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Catch a Local Treasure with hand made fishing lures by 89 year old Bulloch man

Fishing for a gift for the sportsman in your life? Lures by the Waters may be the perfect catch. Local sportsman, 89 year old Brooks Waters, produces some of the most interesting and high-quality fishing lures on the market, right here in Bulloch County.

“Lures by the Waters” are as beautiful as they are unique. Handcrafted by local veteran Brooks Waters, they are available in a variety of styles. In-line spinners, dual spins, tail spinners, and beetle spins are all available, and can all be custom ordered. The most popular style is the beetle spin, which does particularly well at catching brim, bass and crappie. Brooks will custom make any color or style someone wants if they order a batch of ten.

Everything from the head color and pattern, skirt, hooks and spinner type can be customized to make one-of-a-kind creations. The list of satisfied customers continues to grow and many have come back to order more. Among the many recipients of Brooks fine products is Georgia Southern football coach Clay Helton.

Waters puts a great deal of care into his craft, and even custom molds the heads of the beetle spins. “I melt the lead in a pot and I pour them in this mold to make whatever size I want. Mostly customers want the one-eighth-inch head because that’s what catches the most fish around here. These beetle spins are good for brim, red breasts, warmouth and such,” says Brooks Waters.

He colors the heads using a solid powder, which is poured into a special reservoir that channels air through it to keep the paint stirred. The head is dipped into the paint reservoir while it is still hot, so the powder adheres to the hot lead and forms an unbreakable bond. He then bakes it in an oven to further harden the material. “It ends up so hard, you can throw it up against that wall right there and it won’t come off," says Brooks Waters.  As for the other components, he only uses top of the line hardware like Gamakatsu hooks, which he proudly reports has never failed for himself or his customers.

89-year-old Brooks Waters has been making the lures by hand at his home in Bulloch County for several years. As with many great endeavors, his journey began with a challenge from a friend. At a meeting of the Bulloch Bowman archery club, which Waters co-founded in 1966, he was talking with a friend. His friend lamented that he couldn’t find good fishing lures since his favorite company had gone out of business.

The fellow archer showed Brooks a spinner lure he had on him, and Brooks simply said, “I bet I can make that.” His friend presented Waters a challenge: If he could make a lure that was as good as that one, he would buy them.  Brooks took the lure home, carefully studied the design, and determined the tools and methods he would need to produce high-quality spinner lures of his own. “You can find anything on the internet," says Waters. “I had to find out what a spinner was and a clevis was and how to make this whole thing.” After a period of trial and error, Waters perfected his methods and began producing several varieties of “lures by the waters”.

In the early days of the Covid pandemic, Waters began producing lures daily to keep busy while stuck at home. He figured that if he was going to make them, why not try selling them. Sales were slow until Brooks’ son Tracy Waters began helping his father spread the word. “After he had been making them for about four months, I asked him how many he had sold,” says Tracy. Waters replied that he had sold one to a lady in Minnesota on Etsy.

Tracy took a picture on his phone and sent a text out to all his contacts. The next day Tracy asked Brooks how many lures he had ready. Brooks said he had fifty. “Well, I just sold 72,” replied Tracy. “What?!,” his father said with surprise. Brooks went to work and by the end of the next day, the two had sold 172. It took about a week for Brooks to catch up, and he’s been going strong ever since. “I’ve had friends buy these that don’t even fish,” says Tracy, “They just like the way they look so much that they wanted them for their office.”

To get your own "Lure by the Waters", email Tracy at or text 912-682-4488. Small lures are $20 for 4, and large lures are $10 each.