Tai Au and Daniel Elias formed a facebook group “AZ Anglers” a few years back and its been a huge part of the fishing community here in Arizona especially for the tournament crowd. We had a Q&A with the both to discuss how it came about and much more.
Q: How old were you when you started fishing and what got you into it?
Tai: I was about 3 or 4 years old. My dad always enjoyed fishing and took our family out on camping trips to San Carlos. We mainly fished for sunfish and catfish.
Daniel: My father started taking me trout fishing when I was 3 or 4 years old. Some of my earliest fishing memories are crawling over boulders in Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona chasing rainbow and brown trout. At about 8 years old I caught my first bass with my grandfather at Lake Mead, NV on a small Rebel crankbait. I still have that crankbait and it’s on display in my fishing room at home. I’ve never used it since that day and I will never use it again.
Q: When did you realize this was something more than a hobby and you wanted to fish competitively?
Tai: It was when my brother dragged me out of the house to fish my first FLW event as a co-angler. At the time, I had lost everything and was living with my baby sister. I was depressed and lost. I had no motivation to do anything because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Before I knew it, I was leading the tournament going into the last day. All the stress and hardships from life didn’t matter. I ended finishing 2nd in that tournament nearly winning the 30,000 grand prize. Little did I know, it was that tournament that changed my life. The high of being in contention was what I was addicted to. I’ve been working hard to chase that high since.
Q: When was your first tournament and how did you do?
Q: What was the biggest learning curve going from fun fishing to fishing for money?
Q: Now that you are both very well established in the tournament scene and both have had a lot success, what are your goals moving forward?
Q: Fishing is notoriously a tough passion to find balance with but you guys seem to do it very well. Do you guys have any plans to pursue this full time away from your current careers?
Q: When did you start the FB Group AZ Anglers?
Q: Did you imagine it growing to the amount of people it has now, and what do you attribute the success of the page to?
Q: What has been the best thing to come from AZ Anglers for you personally?
Q: Anything negative as it continues to grow?
Q: If you have a full day open to fish where are you going and what are you throwing?
Q: Least favorite Lake in AZ?
Q: If you guys go head to head 10 times in a row who is coming out on top?
Q: Best advice you can give to someone trying to take it to the next level in fishing and be competitive?