Joshua Woods, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, fishes at his favorite local spot along the Black River every chance he gets, and after his most recent big catch, he's not sure why more people don't throw their line in the water there.
"I was dragging it in and I wasn't even sure what it was at first," Woods, 31, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. "It just looked like a dirty old sock, but it had stuff in it. I opened it up and I couldn't even believe it. It was a wallet."
The mystery wallet immediately piqued Woods' interest. Without missing a beat, he took a picture of the wallet by the riverbank and posted it to his Facebook page along with a few details about the contents inside, all in hopes of eventually tracking down the original owner.
"Right away I'm thinking, 'Whose wallet is this? Who even puts wallets in socks to begin with?'" he said.
Fortunately, a driver's license and several credit cards were still inside and remarkably intact for being underwater for so long.
"The ID was still in it, and I knew it was a La Crosse address so I figured it was somebody local, so I should be able to find him," Woods explained. "I tried Googling the name and found too many people, but as soon as I posted the information from his ID on Facebook, I had three people messaging me saying, 'I'm friends with him, I know him.' It was easier than I expected."
The social media site helped connect Woods with the wallet's owner, Jesse Gomez, who still lives in La Crosse, and couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the photo of his long-lost belongings.
"He put my first name, middle initial and last name along with my address on Facebook, and it ended up getting the word out that day," said Gomez, 30. "I never go on Facebook but I'm so glad I did that day."
Gomez still remembers the exact moment the wallet was stolen three long years ago.
"I was DJ'ing a karaoke, and I was stepping away from the booth to get myself another beverage," he said. "I set my wallet on the table and went to get the next singer up on the stage. It was less than two minutes, and my wallet was gone. Someone had stolen it."
The thieves, who Gomez have since located and pressed charges against, maxed out all his credit cards, ruined his credit, and to this day, he is still trying to fix his identity.
"We were able to find out who it was, sue them and do the civil thing, but we were never able to find the wallet," Gomez said.
Until now, thanks to a very lucky fishing day.
"He took it upon himself to give the wallet back," Gomez said of Woods' good deed. "It's so weird that someone would find something like that in the river, but I'm glad he did."
It's safe to say Gomez has learned his lesson about leaving his wallet behind while he quickly runs to get another cocktail.
"It was pay day the day my wallet was stolen," he said. "I had just cashed my check. That was the most expensive drink I ever bought."