The National Geographic Channel and Wicked Tuna producer Pilgrim Studios announced Fudge's death Monday. However, according to his obituary, he died on Thursday, July 19. His cause of death was not confirmed, but local fisherman told the New Hampshire Union Leader that he "may have been the victim of decompression sickness."
According to Fudge's obituary, he was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts and lived in Greenland, New Hampshire at the time of his death. He was a graduate of Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire and was a skilled athlete.
"He excelled in any sport he played, and among his favorites were fishing, hockey, lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, and surfing," reads the obituary.
Fudge was passionate about outdoor activities, his family said.
"As a child, Nick began tuna fishing with his father and grandfather," the obituary reads. "After becoming one of the top sport 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."
His family also included a quote from someone who said Fudge was "always the coolest kid," but he knew how to make others feel 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," his family wrote.
Fudge is survived by his parents; his brother Cody; his girlfriend; his paternal grandfather; his maternal grandparents; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
His family is also holding a visitation on Wednesday at the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home in Hampton. A celebration of life ceremony will be announced soon.
Fudge's family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge Memorial Fund for environmental preservation at the TD Bank on 46 Lafayette Road, North Hampton, NH 03862.
Friends, family and Wicked Tuna fans rushed to the obituary to leave messages on Fudge's tribute wall.
"So sorry for the loss of your loved one. Loved watching Duffy on Wicked Tuna. The show will not be the same without him. May you all find comfort during this painful time," one fan wrote.
"Duffy was a great guy, I love watching the Pinwheel... [Pray] for the family and his friends," added a friend.0comments
NatGeo aired a moment of silence during Sunday's episode in Fudge's honor.
Photo Credit: Facebook / National Geographic