College angler killed in boating accident

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Jack Hunt (right) posing with Erskine College head coach Ryan Teems (middle) and teammate Brycen Williamson (left).

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. is deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of 18-year-old Erskine College angler Jack Franklin-Lee Hunt. The Erskine College freshman was involved in a boating accident late Friday evening, March 12 on South Carolina’s Lake Secession. While driving back to the boat ramp, Hunt was struck by a piece of debris. The impact from the debris was enough to fatally injure him.

Over the weekend, the fishing community mourned the death of a great young angler and an even better young man.

One of Hunt’s closest friends over the course of the last few years was Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Williamson’s son, Brycen Williamson. Brycen has fished with and against Hunt for several years and served as his fishing partner at Erskine in their first semester of college.

“If you ever talked to Jack, you could tell he had a true passion for bass fishing,” Brycen said. “No matter how the day went, you could always catch Jack with a smile on his face. He had one of the best personalities of anyone I have ever met. 

“He was always so positive. Even if we had a bad tournament, he was never negative. No matter what happened, he always found a way to put everyone in a good mood.”

“It’s been a devastating last couple days,” said Ryan Teems, the bass fishing coach at Erskine College. “It still just feels like a bad dream.”

Teems believes that Hunt was destined to have a career in tournament bass fishing.

“Everybody says that fishing for a living is their dream, but Jack was one of very few in the area that was a true rising star in the making,” said Teems. “Outside of fishing, he was such a loving guy. He always talked about the importance of his faith. Jack always had a smile on his face, even at the worst times.” 

Hunt was a two-time Bassmaster High School All-State recipient and just finished up his first Carhartt Bassmaster College Series tournament on his home lake, Lake Hartwell.

“Any time we lose an angler at that young of an age it is always tragic,” said Bassmaster High School and College Tournament Director Hank Weldon. “Our angling hearts do hurt for him and his family and we will continue to keep them in our prayers.”