Port Moon Fishery

Salmon Fish HouseWinchFish HouseThe Arrow  


This photograph taken around 1900 by R J Welch reveals the traditional fishing paraphernelia used by the fishermen of Port Moon.Photograph by RJ Welch showing the fishermen of port Moon their boats and associated fishing paraphanalia The boats in the photograph are double ended clinker built yawls, known locally as Drontheims, built to handle the heavy seas of the Atlantic. The rounded wicker pots, known as 'Buckie Pots', scattered around the boats in this picture were used to catch bait for use on the long lines. The circular wicker basket seen in the boat in the foreground held the baited long lines used for deep sea fishing.

Bag Nets

This map from around 1860 indicates the fastening points and dimensions of License for Bag Net at Port Moonthe 'Bag Nets' used to catch Salmon at Port Moon. The ingenious system of Bag Nets were introduced by a Scotsman called James Hector in the 1830s and caused Salmon to be guided in to a Bag by a 'lead net' that was fixed to rocks on the shore. This resulted in Salmon being trapped in the 'Bag' without suffering any damage that would be caused by being caught in the mesh of a net.

This map was a part of the license granted to catch Salmon at Port Moon from 1865 until 2002. It indicates the position of the Fish House and uses the north west point of the building as a reference point to determine the legal dimensions involved in the fastenings and nets.


A local man penned the following poem as an homage to The Arrow and its crew from Port Moon.

                          ‘The Arrow

There is a small village not far from my home;
In the days of my youth there I oft did roam
To speak of a hero known many miles round;
A champion oarsman his name is ‘Joe Brown’

Now this hero I mention and his name tell to you
With the three ‘Curry brothers’ made up that boat crew
Being Oarsman of valour they proved honour soon,
It was these famous four that belonged to Port Moon

The course being selected lay near Ramore Hill,
Where the boys from Portmoon met the men from Moville
In their fast racing Drontheim called ‘Arrow’ by name;
Her crew and her coxswain – five heroes of fame.

They came from Moville and from sweet Innishown;
To be beaten by any it never was known
But their glorious honour that day was pulled down,
By the three ‘Curry Brothers’ and famed ‘Joe Brown’

And as they lay there awaiting the start;
James Martin, the coxswain brought joy to their hearts,
For he says – “My brave men”, with a smile on his face,
“I’ll steer you to victory and win this great race.”

“Jackson Mills” from Portmoon when this great race was ore,
Met these champion heroes from Lochaber Shore
Says – “your victory this day proves your valour to all;
From Fair head in Antrim to famed donegal”

Now to conclude and to finish my song,
I now leave it to others to correct where I'm wrong,
Near the famed “Giants causeway” in a quiet humble home,
You will there find the author of this little poem

James McAllister, Tonduff



In 1872 Sir John Coode, the leadingPlans by Sir John Coode for harbour in Port Moon harbour designer of the nineteenth century, drafted plans for a harbour to be built at Port Moon for Steamships to ship out Iron from a nearby mine. These elaborate plans proposed a rail link along a tunnel through the cliff to connect the mine in the adjacent Bay, Port Fad, to the proposed harbour.

The plans indicate the presence of The Fish House (naming the structure as ' Boat House') and the now ruined Ice House in the bay as well as indicating an outline of the Bag nets attached to the rocks at Port Moon and Port Fad and a highly detailed depth survey of the bay.


photo of Fish House taken in 1965


The Arrow

In the latter part of the nineteenth century The Arrow, a twenty five foot, four-oared rowing skiff The Arrowwas a great source of local pride. Port Moon Fishermen rowed The Arrow to victory in nearby regattas including the main event of the Portrush regatta that had a prize of £6, a princely sum well over a hundred years ago. Built over a The Arrowhundred and fifty years ago, for nearly a century The Arrow remained unused in the rafters of the The Fish House. In around 1985 the boat was moved from Port Moon, restored and for a while exhibited in the Causeway Visitors Centre.