Grunion

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Sundancer7
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2008/04/21 12:36:23 (permalink)

Grunion

I read where the Grunion where doing their thing on the sand in Southern California. I have never witnessed this event but I read where they are harvested by many. How do they taste, how do you cook and I guess you harvest by picking them up off the sand??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grunion

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 12:59:32 (permalink)
    I remember grunion hunting at Ventura back in the late '50s. It was a great all-night date thing.
    #2
    iqdiva
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 13:16:12 (permalink)
    Mr. Sundancer , I read the Wikipedia definition of grunion , but I'm with you...How do you harvest and prepare them ... ? And,how do they taste ?
    #3
    mayor al
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 13:28:37 (permalink)
    I spent a few late nights on the beach on Grunion Running Evenings. The event is a good excuse for us to have a beach party and social activity...with the fish being an interest but not a major quest.

    Catching them has a lot of legal rules. During our youth (may be different now) it was hands only..No Nets or other entrapping devices. Since they are slippery little devils, hands were less than efficient! We did use gunny sacks to hold our 'catches', and if the coast was clear of lifeguards and Wardens, we would try to scoop an incoming breaking wave, with the hope of sifting the fish out of the water before they got to shore. Sometime that worked, mos of the time it didn't.

    We did eat some of our catch (if it was a night out with the guys) we would fry them on a griddle over an open fire in a fire pit at the beach. We would fry them whole like one might do a small trout. No cleaning involved on the smaller ones (anchovie sized), just fry'em and snack on them. If it was a date night we usually gave our catch to some 'serious' fishermen around us...and save a few to show off when we got home.
    They do make great 'dead bait' for Striper fishing.
    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 13:34:40 (permalink)
    You catch them by hand. As amatter of fact, as I recall that's the only legal way to catch them. Normally, you'd catch one and drop it into a bucket of sea water, and keep catching till you have enough to eat. I used to cut off the heads, open them up and use a finger to slide the guts out. Then I liked to drop the cleaned grunion into a bag of seasoned flour and toss it around to coat them. Next, I'd toss them into hot oil in a skillet over a fire right on the bweach and cook them till they were golden. I think any cooking method you;d use for smelt would be great with grunion.
    #5
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 13:35:53 (permalink)
    As usual, Al beat me to it.
    #6
    iqdiva
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 13:51:39 (permalink)
    It sounds like you'd burn a lot of calories just trying to catch those little devils !
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 14:00:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by iqdiva

    It sounds like you'd burn a lot of calories just trying to catch those little devils !

    Well, perhaps. But the fun was watching people of the female persuasion running around in half their bathing suits.
    #8
    iqdiva
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 15:38:56 (permalink)
    Why Mr.Hoffman !
    #9
    mayor al
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 15:59:31 (permalink)

    Susan,
    There were two catagories of grunion catchers back in the days that Michael and I are speaking of. First there were some serious catchers... Mainly Asians and Latinos back in those days. They did all sorts of exotic things with those fish (We heard rumors and stories!!) but we never saw them other than the skillets on the fires on the Beach.

    The second catagory were the 'Beach Party' group. This was in the days before heavy drinking and drugs were an issue among the majority of the kids (Think of the Gidget group). We would build a fire in a fire pit and wait out the tide change for the fish to come in. We would go down the Beach (Seal Beach was a typical location) away from the fire pit area to a darker section and 'catch Grunion' when they came in. We also used that time in the darker section to exchange foolish promises of permanent love with our partner for the evening.

    Since the Grunion only spawn a few nights each year, "Going Grunion Hunting" was a very special event. Newspapers would list the nights of the activity and the estimated arrival times on various beach locations. Sometimes there would be large crowds at the Beach early on, but most folks went home at MidNite or so..the serious members of both catagories made a night of it!!
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 16:17:32 (permalink)
    Grunion hunting was, I'd say, the West Coast equivalent to watching the submarine races at night at places like Gulf Beach in Milford on Long Island Sound. The big difference was that there really were grunion.
    #11
    iqdiva
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 16:58:18 (permalink)
    Oh Mr.Al and Mr.Michael,you should hear about the youthful encounters of night crabbing at the beaches in Panama City Beach , Florida ! Those were special romantic nights !
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 18:08:32 (permalink)
    Ah, well instead of crabbing at night I remember clam digging and lobster trapping at night. Very romantic.
    #13
    ann peeples
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 18:18:02 (permalink)
    Grunions, for those of us that do not know-kinda same as smelt fishing on Lake Michigan??
    #14
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 18:26:32 (permalink)
    Grunion hunting isn't about fish, it's about raging teenage hormones.
    #15
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 19:16:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by annpeeples

    Grunions, for those of us that do not know-kinda same as smelt fishing on Lake Michigan??

    Nope. You have to wait for the grunion to come up on the beach, and then you catch them with your hands.
    #16
    essvee
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 19:25:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by iqdiva

    It sounds like you'd burn a lot of calories just trying to catch those little devils !

    Well, perhaps. But the fun was watching people of the female persuasion running around in half their bathing suits.


    Which half?
    #17
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grunion 2008/04/21 19:58:25 (permalink)
    The left half, usually.
    #18
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