Ice fishing tournament could mean big money for area

CULVER, Ind. -- It's a sound no angler ever wants to hear; the ice breaking beneath your feet.

"If the weather stays like this for the next five days, we're fine, but it's a gamble," Chris Chambers, Owner of Bite Me Bait and Tackle, said.

A gamble, Chris Chambers hopes, pays off.

"If they have the tournament, and it is a success, it could potentially bring more and more people every season," Chambers said.

He's just one small business in Culver, looking to capitalize off the cold weather.

Next week, hundreds will roll into Culver to take place in a nationally televised ice fishing tournament.

But depending on Mother Nature; that could be in jeopardy.

"There will be a tournament, if the ice is safe for people to walk on it," Mike Woolfington, Executive Director of Marshall County Tourism, said.

His job is to bring folks from the rest of the country into Marshall County, and places like Culver.

There's still hope that can happen next weekend, but the ice needs to be at least five inches thick.

"It's going to get up into the low 30's, but if we can drop back down to 10 or 12 (degrees) at night, we can at least hold our own," Woolfington said.

So, folks like him and Chambers, can only wait for the sun to set, and pray Lake Maxinkuckee freezes over.

"You have a good ice fishing tournament in the winter; spring and summer, those people are going to be back," Chambers said. "Scouting out the water and the lake, and seeing what's out there."

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