Five local women have made a splash in competitive fishing.
The “Ebony Anglers” won their first tournament in July. Now, they hope to encourage other women, especially women of color, to fish.
"It's exciting, it's exhilarating. It's a lot of hard work, but it's a lot of fun," said Gia Peebles, the captain for Ebony Anglers.
Deep sea fishing is a passion Peebles shares with her husband.
One year, the two were at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City.
"There were all these ladies getting off the boat, and they just looked like they were having such a good time," Peebles described. "So I said, 'Honey, now tell me, how does this work?' Well, he said, 'You gotta get a team together.'"
So she did, reeling in Lesleigh Mausi, Glenda Turner, Bobbiette Palmer and Tiana Davis. The women were all mothers and business owners seeking new waters.
"We're multifaceted. I think this really feeds those other facets of who I am as a woman," said Mausi.
"It's a real serene experience because the water’s flowing and the boat's rocking, but when you see that rod hit, I mean, it's like an immediate shift. Your intensity kicks in, the reel starts running," said Peebles.
The women won their first tournament after catching a 48-pound King Mackerel off the Emerald Isle coast. They said competition is only part of the hook, though.
"It just gives you another, you know, trajectory to discover who we are as women," said Mausi.
The Ebony Anglers also want to share their love of boating and fishing with younger generations through the programs “Black Girls Fish” and “Black Boys Boat.”