Grunion hunting

fish, grunion, grunion run, Leuresthes tenuis, mating

If you have ever heard of snipe hunting, grunion hunting is not the same, well sometimes it feels like it but you actually do have a good chance of seeing grunion if you go at the right time.  Grunion, Leuresthes tenuis, are found from San Francisco to southern Baja and at depths up to 60 feet.  They can grow to 7.5 inches and live 4 years.  Their biggest claim to fame is that they come ashore during a 1-3 hour period following the high tide 3 or 4 nights after a full or new moon from late February to late September but most commonly late March to early June.  If you didn’t follow all of that you can just go to the Department of Fish and Wildlife site and see the expected schedule there.

The females, with males in tow, swim up the beach as far as possible and bury themselves vertically in the sand and the rest is X-rated or at least R-rated.  During April and May no fishing is allowed, other months you may catch grunion if you have a CA fishing license but you may only use your hands to catch them although one ichthyologist suggests to use your teeth to make it sporting. (Milton Love, Probably More Than you Want to know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast)

fish, grunion, grunion run, Leuresthes tenuis, mating


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