By Victoria Tillinghast
The Ebony Anglers are a competitive women’s fishing team of all-black entrepreneurs hailing from the Triangle area of North Carolina. The team’s inception was the idea of Durham, N.C., salon owner and proprietor Gia Peebles when she and her husband witnessed the annual Big Rock Fishing Tournament in Beaufort, N.C., last June.
“When I saw women of all ages coming from their fishing boats with fish and winning prizes, I noticed that there were no women of color competing. I said to myself, ‘We can do this. I already know accomplished women who are leaders and know how to win in other aspects of their lives. We can do this.” said Peebles.
Peebles went on to invite Lesleigh Mausi, Glenda Turner, Bobbiette Palmer and Tiana Davis—all business owners from North Carolina—to join her team, and the Ebony Anglers was born.
The team would go on to take first place in the King Mackerel Division of Carteret Community College Foundation’s Spanish Mackerel & Dolphin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C. They also established two youth and cultural engagement initiatives: Black Girls Fish (#BlackGirlsFish, BGF) and Black Boys Boat (#BlackBoysBoat, BBB.) Their mission statement for these initiatives includes:
- To share with (and develop in) youth an appreciation and agility for fishing (and boating) as an outdoor sporting lifestyle.
- To educate youth in the fundamentals of fishing (and boating), both as a sport and as a lifestyle.
- To empower youth with life skills that promote self-sufficiency, physical and intellectual fortitude and sound leadership values.
The Ebony Anglers have gone on to be featured in The New York Times, BBC Sport, and USA Today.
They also plan to compete in many more tournaments and grow their ranks as they live up to their mission statement: “To impact the sport of competitive women’s fishing through the diversity and inclusion of female anglers of color, and to establish a legacy of leadership, sportsmanship, and excellence for youth through education and mentoring.”