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SJ BassMasters teammates snag state title, qualify for nationals
SJ BassMasters
San Joaquin BassMasters teammates Mateo Garcia of Manteca, left, Ian Maynard caught 19 pounds of fish in winning the state high school bass fishing championships. - photo by Contributed

Next stop: LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

As a result of winning the recent California high school bass fishing championships, 17-year-old Ian Maynard of Stockton and 16-year-old Mateo Garcia of Manteca will be accompanied by boat captain Jeremy Maynard to The Bass Federation National Championship from Sunday, June 18, to Saturday, June 24 in LaCrosse on the Mississippi River. The top finishers in the National Championship will compete in the World Championship the final day of the tournament. 

SJ BassMasters
Ian Maynard and Mateo Garcia of San Joaquin BassMasters with boat captain Jeremy Maynard at The Bass Federation high school state championship. - photo by Contributed
Garcia and Ian Maynard are members of the San Joaquin BassMasters and won the state championship on Saturday, May 13, at Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island and they did so in grand fashion, tallying in excess of 19 pounds for five fish, the largest tipping the scales at seven-plus pounds.

“We had done a lot of pre-fishing for this, the last qualifier for nationals,” Ian Maynard said. “We found lots of bed fish with different baits including Drop Shots and White Worm.

“A lot of guys were fishing for numbers, but we were fishing for those five right bites. “Right now, the Delta is fishing tough, so we never thought we would catch 19 pounds and we certainly didn’t think we were going to win it. I was thinking along the lines of 16 pounds and qualifying, but I had no idea we had 19 pounds.”

Garcia also did not think they were going to bring home the prize.

“We really didn’t go into this thinking we were going to win the state championship,” Garcia said. “But things kind of progressed with around one bite an hour to an hour and a half.

“It was slow in between but we knew we were looking for the right fish. As the day was coming to an end we started thinking how much total weight we had.”

Board member Brandi Rose noted that San Joaquin BassMasters is about more than fishing.

“We started SJBM about five years ago,” Rose said. “Ian has been part of our club for the last three or four years now and Mateo the last several years. The goal of the club is to bring kids from all over valley with the common goal of fishing and conservation.

“They participate in tournaments with the Bass Federation, California Bass Federation, TNT and FPT, several of the circuits in the area.”

San Joaquin BassMasters has anglers from fifth to 12th grade of any experience level from beginning to advanced. More-experienced anglers will participate in local tournaments with volunteer boaters and beginners will learn from some of the best anglers in the area. Many of the club's sponsors and volunteer boaters help by providing a boat and fishing equipment.

San Joaquin BassMasters was started local angler Cam Cardoza who had a vision to provide a means to bring kids together who love to fish and want to learn more about fishing and conservation.  He brought together several high school classmates to bring his vision to life in October 2019 — Kimi Davis, David Silveria and Rose. Since then, the club has grown and currently has 15 members and six board members —  President Cardoza, Davis, Rose, Kirk Anderson, Julia Santos and Heather Nuemann.  Last season, they had several angler teams finish in the top 10 in local tournaments with all anglers learning more through practices and participation.

SJSB is affiliated with The Bass Federation, California Bass Federation, and participates in events within those organizations as well as FPT and TNT presented by BBT. Conservation, fishing, boating safety, volunteering in local events, as well as raising funds for the club will be the focus during the season, in addition to having fun.

San Joaquin Bassmasters has monthly meetings the last Tuesday of every month at Bass Pro Shops in Manteca (upstairs in the Conservation Room).  Meeting time is 6:30 p.m. Contact Cardoza at 209-502-0258, Rose at 209-380-7970 or Davis at 209-380-7970 or email at: for more information or visit their Facebook page at: Sponsors and volunteer boaters are always needed and welcome.

Following is the link for the fundraiser to help raise funds for the National Championships: