Last week I went down to my secret beach in San Mateo county for the grunion run. These little fish come in at the highest of high tides to lay their eggs on the beaches, about twice a month in spring and summer. In between waves, you scoop them up with your hands — no nets allowed. It was a misty night, and there were two great herons down there for the feast. I followed the herons — they didn’t see me in the mist until I got very close, and they were invariably where the most grunion were.
I got 30-40 of the beautiful silvery little fish. I finally learned how to cook them. They’re so small they don’t need cleaning. Plus they don’t eat when spawning so there’s very little in their guts. I put them in a shallow bowl with olive oil, soy sauce and garlic, put them in a fish basket, and grilled on the Webber at high heat — delicious.
This time I made some little fillets and pickled them — haven’t eaten these yet — waiting a week or so.