Fisherman finds weighted down gun in Fort De Soto

Christopher Sacco was fighting a large fish. Or so he thought. He’d already lost it once and he wasn’t going to lose it again. When he finally reeled in the line, he realized he had the catch of the day.

But it wasn’t a fish. Instead, it was an abandoned gun.

Sacco, 35, was fishing off the shore of Fort De Soto Park before noon Saturday when he reeled in a Publix plastic bag. Inside the bag was a black revolver, with a rock secured to it by red and white twine.

“You’ve got be kidding me,” Sacco said to his friend. Sacco’s friend looked over to him. I found a gun,he said.

“He looked at me like, ‘Are you serious,’” Sacco said. “I’m like bro, I found a freaking gun.”

Sacco called the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to report the gun. The Sheriff’s Office confirmed deputies responded to a call at Fort De Soto at 11:46 a.m. Saturday.

Officers took possession of the gun and placed it in property and evidence, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said.

The weapon was entered into the Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center. Deputies were also notified of the gun, the spokesperson said.

Sacco and his friend were fishing near a playground area at the park. Fort De Soto was hit hard by Red Tide, Sacco said, so not many people were around, except for a few canoers on the water.

“Usually there’s a whole bunch of people,” Sacco said. “What if some little kid found it?”

The officer who responded to the report called the situation “a first,” Sacco said.

Sacco posted a photo of the gun to the Facebook group “Tampa Bay Fishing Club.”

Sacco, born and raised in Tampa, has been fishing since he was 9 years old, but never experienced anything like Saturday’s catch.

“To actually catch something like that, like a gun tied to a brick, somebody didn’t want that gun to be found,” he said.