Grunion Run 2022 schedule

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The Grunion Run schedule for 2022 in California has been released. California grunions (Leuresthes tenuis) are small bait fish that breed by swimming onto sandy beaches at certain moon and tide cycles up and down Southern California, and going on a grunion run is a great way of seeing this unique species. But first you need to know when they run and how to find them on a run.

When do grunion runs happen in California?

Grunion runs occur between March and August up and down Southern California when a combination of moon, tide and water temperature trigger the California grunion to swim right up to the beach to breed.

What are the best tips for finding grunions on grunion runs?

  • Find a sandy beach with access to open ocean - avoid harbors and lagoons

  • Avoid using head torches or lamps - grunions spook easily

  • The third and fourth night of the run are usually the most reliable times to spot grunion

  • You'll often see birds circling or landing where the grunion are running, or just before

  • If you can't find them, keep lights off and walk the beach as the run will often be concentrated in one area

  • The months of April, May and June are now no-take months

  • The best. (and most legal) way of catching grunion is with your hands

  • Make sure you read the California Fish & Wildlife's list of regulations for grunion hunters

  • Listen to Episode 54 of the Western Outdoor News podcast on Grunions Runs and finding Grunions

Tips for fishing on grunion runs: baits, tides, species and guiding 

  • Grunion runs often attract sharks, rays, halibut, croaker and surf perch

  • Grunion are often too small to use as bait, so try half a fresh mackerel or croaker instead

  • The period just after or before the run with a big outgoing tide often produces the best action

  • Read this Western Outdoor News article on fishing during a Grunion Run. 

  • For information on guiding services for grunion run fishing, click here

The 2022 grunion run schedule is listed below with full dates for all grunion runs throughout the year. 

MARCH

We 3/2 9:40 p.m. - 11:40 p.m.

Th 3/3 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.

Fr 3/4 10:35  p.m. - 12:35 a.m.

Sa 3/5 11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m.

Fr 3/18 10:35 p.m. - 12:35 a.m.

Sa 3/19 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

Su 3/20 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.

Mo 3/21 12:05 a.m. - 2:05 a.m.*

NOTE: April, May and June are no-take months. Do not keep or catch grunion in these months.

APRIL

Fr 4/1 10:20 p.m. - 12:20 a.m.

Sa 4/2 10:50 p.m. - 12:50 a.m.

Su 4/3 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.

Mo 4/4 11:35 p.m. - 1:35 a.m.

Sa 4/16 9:50 p.m. - 11:50 p.m.

Su 4/17 10:20 p.m. - 12:20 a.m.

Mo 4/18 10:55 p.m. - 12:55 a.m.

Tu 4/19 11:35 p.m. - 1:35 a.m.

Sa 4/30 9:40  p.m. - 11:40 p.m.

MAY

Su 5/1 10:05 p.m. - 12:05 a.m.

Mo 5/2 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.

Tu 5/3 10:55 p.m. - 12:55 a.m.

Mo 5/16 9:50 p.m. - 11:50 p.m.

Tu 5/17 10:35 p.m. - 12:35 a.m.

We 5/18 11:20 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.

Th 5/19 12:15 a.m. - 2:15 a.m.*

Mo 5/30 9:35 p.m. - 11:35 p.m.

Tu 5/31 10:00 p.m. - Midnight

JUNE

We 6/11 0:35 p.m. - 12:35 a.m.

Th 6/2 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.

Tu 6/14 9:35 p.m. - 11:35 p.m.

We 6/15 10:25 p.m. - 12:25 a.m.

Th 6/16 11:15 p.m. - 1:15 a.m.

Fr 6/17 12:10 a.m. - 2:10 a.m.*

We 6/29 9:50 p.m. - 11:50 p.m.

Th 6/30 10:25 p.m. - 12:25 a.m.

JULY

Fr 7/1 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

Sa 7/2 11:35 p.m. - 1:35 a.m.

We 7/13 9:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Th 7/14 10:20 p.m. - 12:20 a.m.

Fr 7/15 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.

Sa 7/16 Midnight - 2:00 a.m.*

Th 7/28 9:40 p.m. - 11:40 p.m.

Fr 7/29 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.

Sa 7/30 10:45 p.m. - 12:45 a.m.

Su 7/31 11:20 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.

AUGUST

Th 8/11 9:25 p.m. - 11:25 p.m.

Fr 8/12 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.

Sa 8/13 10:55 p.m. - 12:55 a.m.

Su 8/14 11:45 p.m. - 1:45 a.m.

Sa 8/27 10:00 p.m. - Midnight

Su 8/28 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.

Mo 8/29 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.

Tu 8/30 11:50 p.m. - 1:50 a.m

* Where the forecast run starts at or after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown. Times through March 17 are Pacific Standard Time. Thereafter, times are Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

The times given for each date 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 a four-night period.

 

The timing of the runs varies at different places along the coast: San Diego runs occur about 5 minutes earlier and Santa Barbara runs occur about 25 minutes later than the times provided here.

REMINDER: During the open season, a California 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 a 30-fish bag limit this season, but take only the fish you can use - it is unlawful and unethical to waste fish.