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

Acquiring and Operating Snowmobiles

By Samantha Breza There are no places to rent a snowmobile at in Newaygo County at this time. Snowmobilers have to own a snowmobile already or purchase one at David Allen Racing Motorsports on Maple Island Road. Winter clothes and goggles can be purchased at Dunham...

A Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing Apparel

By Samantha Breza What supplies are needed on a snowshoeing trip depends on where the snowshoer is going and how long they’re going to be there. Snowshoers hiking on mountain trails during the winter need hydration systems, avalanche transceivers, signaling mirrors,...

Rookie Deer Hunting in Newyago County

By: Nick Smith As a new Newaygo County Resident, I was very excited to find a place to hunt this deer season.  Over the past year, I have heard many successful hunting stories from people I have met, and seen some nice size deer while traveling from place to place. ...

Ensley Township Nature Preserve

By Wendy Sinicki Tucked in the southeastern corner of Newaygo County is a wonderful place to spend time hiking, especially with the family. The Ensley Township Nature Preserve, 6985 136th Street, Sand Lake, just west of Cypress Avenue, is designed with children in...

Are You Two Dam Tuff?

Are you Two Dam Tuff?   It's a question that gets asked the first Saturday in October each and every year in Newaygo County.  For those "in the know", The Croton and Hardy Dams are separated by about 6 miles as the crow flies, and are spectacular tourist draws in...

Exploring the Rustic Trail

The Hardy Dam Rustic Trail is just that: rustic, but in the best sense. This gem offers tree lined trails and picturesque views giving hikers of all abilities a sense of reconnecting with nature even for just a short time. For the first-time user, it is helpful to...

Indoor and Outdoor Art

Indoor and Outdoor Art Every season provides a chance to enjoy all those things we love about living in Newaygo County.  The beauty of seeing the “best sunset ever” every night of the summer, the sound of loons echoing over the lake, feeling your kayak glide along...

Sub 32 Degrees

One might imagine that in an area where the pursuit of outdoor activities consumes its citizenry throughout spring, summer and fall, folks might pull back in a bit in winter. A little hibernation might be I order once the snow rolls in and the waters turn to ice....

A Quaint Town & Country Path

  Fremont has long been known as the Baby Food Capital of the World and attracts thousands of visitors to Gerber’s popular National Baby Food Festival in July. Visitors also come to enjoy Fremont’s Harvest Festival, nearby woods and lakes, and the Fremont Town &...

Camp Newaygo & The Wetland Trail

Nature-seekers who discover the “Wetland Trail” at Camp Newaygo are treated to an ecologically-unique outdoor experience. The Wetland Trail is no ordinary swampland or run-of-the-mill hiker pathway! In fact, the one mile (roundtrip) boardwalk trail, is one of the only...

Newaygo Gets The Edge

As residents and visitors alike agree, Newaygo County has an enviable natural resource base that has to be experienced firsthand to be fully appreciated. 2014 brought the introduction of a new Newaygo County asset: The Edge! Ready to get away for an afternoon, an...

About The Author