By Julie Thunder
The California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a small silvery fish that lives exclusively off the coast of Southern California and Northern Baja. Hundreds of the wiggly fish throw themselves ashore at the late night high tide to lay their eggs in the sand. Then they jump towards the water waiting for the next wave to take them back out.
They spawn on a predictable schedule from March through September. The season is ‘open’ for hunting beginning June 1st, but all hunters must have a valid State fishing license. Before that date, you can only observe them.
Expected Runs for June 2019
A representative at San Elijo State Beach told us that grunion typically spawn at beaches with a “beach break” instead of a “reef break”. A local fisherman said he has recently seen them at Dog Beach in Del Mar, on the north side of Cardiff’s San Elijo Lagoon inlet, and at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad.