‘Wicked Tuna’: Remembering Nicholas ‘Duffy’ Fudge

Duffy youtube photo

Season 10 of Wicked Tuna is premiering Sunday, February 28, at 8 pm ET. The National Geographic series follows several teams of commercial tuna fisherman based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The teams set out to fish the North Atlantic Ocean in search of the lucrative Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. The teams must battle each other to get their catches into port and set the market. They are putting their skills to the test as they take on one of the ocean’s most cunning predators. Due to the law of “sushinomics,” there are only so many Bluefin Tuna that can be caught during the season.

Although the Bluefin Tuna averages a weight of around 500 pounds, a record-breaking Bluefin Tuna was caught in 1979 weighing nearly 1500 pounds. You will not find Bluefin Tuna in many local grocery stores as the fish is sold anywhere from $40 to $200 a pound. Amazingly, a 600-pound Bluefin Tuna was auctioned off in Tokyo, Japan for more than 3 million dollars in 2019. The cost amounted to more than $5000 a pound for the gigantic fish. It is no wonder why the stars of Wicked Tuna choose to pursue this elusive fish.


The Season 10 premiere marks the third year since the loss of Nicholas S. “Duffy” Fudge. “Duffy” tragically died in July of 2018 after suffering from decompression sickness commonly known as “the bends.” Decompression sickness occurs commonly in scuba as well as deep-sea divers. This happens when the water pressure surrounding the diver decreases rapidly. This often happens when a diver reemerges from the water too quickly. Decompression sickness also occurs during high-altitude or unpressurized air travel.

“Duffy,” who appeared on both Wicked Tuna as well as the spinoff series Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, was a favorite among fans. His laid-back personality resonated with fans of the series. Learning from both his father and his grandfather, “Duffy” began fishing at an early age. The lifelong outdoorsman had a passion for fishing as well as a love for the environment.

“Duffy” put a smile on the faces of fans each week during his time on Wicked Tuna. His family spoke of his personality in his obituary saying,

“Nick 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 humour, and giving big hugs.”

“Duffy” died suddenly on July 19, 2018, just weeks before his 29th birthday. Just as he was in life, his family gave lighthearted remarks on where the young fisherman is now by saying,

“Nick now begins his next adventure to locate his missing cell phones, ID’s, and credit cards.”

“Duffy’s” memory will undoubtedly be on the minds of those tuning in to the Season 10 premiere of Wicked Tuna. Although the series continues on without him, fans can still enjoy his heartwarming presence on reruns as well as through the memory of those who knew him.

Be sure to check back with TV Shows Ace for more news and updates.

Allie Johnson

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