Zoom’s Ed Chambers Passes

Fishing world mourns heavy loss as the founder of Zoom Bait Company passes away at 78.

GON Staff | May 8, 2018

On May 8, 2018, Zoom Bait Company, based in Watkinsville, issued the following statement on its website

It is with great sadness we announce the founder of Zoom Bait Company, William Edward Chambers Sr., passed early Tuesday morning. Chambers, a famous iconic lure designer, was diagnosed with a rare form of Mantle Cell Lymphoma. After undergoing treatment for a short time, complications arose which eventually took its toll.

Mr. Chambers was a fighter his entire life, as he would never settle for anything less than perfect. If a good mousetrap existed, he’d find a way to make a better one. Striving for perfection is how he built Zoom Bait Company. Chambers started Zoom in his backyard as a hobby, which included countless hours after his day job. It began in a one-horse barn with sawdust floors. This became the foundation and backbone of Zoom Bait Company, which was founded in 1977.

Ed Chambers with his daughter Kym from a 2012 photo as Zoom celebrated Ed’s 72th birthday.

Zoom was family owned and operated since day one. As the saying goes, behind every man is a great woman. Faye Chambers stood by his side making countless sacrifices in the early days as the company was just getting started. Often, she was found on the living room floor bagging worms and loading their station wagon, so she could deliver them to UPS.

The company began to grow with the help of close friends and fellow fishermen from the Athens Bassmasters. Eddie Wortham, while still in high school, was the first employee hired by Chambers. Today, Wortham still works at Zoom as General Manager.

Shortly after Chambers started the company, Zoom experienced another growth spurt. Chambers son, William Edward Chambers Jr., while still in school, stepped in and began running routes delivering worms with Wortham all across the Southeast.

In 1988, Chambers realized that his hobby had turned into a big business. At this point, Chambers believed it would take the entire family to make this work. Eddie Jr. graduated from UGA and returned to the family business, while younger sister Kym pursued a nursing career. Kym graduated from college and worked as an RN for several years. Eventually, she joined Zoom to fill her mother’s shoes, when Faye decided to retire.

Chambers was a humble man, who never saw himself as famous. He was completely content working seven days a week seeking constant perfection. This was evident in his second hobby, making handmade balsa crankbaits. W.E.C. Custom Lures was his passion. W.E.C. was first born around 1992 and, by the mid 90s, was in full swing. With the help of close friends, Chambers developed many crankbait models that are highly sought after to this day.

All who knew him will miss Mr. Chambers, but for us here at Zoom, we are honored to have had such a wonderful leader, mentor and friend.

The following arrangements have been finalized for Ed Chambers Sr.
Date:  Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Visitation:  10 am (EST)
Funeral: 11 am
Location: Lord & Stephens West – Funeral Home, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Bogart, GA 30622
The family will remain and accept visitors on site after the funeral for those who cannot make it at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the Chambers family is requesting donations be made to support research into Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

MD Anderson Cancer Center
c/o Dr. Michael Wang, MD & Professor
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Box 429
Houston, Texas 77030

Learn more here about Dr. Wang’s research.

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