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The grunions are here again. I've alway had fun going after those little fishes. If you have little ones, they'll love it. Every year around this time they come in groups and come up to the beaches to spawn. We're allowed to catch them with our bare hands. They make a delicious meal when fried. You just need extra change of cloth, towels, bucket/bag, and a way to clean off. You can't bring nets.





First, you will discover that the fish are members of the New World silversides family, Atheriniopsidae, along with the jacksmelt and topsmelt. They normally occur from Point Conception, California from nautical miles west of Santa Barbara, to Point Abreojos, Baja California. Occasionally, they are found farther north to Monterey Bay, California and south to San Juanico Bay, Baja California. Like all fish, you can plan to stay up around midnight to catch them but if they aren't running on certain beach, then you may go home empty handed. Some local beaches are nice enough to let you know if they've seen the grunion running. Others don't have time to deal with your request since they typically are a beach operations group and don't always concern themselves with what type of fish can be caught. So, there's a chart posted from California Department of Fish and Game that predicts the nights of grunion run but in the fishing world, you must go for the sport and consider yourself lucky if you get plenty. Here's why: Grunion inhabit the nearshore waters from the surf to a depth of 60 feet. They most likely do not migrate according to tagging studies. Each spring and summer from March through August grunion leave the water at night to spawn on the beach for four consecutive nights starting the nights of the full and new moons. Spawning begins after high tide and continues for several hours. Peak spawning is late March to early June. As a wave breaks on the beach, grunion swim as far up the slope as possible. The female arches her body and excavates the semifluid sand with her tail to create a nest. She twists her body and digs until she is half buried in the sand with her head sticking up. She then deposits her eggs in the nest. Males curve around the female and release milt. The milt flows down the female’s body until it reaches and fertilizes the eggs. As many as eight males may fertilize the eggs in a nest. After spawning, the males immediately retreat toward the water while the female twists free and returns with the next wave. While spawning may take only 30 seconds, some fish remain stranded on the beach for several minutes.
Follow the link above for more info. This is the July schedule. I'll be in Seal Beach tonight!


July
2 We 9:10 PM - 11:10 PM
3 Th 10:00 PM - 12:00 AM*
4 Fr 10:45 PM - 12:45 AM*
5 Sa 11:35 PM - 1:35 AM*

18 Fr 9:50 PM - 11:50 PM
19 Sa 10:25 PM - 12:25 AM*
20 Su 11:00 PM - 1:00 AM*
21 Mo 11:35 PM - 1:35 AM*
 

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Awesome - thanks for sharing this Tony - :cheers:

Love me some Grunion Run - :bigthumb:

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HAha, that is awesome tony. Man, only thing we have close to that is catching little baby alligators.







Okay, louisiana joke, i am just kidding.
But for real, in a similar type of game, running around at night on the beach with a flashlight and catching those little sand crabs is soooo much fun. I also found out that my dog Beau, is a fricking BEAST at catching crabs. He can spot those guys like 50 yards away and just bolts after them.
 

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Finally the TRUTH!! HA! I lived in Pismo Beach for a few years back in the late 90's and saw the grunion run in the paper so a friend and I went down and stayed up most of the night not sure if we were seeing them or not. Your pictures clearly show them! We kept mistaking the glimmering sand pebbles for grunions. Eventually my friend who is also from Colorado said to me, " This must be the West Coast version of Snipe hunting". I will have to forward the pictures for proof!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I remember as a youngster, I could go out there and pick up like 7 at a time. The last time out (early June), I was only seeing about 1/2 as many and picking even fewer. I tell ya, it's a work out! Those things are pretty fast and you'll get plenty wet trying to catch them before they try to swim back into the ocean. Fun times! I'll be leaving in a few hours. Think I'll just pick up 30-50. Fried them then cook with jalapeños is good. Garlic and scallions also works. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's pretty cool! Do you ever clam? That is something I have always wanted to do.
Clams must be norcal thing. :) That sounds like fun though and I prefer clams over grunions!
 

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Tony: I live right near Seal Beach. I'll meet you there. What time will you be there, and what side of the pier?

You have my number still, right?

I've never seen the Grunion run before....this will be cool!
 

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I have had very poor luck the three times I have gone, zero fish seen.

The only time I saw them was actually in SD bay at the old ferry landing when about 5 came up on the shore. We were on the pier but could see them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was a bust tonight. Strange tides. There was a pool of sea water in the middle of the beach. Not a single grunion! :(

The first time that I've gone I came back with maybe 30lbs of grunions. It's been steadily declining. I guess there is certainly an element of luck there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had to call Dave to tell him not to go. Not a single fish. I'll watch for the dates with full moons. Last time when the moon was full there seem to be quite a bit of fish. Not sure if there's a correlation, but it's the only one I got! :D
 

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can you drive the FJ on the beach? shine those lightforce lights on those grunions
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
can you drive the FJ on the beach? shine those lightforce lights on those grunions
:lol: Just drive it back and forth? Makes picking them up easier? :roller: Can't drive on these beaches. Pismo beach is one of the few beaches that you can drive on. I can't wait for the big TLCA gtg this November.
 

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:lol: Just drive it back and forth? Makes picking them up easier? :roller: Can't drive on these beaches. Pismo beach is one of the few beaches that you can drive on. I can't wait for the big TLCA gtg this November.
Jimmy up something like those ball picker uppers have at the driving range on the front of those carts, but onto the front of the FJ for picking up grunions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jimmy up something like those ball picker uppers have at the driving range on the front of those carts, but onto the front of the FJ for picking up grunions!
How about I just invent a fish magnet so when I get close all the fishes get stuck to it? :lol:
 

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How about I just invent a fish magnet so when I get close all the fishes get stuck to it? :lol:
Fish are not magnetic, i don't think. Only the ones that live in disgusting water and have a lot of mercury in them would be. But, nonetheless, worth a try!
 
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