Carving and a seafaring life often go hand in hand, and the Belote family exemplifies that. Richard set the course when he moved north from Willis Wharf to Lewes, where he captained the Philadelphia, which served as a floating, lower bay headquarters for the river pilots. He went on to captain crude-oil barges plying the East Coast from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean. Working six hours on and six hours off around the clock for two to three weeks at a time, there were blocks of time for carving - sometimes on board, but mostly at home during extended time off.His sons followed in his footsteps. Ames worked his way up to captaining barges. Scott spent time in the Coast Guard before also captaining barges.Ames remembers his first carving. “We were on a barge, stuck in the ice up the Delaware River, just a stone’s throw from the pier, but still stuck. Two weeks we were frozen in. One day I grabbed a broom handle, cut off a section at the end, and carved a small goose.” The carving fever took hold, and Ames eventually evolved toward carving and painting fish and shorebirds.Painting and detail work take the mind away, said Ames. “You get in a zone. You get locked in and go. Sometimes I’m out in my shop working in the evening on a fish and I look up and realize it’s two or three in the morning.”But it’s that attention to detail that takes competition entries to the top. “When you’re getting up to the Best In Show level, the judges are counting feathers on the decoys to make sure the carvers are staying true to nature,” said Ames. The decoys have to float correctly too, which makes the Belote men spend hours carving out bits of wood from the insides of their works. “They are judged floating in tanks. It has to sit just right and act like the real thing,” said Richard.His life-sized cormorant did all of that this year and won first prize for its species and second prize in the Lem and Steve Ward Division - that’s the Best in Show division - for contemporary confidence decoys. Confidence decoys are decoys of birds sometimes put out in hunters’ rigs to fool ducks and geese into a sense of security. Blue heron decoys are occasionally posted on the shoreline near a decoy rig for the same purpose. Ames won a first prize for his black crappie entered in the intermediate, life-sized fish-carving competition. He moved up to the intermediate division from his previous novice status. His bluegill/sunfish earned him a third prize in the same division.. ANGLING TRUST RIVERFEST. 3.2K likes. Angling Trust RiverFest 2019 - the best ever river competition! This year there's a £50,000 prize pot in the final. A major part of the Yellow River Festival is a focus on the Yellow River itself and the environment around it. We want to help our community better understand the ecological significance of the river and its relationship to Marshall County and the larger geographic region..