Tournament to honor fallen ICE agent

Families enjoy the beach and fishing on South Padre Island during the Labor Day holiday last year, as seen in these Valley Morning Star file photos. A vacation website has ranked the Island as having one of the best family-destination beaches in the country.

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Many anglers will be setting out next weekend in hope of arriving back to shore with the heaviest catch of the day.

The Zapata family, from Brownsville, will host the third annual Jaime J. Zapata Fishing Tournament Sept. 13 and 14 on the Island at Louie’s Backyard.

The memorial fishing tournament was created in honor of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata, who was killed in the line of duty in Mexico in February of 2011. “They went through, and they’re still going through an intense grieving for the loss of their son,” said Tournament Director Betty Wells. “But, they were really determined to create a legacy that went beyond his death and focuses more on his life by paying it forward to future generations.”

Net proceeds of the tournament will be awarded in scholarships to students in South Texas from low to moderate income families.

According to event representatives, special consideration is given to families of law enforcement.

Through the Zapata family’s foundation, 15 students received $500 scholarships in 2018.


Late registration will be held Sept. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Louie’s Backyard.

Anglers will be able to fish in the boating tournament at any location starting at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 14.

A maximum of four members can compete as a team in the bay fishing tournament.

There is a $400 entry fee per boat or team.

Teams with a law enforcement member will be given a $100 discount.

Competitors are required to have a valid, current fishing license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to participate in the tournament.

Each boat will be able to weigh in one trout, redfish and flounder.

Teams are able to weigh in their fish as early as 1 p.m. and no later than 3 p.m. at Louie’s Backyard.