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 if we missed any beaches where you’ve seen grunion runs. We’ll add them to the list below. Thanks!