A Kansas man reeled in a big one while angling for crappie on Memorial Day weekend — but his fish story from the trip does not involve actual fish.
“I went out to Cheney Lake and the wind was kind of strong,” John Mounce, 45, of Wichita, Kansas, told Fox News Digital.
“I was looking for a structure to fish for crappie, so I went up by the dam face to get out of the southerly winds. And on my side scan, I see something. I looked at it again and I thought, hmm.”
Mounce said he dropped his Garmin livescope into the water to take a better look.
“I could see the fender wells,” Mounce said.
But first, Mounce said, there were fish to be caught.
“There were some big old crappiesitting on the hood of it,” he said, laughing.
“So I caught all the fish off it. And then as soon as I was done, I put the boat on the trailer and on my way out of the parking lot, I called the authorities.”
Officers from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department met Mounce at his house to view the images.
“One of the officers, he took one look at it and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a CJ,’” Mounce said.
Captain Benjamin Blick of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident to Fox News Digital.
“On May 29, we got a call from a fisherman who said he found what he believed was a Jeep underwater,” Blick said.
“I guess he was using some type of sonar. We had the county fire divers go up there, as well as a tow service, and pulled it from the lake.”
Blick said a deputy searched for the vehicle identification number.
“We were able to locate one,” Blick said.
“And when we did a little bit of research on it, with the assistance of the Wichita Police Department, we discovered that it was a 1983 Jeep CJ-7 that had been reported stolen in 1990.”
After more follow-up, the Sheriff’s Department identified the last known owner of the Jeep — who had reported it stolen. The individual now lives in Arkansas.
“We contacted the last owner of it,” Blick said.
“He said clearly it had been stolen. He made an insurance claim, which was paid out. We’ve contacted the insurance company and so really, at this point, since they own it, since they paid out on it, it’s up to them what to do from here.”
Blick said the Sheriff’s Department does not have any information about the circumstances of the 1990 theft report — that case was worked by the Wichita Police Department.
But Mounce is still curious. He wants to know the story behind the stolen Jeep he found at the bottom of Lake Cheney.
“I spoke with a detective the day before yesterday and he told me that they had a number for the gentleman, but he would not release the name to me,” Mounce said.
“He did say that he would give them my number and if they wanted to reach out to me, they could.”
Mounce said he’s interested in whatever mystery might have taken place three decades ago.
“You know, this was 33 years ago,” he said.
“Maybe they’d have a picture of it when they had it. I could tell by looking at it that it had aftermarket rims. I got a picture from the rear of it and you can see it had a tow. I don’t know, but it was somebody’s toy back in the day.”