SA Bass

William Chambers Dies

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The founder of Zoom Bait Company, William ‘Ed’ Chambers, has died at the age of 73 after losing a fight against a rare form of cancer.

Described as a ‘giant’ within the industry, Chambers was an iconic lure designer who started the Zoom Company in his backyard as a hobby before officially founding it in 1977.

Family-owned and operated from day one, he worked alongside his wife, Faye, growing the business with the help of close friends and fellow fishermen from the Athens BASSMaster. Eddie Wortham was at high school when he became Zoom’s first employee. He is still there as General Manger.

Shortly after starting the company, Zoom experience­d another spurt in sales. Chambers’ son, William Edward Jr, while still at school, stepped in and began running routes and delivering worms across the southeast with Wortham.

Chambers Jr was later joined in the business by his sister, Kym, who filled the shoes of her mother when she retired.

In an obituary posted on its website, Zoom Baits said: “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. It was born around 1992 and, by the mid-90’s, was in full swing. With the help of close friends, Chambers developed many crankbait models that are highly sought after to this day.”

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