One of the most consistent anglers of the 1970s and 80s, Ricky Green is a name not to be forgotten. He held the record for consecutive Classics in the early days with 14 straight from 1972 to 1985 and had 37 Top-10 finishes out 3f 184 events fished. Photo The Tennessean, October 26, 1972. Jimmy Holt.

When thinking of the group of anglers who helped Ray Scott and his fledgling Bassmaster Trail succeed, the obvious names come to mind.  Bill Dance, John Powell, Bobby Murray, Stan Sloan, Jimmy Houston, and of course Don Butler all make that list.  But there’s another angler that was an early legend who’s nearly been forgotten.  That angler is Mr. Consistency Ricky Green.

As a young adult, Green was known in the Arkadelphia area as being one of the top sticks.  He consistently brought in big strings of bass – enough to get the eye of a local marine dealer who sponsored him a boat and motor.

This led in 1968 to General Marine telling Green they’d pay his way if he’d fish the new bass tournaments popping up in the south.  At the time he was 23 years old.

In August, Green won the Arkansas State Championship which qualified him for the 1968 World Series of Sport Fishing.  Then he towed his 14-foot boat down to Sam Rayburn to fish his first Bassmaster event, where he placed 11th.

Next was the World Series of Sport Fishing, held on lake Texoma, Green finished in 9th place.

Green fished local events through 1968 and in early 1969 he fished his second Bassmaster event, The Seminole Lunker, in February.  He finished in 6th place.  Two months later he went back to Sam Rayburn for the Texas national and came in third.

From 1970 to 1972 he continued to fish locally and would fish the Bassmaster Trail whenever he could get away from his job as a chemist at Reynolds Aluminum.

In 1972 Green fished three of the six Bassmaster events and qualified for his first BASS Masters Classic, to be held on Percy Priest Reservoir.

After the first day of Classic II, Green had nearly an eight-pound lead after the first day.  His bunk partner, Don Butler had blanked.  Green showed Butler what type of bait and pattern he was running and the next day, Butler overcame his deficit to lead.  He ended up beating Green on the last day by 13 1/2-pounds.  It was Green’s first second-place finish of his career.

Green would continue on winning events and placing high in the others he fished, which is how he garnered the nickname Mr. Consistency.  He became a sponsor’s dream angler always in the top 10 and always willing to put in the hard work.

Between 1968 and 1997, Green fished 184 Bassmaster Events, before he pulled out of B.A.S.S. and went to FLW.  In his time at B.A.S.S. he had 14 consecutive Classic appearances (1972 through 1985), a record at the time.  He also had 90 money finishes, two wins, five seconds, three thirds, and 37 top-10s.

In 1986, the wheels fell off.  Talking with Green he said he just got burned out.  He stopped working hard and became complacent.  It showed on the water.  For the next ten years he just made the motions.  That’s when he decided to change it up and fish the new FLW Pro Tour.

From 1998 to 2002 he qualified for three FLW Cups and made a bit of a comeback.  Then after the 2002 season, he retired from professional bass fishing.

Ricky Green may not be a name you recognize if you’re under the age of 40.  But his name is one all should know and remember.  He was one of the best in his day and helped to forge the way for the young anglers of today with respect to sponsorships and the profession.

The lead-in image was taken from The Tennessean, Thursday October 26, 1972.  It shows Day-One BASS Masters Classic leader Ricky Green and his wife after the weigh-in.  Ricky’s comment to me about that night he showed Butler the juice was, “The worst thing I ever did was tell him what I was doing with that spinnerbait.”

Ricky Green passed away on May 11, 2014, of lung disease.  He was 69 years old.  For more on Ricky Green, please check out theselinks.

The Fishin’ Machine

Season at a Glance:  1972 BASS Master Trail – Part Three