Remembering 'Wicked Tuna' Cast Member Nicholas 'Duffy' Fudge After Fisherman's Death

Wicked Tuna cast member Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge died on July 19, according to a statement released by National Geographic Channel on Sunday. The star fisherman, who also appeared on National Geographic Channel's spinoff Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, was 28 years old.

The network said it and Pilgrim Studios, which produces the show, "were saddened to learn" of the Massachusetts native's death. "@NatGeoChannel and @Pilgrim_Studios were saddened to learn that Wicked Tuna cast member Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge passed away this week. Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin's fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss," the statement read.

Causes of Fudge's death have yet to be determined. An obituary on the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home website said the reality star "passed away unexpectedly."

A natural sports enthusiasts, Fudge's obituary said he developed his passion for fishing and the outdoors at a young age. He first began fishing with his father and grandfather. "After becoming one of the top sports fishermen in the country, he earned a place on the National Geographic reality show Wicked Tuna for multiple seasons. Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it," the obituary said.

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Wicked Tuna first debuted on National Geographic Channel in 2012. The reality series follows McLaughlin's boats as they sail the unforgiving waters off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts in attempts to catch fish.

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," his statement to Boston Globe on Monday said.

Fudge was two weeks shy of his 29th birthday at the time of his death.

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Remembering 'Wicked Tuna' Cast Member Nicholas 'Duffy' Fudge After Fisherman's Death | Culture