California Grunion Run Annual Schedule

The times offered are merely guidelines offering a two-hour span in which spawning runs may occur at Cabrillo Beach in Los Angeles County. Subtract five minutes for San Diego, and add 25 minutes to find the time for Santa Barbara.  The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of the four-night period. The second hour is usually better.

Grunion can be captured by hand only during open season, and you aren't allowed to dig holes to trap them. 16 and older must have a California fishing license to participate. While you can take all you want, don't be wasteful. Take only what you will eat. Thanks!

Where the time relating to the expected run is after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown. The times supplied above reflect the probable two-hour interval during which a spawning run may occur. The second hour is usually better. The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of the four-night period. The times refer to the grunion runs at Cabrillo Beach near the Los Angeles Harbor entrance. The times of the runs vary along the coast. San Diego is about 5 minutes earlier and Santa Barbara is about 25 minutes later. 


So you want to go on a grunion run.  There are a few things you must know before you go. First, do you know what grunion are?  Grunion Run explains it for you. What you have to do to hunt the little fish that you are grabbing with your bare hands and placing in a bucket is 1) get a fishing license. You must purchase a license at a sporting goods store. Many fish and tackle shops and some WalMarts and KMarts also sell a fishing license in California. Lots of parents want to take their kids to do the grunion run. The kids don't need a license but anyone over 16 does.  2) Find out about your local beach curfews along the California coast.



While technically you may be on the beach to fish after curfew, most places with curfews will not offer parking so that eliminates many beaches where grunion spawn (lay eggs). 3) Be sure the location you visit actually has grunion runs. Here is a list of Southern California Beaches included in the grunion run region. Local conditions and even pollution may contribute to no grunion in certain areas.



During the open season, a fishing license is required for persons 16 years and older. Grunion may be taken by hand only. No holes may be dug in the beach to entrap them. There is no limit, but take only what you can use. It is unlawful to waste fish.

For a current schedule, send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

California Department of Fish and Game
Marine Region
4665 Lampson Ave. Suite C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

California Department of Fish and Game is the official source for all information about fishing in California.


California Home / Cities & Beaches / Beach Photos / California Events