I keep a close eye on our Japanese magnolias this time of year. We had several in our yard when we bought this house and I never did like them. They bloom for about two weeks and return to ugliness for the rest of the year. Not to mention, they smack me in the face when I’m cutting grass.
But after the past several years, I can guarantee you that they’re not going anywhere. Oddly enough, I’ve learned that whenever they bloom, the prespawn bass are shallow and choking on crankbaits. It hasn’t failed me yet.
For instance, I’ve been fishing a lot this week. It has been in the 70s and absolutely beautiful outside. The water temperature is in the 55-degree range, the water has nice color to it and by all accounts, the bass should be smoking a shallow plug right now. I went two days in a row to try and force this bite and guess what? It never happened. I caught one hybrid on a crankbait and that’s it. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t happening.
That is, until I pulled back into my driveway. Our Japanese magnolias look to be about 2 weeks from blooming. There are no purple flowers to speak of, which made the light bulb click in my head. So I went out the next day and targeted bass a little deeper and I had a much better day of fishing.
A few years ago, those silly magnolias started to bloom in the first week of February. It was cold and nasty outside and I have no idea why they decided that was a good time to do their thing. But sure enough, even in that bad weather, I went to the lake and smashed them on a shallow crankbait for about three weeks. I found the prespawners before anyone else started to even look for them.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings. When you crush ’em this time of year, you need to be looking for what nature is currently doing. I don’t know why the Good Lord made it be like this, but if you ride past my house and see my Japanese magnolias blooming, you better hightail it to the lake and start throwing a crankbait.