The team, formed in the past few months, is trying to make a mark in the mostly white, mostly male world of competitive fishing. While competing, the women walked from the dock to weigh in, a few bystanders cast curious glances their way. It was probably the first time any of them had come across a team of all Black women in the mostly white, and male world of fishing for a prize.
Peebles, 49, formed the team. She did not fish until she met her husband, William Peebles, a couple of decades ago. Many Black people, Peebles said, are not exposed to the nautical lifestyle, and the high cost of entry to competitive fishing is a significant deterrent. She first called Mausi, 47, a longtime friend, about collaborating. The two had fished casually a few times, and Mausi’s father was a professional angler. She brought along Davis, 44, who also had fishing experience.
They next asked Glenda Turner, 56, a nail technician at Peebles’s beauty salon, to join. Palmer, 37, a model Peebles knew from styling her hair, rounded out the team. “We instantly developed a bond,” Palmer said. “We’re all organized in our own ways, and we fill each other’s gaps. Our strengths and weaknesses, they complement each other.”
By July, the team had entered its first tournament, the Carteret Community College Foundation’s Spanish Mackerel & Dolphin Tournament in Morehead City. That weekend, the Ebony Anglers caught a 48-pound king mackerel to claim first place in the division. “It just catches some off guard that here we are,” Peebles said. “We’re not only female, but we’re Black. We’re competing and we’re doing it well. We’re actually winning.”
They hope to use the tournament as a tuneup to compete in next year’s Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, where Peebles envisions her journey coming full circle. “Hopefully, people are seeing us step into an arena that’s normally considered to be dominated by white males and it can inspire others,” she said. “Hopefully, we are making an impact on a lot of people, and people of color and, in particular, women of color to know they can step out of their box and do something that they never thought that they could do.”