Better known to Wicked Tuna fans as Duffy, Nicholas Fudge captured millions of hearts during his time on the show. Although watching people fish isn’t usually the most exciting thing in the world, Duff helped viewers see the ins, outs, and excitement that comes along with commercial fishing. As the first mate to Captain Tyler McLaughlin on the Pinwheel, Duffy’s expertise came shining through countless times. But sadly, Duffy’s life was cut short in 2018 when he passed away suddenly at just 28-years-old. The cause of his death has never been released by officials. Although he is no longer here, his legacy continues to live on and Captain McLaughlin continues to honor his friend’s memory. Keep reading for 10 things you didn’t know about Nicholas Fudge.
1. He Played Several Sports
Staying active was something that was always important to Duffy. He was very active as a child and grew up being involved in lots of sports including lacrosse, skiing, surfing, and more. He eventually decided that fishing was what he was most passionate about, and he decided to devote his time to that.
2. His Family Established A Memorial Fund In His Honor
Duffy spent most of his time outside, so as you can imagine, the environment was something he cared deeply about. This is something his family wanted to honor after his passing. According to his obituary, “His family established the Nicholas Duffy Fudge Memorial Fund for environmental preservation in his memory.”
3. Tyler McLaughlin Paid Him A Special Tribute
On top of working together, Duffy and Tyler McLaughlin were also very good friends. There’s no doubt that losing Duffy has greatly impacted McLaughlin. As a way to pay tribute to Duffy, McLaughlin dedicated his first catch on the 8th season of Wicked Tuna to his former first mate.
4. He Had A Girlfriend
Losing someone you care about is never easy, especially when that someone is the person you were planning on spending the rest of your life with. Sadly, that became a reality for Duffy’s girlfriend, Ali Currier. According to Duffy’s obituary, Currier is from New Hampshire.
5. He Learned How To Fish From His Dad
Duffy had a very close relationship with his dad, Ron, and the two spent a lot of time together. In fact, Duffy learned to fish from his father and grandfather. Although it was something that was just meant to be a hobby at first, Duffy quickly showed that he had a natural talent for catching fish.
6. Reports Suggest He Died From ‘The Bends’
While Duffy’s official cause of death has never been released, many sources have suggested that he died from decompression sickness which is commonly referred to as “the bends“. Decompression sickness occurs when “the formation of bubbles of gas that occur with changes in pressure during scuba diving.”
7. He Caught His First Fish At 8
It’s not always easy to get kids to sit still long enough to enjoy fishing, but Duffy was hooked from the start. Duffy’s knack for fishing quickly became evident. During his very first fishing trip when he was about 8-years-old, he caught a tuna. His father joked, “We told him he should retire, never do it again, because you don’t get many, but he didn’t listen”.
8. His Mom Went Into Labor While Tuna Fishing
Fishing and being out on the water were definitely Duffy’s true passions in life. In fact, his connection to the both of those things started before he was even born. His mother actually went into labor with him while she was out fishing. She says, “Nick has always been on the water. He grew up on the water, on boats, fishing, at the beach, surfing”.
9. He Was Always Fearless
Duffy was definitely the kind of person who enjoyed living life to the fullest. His parents described him as the kind of kid who enjoyed pushing limits and was never afraid to take chances. This is a quality that definitely came in handy for him as a fisherman. Despite the fact that fishing is normally a pretty tame activity, commercial tuna fishing is a completely different ball game.
10. He Worked In Construction
After high school, Duffy began working in construction and on boats in the area. He eventually became well-known for his fishing skills and was eventually asked to join the crew of the Pinwheel. Not only did the job give him a chance to do something that he loved, it also turned him into a star.