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‘Wicked Tuna’ fans mourn loss of Mass. native Nick ‘Duffy’ Fudge

Nick “Duffy” Fudge (foreground) during a Season 7 episode of “Wicked Tuna.”PFTV/National Geographic TV

Fans of the reality television show “Wicked Tuna” are mourning the death last week of cast member Nicholas Fudge, a 28-year-old fisherman.

In a Facebook post, National Geographic wrote that “we join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss.”

Fudge, known as Duffy, died on July 19, about two weeks shy of his 29th birthday. A cause of death was not released.

Born in Topsfield, Fudge began tuna fishing as a child alongside his father and grandfather, according to his obituary.

“Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it,” it read.


He graduated from Portsmouth High School and “excelled in any sport he played, and among his favorites were fishing, hockey, lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, and surfing,” according to his obituary.

“Wicked Tuna” follows several Gloucester-based boats that try to land bluefin tuna, which can weigh hundreds of pounds and fetch tens of thousands of dollars.

Fudge was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. He also appeared on a spin-off series, ‘‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks.’’

In a statement Monday, McLaughlin said Fudge “was much more than a mate; he was a great friend and a talented fisherman.”

“Together, we had some epic moments at sea, and the Pinwheel won’t be the same without him. Out of respect for Duffy’s family, we ask for privacy at this time as we continue to process this tragic event,” he said.

On social media, fans expressed their condolences.

“Wow prayers go out to his family and to Tyler. May he catch many more tuna up there. RIP Duffy,” one message read.

“So young, so talented, so passionate. His enthusiasm and smile will be missed,” another posted.

According to his obituary, someone once said that Fudge was “always the coolest kid, but he had a way of making you feel like you were just as cool.”


“His presence could light up any room and he had a heart of gold. He was known for his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs,” it read.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Aimee Ortiz can be reached at aimee.ortiz@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.