Dam to Dam Ice Fishing Tournament

Dam to Dam Ice Fishing Tournament

by Carmen Faulkner

All right everyone, the winter thaw is over! The few days of warm weather and the reminders from green grass poking up from under the usual January snow was wonderful, but wintery conditions have made their way back into the forecast for the foreseeable future. Rather than running between heated buildings while waiting for spring, this means it’s time to re-engage with winter activities that make River Country a great place to be! …Yes, even in the winter months!


For outdoor-enthusiasts, ice fishing is already on the radar of available winter activities. But you don’t have to be a die-hard outdoorsman, enduring hours of sitting on a bucket waiting for your line to twitch, to enjoy a day on the ice. Luckily, we have just the event to give the ice fishing enthusiasts, as well as those who would just like to ‘test the ice,’ their day on the water!

Dam to Dam is an annual ice fishing tournament-fundraiser in Croton, Mi, and is equal parts fishing contest and social event. It will be held this year on Saturday, February 17th, over DNR free-fishing weekend; meaning you don’t need a fishing license to participate. Registration to fish is only five dollars, and best of all, 100% of proceeds from the event go to benefit local nonprofit, TrueMentors, which pairs kids in Newaygo county in need of extra support with an adult mentor.


For the ice fisherman, the day can begin as early as sun-up, all over Croton Pond. The weigh-in will be held on the ice behind the Croton Township Campground, and there will be a DJ with updated information playing music and motivating participants throughout the day. Weigh-in for Bluegill, Crappie, Perch, Walleye, and Pike, is at 3:30pm, and the winners are determined by the length of the fish. Prizes are given out for winners, as well as the most festive participants (Think: Best Hat category!).


For those who choose socializing over fishing, there are events throughout the day both on and off the ice. Ice golf, for example, tees off at 10am, and you can register to play up until 9:30am the day of the event at the Croton Bay Trading Post. This year, the Croton American Legion, Post 381 is sponsoring a fish fry beginning at 5pm, so spectators and contestants can continue their celebrations. Leinenkugels, one of the other main sponsors of the event, will also be pouring beers throughout the evening, and raffles and games will be played all night; again, all the proceeds benefit TrueMentors!


Those willing to continue braving the elements after a day outside are invited to stay the night at the Croton Township Campground, which will be open throughout the weekend and are offering discounted rates to participants.


All in all, this event is a wonderful way to come out and enjoy (or brave, depending) the elements of the seasons that make River Country our home. Whether fishing, golfing, taking a walk across the ice with the kids, or enjoying live music, food and drink, Dam to Dam is a true community event that not only brings neighbors together, but benefits families in the community. Some of the wonderful sponsors who make Dam to Dam happen will be sponsoring other events throughout the weekend, so the list of things to do will only continue to grow. You can kick off the weekend with live music on Friday the 16th at the American Legion Post 381, or the Driftwood Bar and Grille. For more information on those sponsors and the others that make this event happen, or to learn more about Dam to Dam itself, check out the links at the bottom of this page. We’ll see you all there!


To learn more about Dam to Dam, including registration locations for ice fishing and ice golf, see their facebook page:



Learn more about TrueMentors, and the amazing work they do in our community: http://truementors.org


To connect with the Driftwood and see their weekend lineup, visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Driftwood-Bar-and-Grill-108176395901311/


This great event is sponsored by: Leinenkugels, WLAV, TrueNorth Community Services, Croton Bay Trading Post, American Legion, Driftwood Bar and Grille, M&J Hardware, & Hilltop Community Stores

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About The Author

Carmen Faulkner

Carmen Faulkner is an avid travel enthusiast who grew up in Newaygo County. When she isn’t on the road, she splits her time between her home in Newaygo and the mountains of British Columbia. Her love for all things outdoors is paralleled only to her appreciation of food, coffee, and craft beer. You can find her in our community kayaking down the Muskegon River, hiking the North Country Trail, or enjoying the small businesses of downtown Newaygo.