piece of equipment, but he was also quite concerned that it wouldn’t be damaged during its first use.


Source: Brodie Brooks/

When Brodie did snag something big and heavy, he worried about damage to his fishing rod. Was his rod strong enough to sustain the pull of a large fish? It was likely that it would sustain some damage during the struggle.  

Unveiling the Mystery

In the week that followed the fishing trip, Brodie gave an interview to ABC News in which he discussed the catch of the day. He explained that when his rod started bobbing up and down, he was sure that a big fish was on his line.   

Source: Santeri Viinamäki/Wikimedia Commons|CC BY-SA 4.0

“I’d just gotten an Ugly Stik, so I was scared I was going to break my rod.” He was sure that the line was going to snape and that would be the end of his new rod.


The Young Angler’s Persistence

The fearful but tenacious young angler persisted in his fight. He told the rest of the fishing group what was happening, and they ran over to watch.. Ben Myers, a distant relative of Brodie, stepped forward at this point to assist his young relative in bringing in the particularly large haul. 

Source: Brodie Brooks/

Brodie struggled with it, but when he finally got it out of the water, he saw it wasn’t even a fish. After all that effort, it was understandable that the boy’s initial reaction was to feel somewhat let down.


What Is the Big Catch?

Ben, on the other hand, was quick to recognize the muddy object for what it actually was. The more seasoned fisherman had seen this type of “catch” before and knew that it might be something special.  

Source: Tumblr

Ben, who was also interviewed by ABC, shared his thoughts by saying, “I told him, ‘You ain’t got no fish, you got a treasure!'” Ben convinced Brodie that he should definitely not be disappointed, so the boy began to feel better.


Cheering the Young Lad

Ben recalled what he had said to Brodie before they began their fishing, i.e., that sometimes fishermen pull up cans or other pieces of junk and think there’s a fish on the end of the line. They’re also disappointed when only trash lies on the end of their rods.

Source: Tumblr

Ben continued, “But as far as a woman’s purse goes, that’s a first for me. I have fished in this lake my whole life, but that was the very first time I have ever seen something be caught like this.”


Digging Inside the Purse

Ben thought that it was fortunate that the purse was closed and zippered up when it fell into the water. This suggested that the bag’s contents had not been completely destroyed. 

Source: Found-purse/Purses.wndrs

This is true despite Ben’s estimation that the depth of the water in that area of Lake Hartwell was close to 30 feet. Consequently, as Brodie and Ben took the bag apart, they were able to discover a little bit more information about the owner of the purse.


Determining the Owner

There was a significant amount of evidence within the purse itself that could be used to identify the person who owned the purse. Brodie and Ben came across two lipstick tubes and some old business cards.

Source: lipstick/

They were able to read the cards, and realized that they stores associated with the cards had long since closed their doors. They even discovered a teasing comb at the bottom of the bag. Obviously the woman who owned the bag used it to increase the height of her hairdo.  


Significant Traceability

The fact that the individual who carried the purse also carried her photographs within it was, however, the most useful in tracing her identity. These pointed to the fact that the bag had been lost at a time when there were no smartphones to take pictures of loved ones. 

Source: Found-purse/Purses.wndrs

This indicated that the bag had been misplaced years ago. As a direct result of that conclusion, the boys were at last able to find a main key to solving the mystery.


Solving the Puzzle

Brodie and Ben searched through the photographs with great attention to detail. Despite the blurry images, Ben was drawn to one in particular, despite the fact that the photos were deteriorating. He was astounded when he realized that he was familiar with the woman in the photograph.

Source: Lost-and-found-purse/Purse.makportal

In a later interview with ABC News, he said that the woman in the photograph was a friend of the family and he had not seen her in over a decade even though he attended school with the woman’s nephew.


Contacting the Owner

Ben reached for his phone and started talking to the woman’s nephew right awayt. After that, he related the miraculous recovery of the bag to his aunt, April Bolt, along with the specifics of how it had been found. 

Source: Boy-fishes-purse-from-water/Top5

April Bolt listened attentively as her nephew shared the information. April later spoke about her surprise with ABC, telling them that it was an incredible find. She said, “I couldn’t believe it. I was lost for words. You never think you’d see it again.”


Losing The Purse

In 1992, while April was participating in a cookout at a marina close to Lake Hartwell she lost her purse.  To put it another way, an unbelievable quarter of a century had passed since the report of the purse had gone missing. 

Source: ABC News/Twitter

All this time, ever since that day, April was under the assumption that her bag had gone missing in mysterious circumstances. She never believed she had just misplaced it. She was, and is, sure that someone took it.  


Sharing Her Suspicions

April told ABC the details of what had happened that day in 1992.  She began, “We were on the boat and my parents had a condo there and we were grilling burgers and we parked the boat in the slip” 

Source: Inside Edition/YouTube

She continued, “There were two guys there fishing and — I hate to accuse anybody — but when we got back I was like, ‘My pocketbook is gone!’”  April remembered leaving her purse in the boat, and remembered it was gone when she returned.


A Woman’s Emotional Loss

April vividly recalled the profound effect that the loss had on her mental and emotional state at the time. “I was crying,” she recalled. “It wasn’t a whole lot of cash — maybe like $60. But a woman fits her whole life in her purse. It was devastating.” 

Source: lipstick/

The fact that April’s makeup had disappeared was an additional source of distress for her. She chuckled with regret as she recalled, “My favorite lipstick was in there, and the color was discontinued”


A Heartwarming Reunion

Even though April was overjoyed to find her purse once more, the most significant for her was something that she always had with her. Ben had been able to identify April thanks to the photographs that were safely stored inside.

Source: Found-purse/Purse.gayaba

Among those photographs were some priceless pictures of April’s son. April went on to explain, “My son is 26 now, but he was 15 months then, and I had all his photos that were professionally taken in my wallet. They have water damage, but you can make him out.”


What Means Everything to April?

When Ben and April thought back on Brodie’s incredible catch, they both found it hard to believe what had actually taken place.

Source: Tumblr

“It was pretty wild,” Ben told to ABC News. “You fish up a purse — for one — then you actually know whose it was…” April stated that the recovery of the bag “meant the world” to her because it had been lost for a quarter of a century and had been submerged at a depth of almost 30 feet.


Universe's Mysterious Wonders

On the other hand, now that she had made the discovery, April was trying to figure out the reason why the universe wanted her to have her purse back. “Everyone keeps telling me, ‘There’s got to be a meaning to why you’re finding this so many years later,’” she said. 

Source: Galeri/Milliyet

April was curious about why certain things happen at certain times. One day she hopes to find someone who’s been through something similar and have an important discussion. In the meantime, she’s thrilled to have the photos of her son back.