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Everyone keeps asking us to tell them where the best grunion run beaches in California are located. Well we have finally compiled all our notes to create a detailed list of beaches that have a high likelihood of a grunion run when they are happening. In general, these unique fish can be found during their spawning times at many beaches from the San Diego area up to the San Luis Obispo County coast. They’ve even been seen at beaches near San Francisco and Marin County. See the beach list below which is ordered south to north.

> See Related: Grunion Run Schedule

When you get to these beaches keep a few things in mind. The fish like to spawn in darker places on the beaches which is typically on the ends of the beach not right in the middle portion. They are afraid of light so try to do your viewing and fishing without a flashlight (let your eyes adjust to the darkness). They can only be caught by hand and only during the open season. To learn more about fishing for these little buggers, see this article on what to know about grunion.

Some of these beaches may have curfews and be closed when the runs happen (usually 10 pm to 2 am). Of course you should obey all laws but if you have a fishing permit in hand you’ll have a better case.

Please let us know in the comments below if we missed any beaches that have grunion runs. We’ll add them to the list. Thanks!


Beaches on this list

  • Imperial Beach City Beach

    Imperial Beach, California has an impressive beach running the length of its waterfront called Imperial Beach City Beach. This beach is generally located between Palm Avenue and Imperial Beach Boulevard […]

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  • Coronado Shores Beach

    Coronado Shores Beach, aka South Beach, is a wide sandy beach on Coronado Island. It is located in front of the Coronado Shores Beach Club resort and condominium complex at […]

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  • Coronado Beach

    Coronado Beach, aka Central Beach, starts at the famous Hotel del Coronado and continues north to Sunset Park. At the north end of the beach in front of Sunset Park […]

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  • Ocean Beach City Beach

    Ocean Beach City Beach is the main beach in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. This is a wide sandy beach that has formed at the south side of […]

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  • Mission Beach

    Mission Beach (the beach) is a long wide sandy beach in the Mission Beach area of San Diego. The beaches here are continuous, but Mission Beach is typically considered the […]

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  • La Jolla Shores Beach

    La Jolla Shores Beach is a long, wide, and very popular beach in northern La Jolla. Compared to most of the La Jolla beaches which are tucked into gaps between […]

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  • Del Mar City Beach

    The Main Beach of Del Mar City Beach starts at Powerhouse Park and goes north all the way to the lagoon entrance at the San Dieguito River. On the other […]

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  • Oceanside Pier View North Beach

    Pier View North Beach in Oceanside is a popular sand beach just north of the Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier. The beach on this side of the pier is a little […]

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  • Oceanside Harbor Beach

    Oceanside Harbor Beach is a wide sandy beach in front of Oceanside’s harbor. The beach is boxed in by two rock jetties at both ends which seems to hold in […]

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  • San Clemente Pier City Beach

    San Clemente Pier Beach is the main city beach of San Clemente, California. The beach is a wide sandy spot on both sides of the pier between T-Street Beach and […]

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  • Doheny State Beach – North Beach

    Doheny State Beach has two separate beaches and day-use areas – north and south. This North Beach is located north of the San Juan Creek mouth and has a large […]

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  • Corona Del Mar State Beach

    Corona Del Mar State Beach is on the east side of the Newport Harbor channel entrance in the Corona Del Mar neighborhood in Newport Beach. This is a state-owned beach […]

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  • Newport Municipal Beach

    Newport Municipal Beach is located on both sides of the Newport Beach Pier. The beaches are continuous here and the city beach stretches from Balboa Pier Beach to the south […]

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  • Bolsa Chica State Beach

    Bolsa Chica State Beach is a three mile long wide sandy beach in Huntington Beach, CA. Due to its location and size this is a popular beach for sunbathing. With […]

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  • Seal Beach

    Seal Beach (the beach) is located in the city of Seal Beach, a small beachside community wedged between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. It is the northernmost beach town and […]

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  • Belmont Shore Beach

    Belmont Shore Beach spans the waterfront of the Belmont Shore neighborhood in Long Beach, CA. Generally this beach is between the Belmont Pier area and 55th Place. South of 55th […]

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  • Long Beach City Beach

    Long Beach City Beach is the main beach of Long Beach, CA. This long south-facing beach is located along Ocean Boulevard from the Belmont Pier all the way to Alamitos […]

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  • Cabrillo Beach – Ocean Beach

    Cabrillo Ocean Beach (aka Oceanside) is on the ocean side of Cabrillo Beach Park in the San Pedro District of Los Angeles. The park also has a beach on the […]

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  • Hermosa City Beach

    Hermosa City Beach occupies the entire waterfront in the city of Hermosa Beach in LA County. It starts at King Harbor Marina in Redondo Beach and continues north for nearly […]

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  • Manhattan County Beach

    Manhattan Beach (the beach) is the main beach of the city of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County. It’s a popular beach that becomes a madhouse on weekends especially near […]

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  • Venice City Beach

    Venice City Beach is the main beach in the Venice District of Los Angeles. It stretches from the Venice Pier up to the north end of the Venice District at […]

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  • Santa Monica State Beach – North Beach

    The north part of Santa Monica State Beach is a wide sandy beach that runs north from the Santa Monica Pier to the city border where Will Rogers State Beach […]

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  • Topanga Beach

    Topanga Beach is the closest Malibu California beach to Los Angeles. The Eastern Malibu coast faces south and Topanga Beach is at the east end next to the Pacific Palisades […]

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  • Malibu Surfrider Beach

    Malibu Surfrider Beach is the popular sandy beach and surfing spot between the Malibu Pier and the Malibu Lagoon. Surfrider Beach is part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach which has […]

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  • Seaward Avenue Beach

    Seaward Avenue Beach is the wide sandy beach in front of Ventura’s Seaward Avenue Beach District. This neighborhood and shopping area is centered on the intersection of Pierpont Boulevard and […]

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  • West Beach of Santa Barbara

    West Beach in Santa Barbara is a wide beach located west of and adjacent to Stearns Wharf Pier at State Street. Be sure to visit the pier for shops and […]

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  • Goleta Beach Park

    Goleta Beach Park is a county run facility on a sand spit next to the University of California Santa Barbara campus, the Santa Barbara Airport, and the city of Goleta. […]

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  • Pismo Beach Pier Beach

    Pismo Pier juts out into the Pacific from the center of the Pismo Beach city waterfront giving visitors a grand view of the beach. Pismo Pier Beach is best known […]

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  • Olde Port Beach

    Olde Port Beach is a wide sandy cove alongside Avila Beach Drive just west of downtown Avila Beach, CA. This beach is a little calmer than Avila City Beach and less […]

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  • Morro Strand State Beach

    Morro Strand State Beach is divided into two parts that are in the cities of Morro Bay and Cayucos. The main southern portion of this state park is in Morro […]

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  • Morro Strand State Beach – North Beach

    Morro Strand State Beach has two sections, north and south, which are separated by a long stretch of non-state-owned beaches. The North Beach at Morro Strand State Beach is a […]

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  • Cayucos State Beach

    Cayucos State Beach is right on the waterfront in the town of Cayucos, California. The Cayucos Pier is a popular old wooden fishing pier that juts out from the beach […]

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