(CBS4) – A man who reeled in a bomb while he was fishing on the Fourth of July says he feels lucky he’s still alive to tell the story of what happened.

The man, who asked that his name not be used, was fishing from the dock at Barr Lake State Park in the morning. He had been out for several hours with no bites, and when he felt the line hook something big his first reaction was excitement.

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“I thought it was a big fish because I had already (been there) like 3 or 4 hours without catching nothing,” he said.

As he reeled the line in he quickly realized there was no fish. Instead, his line had snagged some sort of white and black pipe, and on the end of it was what looked like a fuse.

CBS4's Karen Morfitt interviews the fisherman. (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews the fisherman. (credit: CBS)

“I was trying to pull it out and that’s when I saw the bomb,” he said.

“I threw my fishing pole very carefully away like 5 feet from me.”

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The man flagged down the first park ranger he could find. Soon afterwards, the Adams County Bomb Squad was able to move the device into a nearby sand pit and safely detonate it.

An image of the pipe bomb (credit: CBS)

An image of the pipe bomb (credit: CBS)

The fisherman says it was a catch he’ll never forget, but one he hopes to never see again.

“I say ‘That was close,’ you know, because I picked it up with my hand and put it away. And then after that when I saw it explode I thought ‘Wow, that’s something dangerous.”

It’s unclear where the pipe bomb came from or who left it there. Investigators say sometimes explosives are used to shock fish in an effort to collect them easily. It’s illegal to do that.

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The man says the situation hasn’t scared him away from doing more fishing at the lake. In fact, he was back out on the dock the next morning with his rod.