Little silvery fish called grunions would get washed up on the shores between the months of March to July, and the females will dig themselves into the sand to lay eggs and the males will wrap around them to fertilize the eggs. The grunions return to sea when the waves wash them back into the water.
The fun part of it is that during the open season of the grunion run, kids under the age of 16 can catch the grunion and keep them. Anyone over the age of 16 will need a valid CA fishing license. It was always fun to bring a bucket with a flash light out to the designated beaches to see if we can see the grunions. We would catch them and then release them because we don’t eat grunions, but I know that some people capture to eat the fish. In any case, it was always a FUN night time activity to do as a family.
Just one note if you bring your kids is to remind them that sometimes you don’t get to see the grunions. There are some years when we went that we didn’t see any of the grunions. Also, it can be a wait to see when they get washed up. Our little ones have short attention spans, it’s a great way to learn some patience. In the mean time, I think night time + flash light can already be entertaining.
Expected Grunion 2012 OPEN SEASON schedule
The Grunions are coming again! Check out the schedule on