August Blue ‘Sturgeon’ Moon: Everything to Know

by Amy Myers

Rarer than the blue moon is the blue “sturgeon” moon, which means creatures of land and sea will be acting extra strange during this month’s moon cycle. If you’re not an avid fisherman of living fossils, you’ve likely never heard of a blue sturgeon moon. The term comes from a combination of two rare lunar anomalies–a blue moon and a sturgeon moon–that occur at the same time.

Usually, during the calendar year, we have 12 full moons, as the satellite takes 29.5 days to complete its revolution around the earth. However, because the 12 moon cycles don’t perfectly align with our 365-day calendar, sometimes, we have an extra full moon and end up seeing two in a month instead of the typical one. On August 22, we’ll have a second full moon on the month. The next one will occur on August 31, 2023. The term “blue” in this case signifies an odd and rare occurrence, hence the phrase “once in a blue moon.”

On the other hand, a sturgeon moon refers not so much to a lunar abnormality itself but to the creatures it affects. Since the satellite affects the earth’s tidal force, a full moon means that tides will be higher. This is great news for sturgeon fishers since these fish, known as “living fossils” like to swim inland during the high waters and feed during warmer months. So, instead of having to head out to deep waters for a chance to catch these prized fish, anglers in the Northeast, especially around the Great Lakes, can instead stay closer to shore.

If you know any avid anglers, you know they can be a bit superstitious. From forbidding bananas to spitting on your bait, fishermen and women will do just about anything they can to make sure they have Lady Luck on their side before their hooks hit the water. According to legend, a full moon tends to make people a bit crazy–which coined the term “lunatic.” Whether these are just sturgeon fishermen excited about the blue moon or actual werewolves, we’ll never know. Take a look at these three common superstitions that have evolved from lunar behaviors before the blue sturgeon moon.

Looking at a blue moon through glasses or any other lens will give you bad luck for 30 days. Bad news for any near-sighted folks. You may have to opt for a blurry view of the blue sturgeon moon this month to avoid bad luck for the next lunar cycle.

If you sleep in plain sight of a blue moon, you will go insane. Close your blinds and face the other direction to avoid going insane on the night of the 22nd.

During a blue moon, it is good luck to put a coin in your pocket and turn it over. Thinking of going sturgeon fishing? Take a coin with you for extra good fortune.