Zoom Bait Company

8,000 gallons of plastic are used in about 10 days at Zoom.

I started out fishing with Mann’s 6″ Jelly Worms but found the Zoom 4 1/2″ Finesse Worms to be a lot more effective on the finicky Spotted bass[1] of Lake Sidney Lanier[2], in Georgia, near my home.

Ed Chambers Sr. (1940—2018) had a full-time job selling and repairing jukeboxes, pinball machines, and other coin-operated devices so he looked for ways to make his bass fishing time as productive as possible. To do that, he needed soft-plastic worm styles that weren’t available in the late 1970s. To solve the problem, he did what any enterprising entrepreneur would do — he began molding his own fish catchers.

The baits worked so well that Chambers began selling them, and to meet the growing demand, he began mixing plastics in a 55-gallon drum and stirring them with a trolling motor. Out of those modest beginnings in a small barn on a farm in Watkinsville, Georgia, grew Zoom Bait Company, one of the most popular and successful lure companies in bass fishing history.

Chambers is also credited with creating some of the most effective worm colors ever, including pumpkin, pumpkinseed, and green pumpkin. With Chambers leading the way, the company has devised ways to overcome technological challenges such as mass-producing triple-laminate worm colors, which enabled them to be sold at affordable prices.

A lot of people just think we’re a little country company out in the woods

Ed Chambers

The factory floor is visible from the front offices and hallways through glass walls that overlook the shipping and packaging areas of the plant. Further into the plant was the actual injection molding area, and beyond that was where the plastic is formulated, something Chambers has always done in-house.

We formulate our own plastic, make our own colors, mold it, package it and ship it all from this location

Ed Wortham – Zoom’s first and longest employee

There are more than 30 stations that can inject plastic into the hundreds of molds Zoom has on hand, and each station gets assigned a certain bait and color or series of baits and colors depending on the orders received.

Ed built the original machines, and we build, strip apart and rebuild every machine every 6 months. We use a lot of familiar equipment that’s maybe not familiar in injection molding.

Chris Baxter

Hearing the hissing and pressing, it was amazing to see the precision of the operation. Each station can crank out as many as 40 worms a minute. That’s what they call two runners. A runner is basically a mold full of baits that come out of the mold with a runner attached so that you can easily handle multiple baits at once.

The baits then are hung on racks. Once the volume is met, the racks of runners are taken to the packaging area. There the runners are pulled loose from the worms and packaged. The workers that are packaging don’t count worms. They’ve been doing it so long; they can literally tell when a trick worm is missing from a run just by how it feels in their hands. Depending on the size of the baits a pack might be two runners or just one runner.

The boy who made the molds for us, his last name was Zimmerman, but everyone around here just called him Zoom. After the first worms were poured, someone asked who made those, and they said, ‘those are those worms from Zoom.’ Of course they meant the guy that made the molds, but we liked it and kept it.

Ed Chambers

Zoom has 102 full-time employees and 52 part-time employees at full capacity. They can produce up to 40 worms a minute per station and there are more than 30 stations. 8,000 gallons of plastic are used in about 10 days at Zoom. There are about 400+ colors of worms made in the 40,000-foot facility. 45,000 packages a day can be produced when running at full capacity

We use the 6″ zoom lizards every spring to catch largemouth bass. Zoom is located at 1581 Jennings Mill Rd, Bogart, Georgia 30622. Their phone number is (706) 548-1008.

  1. The spotted bass also called spotty, or spots in various fishing communities is a species of North American freshwater fish belonging to the sunfish family of the order Perciformes. It is noted for the rows of dark spots below the lateral line, which give it its common name. One of the black basses is native to the Mississippi River basin and across the Gulf states, from central Texas through the Florida panhandle. Its native range extends into the western Mid-Atlantic states and it has been introduced into western North Carolina and Virginia. It has also been introduced to southern Africa, where it has become established in some isolated waters as an invasive species. Spotted bass can reach an overall length of almost 25 in, and weights of up to 11 lb. It can live to an age of at least seven years. Preferring cool and warm mountain streams and reservoirs with rocky bottoms, the spotted bass feeds on insects, crustaceans, frogs, annelid worms, and smaller fish. It is often mistaken for the similar and more common largemouth bass. A convenient way to distinguish between a largemouth and a spotted bass is by the size of the mouth. Spotted bass will resemble a largemouth bass in coloration but will have a smaller mouth. [Back]
  2. Lake Lanier (officially Lake Sidney Lanier) is a reservoir in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created by the completion of the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956 and is also fed by the waters of the Chestatee River. The lake encompasses 38,000 acres or 59 sq mi of water, and 692 mi of shoreline at normal level, a “full pool” of 1,071 ft (326 m) above mean sea level and the exact shoreline varies by resolution according to the coastline paradox. Named for poet Sidney Lanier, it was built and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and water supplies. Its construction destroyed more than 50,000 acres of farmland and displaced more than 250 families, 15 businesses, and relocated 20 cemeteries along with their corpses in the process. [Back]

Further Reading


Wired 2 Fish
Zoom Bait
Bass Fishing Hall of Fame
Georgia Outdoor News

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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