Yellow Magic Havana

Brian Duplechian, a fishing guide at Lake Fork, holds a trophy-sized bass he caught on a Yellow Magic Havana at Lake Fork.

Bass can’t resist new version of walk-the-dog topwater lure

All the anticipation of walking a premier topwater skillfully along that narrow path between lily pads builds with each sweep of the fishing rod.

The big bass’ explosion is the reward for fishing with the new Yellow Magic Havana, crafted with cutting edge technology and painstaking attention to detail. It’s repeated time after time in waters from coast to coast.

No one knows that more than the bass fisherman who helped design the Yellow Magic Havana some 20 years after introducing the showstopper popper Yellow Magic. Butch Ray of Emory, Texas, is responsible for both.

“They’re great throwing, great fishing baits. You’ll see when you take one out of the box. They’re quality baits,” Ray said recently, proud of the newest edition of Yellow Magics.

They aren’t just for bass, Ray said about both the Yellow Magic and newcomer Yellow Magic Havana.

Topwater terror

“They’re really a good bait. The thing about these two baits here, of course they’re made for bass fishing. But they’re also really good topwaters for speckled trout and redfish,” he said. That should peak the interest of anglers.

The 73-year-old Ray, who has owned B&L Distributors since 1989, sold the Mustang Resort at Lake Fork in 2020 after owning the marina in Alba, Texas, for 35 years. He was a regular on the B.A.S.S. pro circuit before devoting his attention to the marina and artificial tackle design and manufacturing.

“I helped design it with the company that produces it for me. We had such good luck with the other bait and production of it was so good I felt there was a need for a topwater walking bait,” he said.

What’s important?

The keys to a productive walk-the-dog topwater, he added, are rattles, hooks, balance and the paint job. Yellow Magic Havanas are hand-painted in custom colors featuring a top-of-the-line finish.

It was a lengthy process start to finish, Ray said, because of the distance between Emory and the production facilities in Japan. He’d tweak a prototype, then wait for the company to respond with another prototype.

Photo courtesy

Finally satisfied after nearly a dozen prototypes, Yellow Magic Havanas went on the market in late 2016.

“I’m very particular about quality control, especially when I get the first batch. I would take them out and fish them,” he said, adding his goal was to determine how they performed in the water.

“It is doing well. It’s kind of a specific topwater in that it’s a walking bait, which is really good when fish are chasing shad,” he said, noting, however, that any walking bait can be limited to a certain number of months because of weather patterns each season.

They’re good everywhere

“These things are good up North, a good smallmouth bait, in clear water lakes in New York, like Thousand Island.”

The Yellow Magic Havana excels in Florida and in Mexico. Mexico? Ray uses the walking bait and the Yellow Magic Popper during fishing breaks on his duck hunting trips south of the border.

“They work and they’ll eat them, especially on those lakes over there (in Mexico),” he said. “They’re super good in the Basin and in Florida.”

Ray predicted the Yellow Magic Havanas will become favorites at Lake Fork.

“Yeah, they’re popular here. I don’t think they’ll ever be as popular as the original Yellow Magic,” he said.

His personal best bass on a Yellow Magic was an “11 and change” hawg in 2018 at Lake Fork. His personal best on a Yellow Magic Havana was a 10-3, also at Lake Fork.

He has gotten his hands on several 8-pound class bass on the Yellow Magic Havanas in Mexico.

Ray explained, “Those bigger baits are made for catching bigger bass on topwater.”

For more information on Yellow Magic Havanas and other Yellow Magic products, go to or call (903) 473-1423.

About Don Shoopman 541 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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