Making Money in Moonglow Bay
Selling the fish you've caught and the dishes you've cooked are the most prominent ways of making money in Moonglow Bay. You can also complete requests found on the bulletin board outside of town hall, but that won't bring in nearly as many shells as selling the highest-quality fish and most expensive dishes. But before getting started, there are a few things you'll need to know about how the profit system in Moonglow Bay works.
What You Need to Know About Selling Fish and Dishes in Moonglow Bay
You can sell both fish and cooked dishes at the vending machine, but don't assume that the cooked dishes are automatically worth more. Each cooked dish has a set price that isn't affected by the value of the fish you put into it, so you need to look closely at the selling price of the fish -- which can only be done by approaching the vending machine -- against what its correlating dishes would earn, which can be done in the cooking menu, but approaching the vending machine with the cooked dish will give you a more accurate number.
A duck-billed trout, worth 5 shells, and a banana mackerel, worth 70 shells, can both be used in most of the same dishes. However, if you cooked them into a fish rice bowl, which sells for 20 shells, it would increase the trout's value but decrease the mackerel's. Until you can cook recipes worth more than 70 shells, it would be wise to sell the banana mackerel raw.
Most dishes also cost money to make, and this is very important when calculating their actual value. To know how much your net profit would be, you'll need to take the selling price of the dish and subtract its cost, which appears when selecting a recipe to cook on the left page.
For example, the most expensive fish is easily the Lobster Thermidor, which sells for 1,500 shells. However, it also costs 1,145 shells to cook. In terms of lobster dishes (though it requires a specific species), it's still the most profitable, earning a net total of 355 shells, but don't look only at the selling price for reference.
Unfortunately, there isn't a comprehensive list of every dish and its pricepoint we can give you because it changes based on a few factors:The selling price listed in the cooking window is just the base price; how well you cook the dish, or how many stars you earn, will increase its sale value, as will your level. It can so much as double later on. However, we can give you a few tips that will help you keep in mind what to look for and aim to cook to maximize your net profit.
Best Early Moneymaking Methods in Moonglow Bay
Choosing what dishes are best to cook will depend on what fish you have on hand, but in the first chapter of Moonglow Bay, you'll be limited to low-quality bait, which only catches small fish and a few medium if you're lucky. In the first few hours, Fish Cakes are your friend -- they will sell for 20 shells but don't cost anything to cook and can take basically any regular fish.
When you're lucky enough to catch a medium-sized fish, Tuna Sashimi and Jerk Fish Poutine are great options early on. Sizzling Fish, Whole Fish, and Steamed Purple Tail are also great as they don't cost additional shells but each requires a specific fish.
You should also invest in lobster traps from Abi's shop next to your house. They only cost 10 shells and aren't consumed upon use. Place them in different regions to catch various species of shrimp, lobster, and crab, each of which contributes to highly profitable dishes.
Boiled Lobster is an excellent choice, selling for 40 shells minimum and costs nothing to cook. Crab can be used in Crab Rice, which has a net profit of 35 shells, and shrimp are best used for Surf and Turf until you unlock the Sea Salad.
Most Profitable Fish and Dishes in Moonglow Bay
Starting with Chapter 3 in Moonglow Bay, money will become a more prominent factor in the game. Prior to this, most of your income was likely spent on boat upgrades and increasing dish stack sizes, but now a ton of signs will appear around town requesting renovations, each running you a few hundred shells to as much as several thousand.
Crustaceans and mollusks are some of the most profitable raw sales, so it's worth putting high-quality fish bait into lobster traps and fishing and netting out in Shallow Steam. Giant clams sell for a whopping 233 shells and demon-claw crab for 187. In general, you'll want to focus your efforts on selling dishes, but check the catch's selling price at the vending machine for rare sale prices like these examples before heading into the kitchen.
Here are the five most profitable dishes in Moonglow Bay (calculated by net profit value, or subtracting the cost of cooking from the base selling price):
- Grilled Fish Steaks with Mango Avocado Salsa: 520 shells
- Pan-Fried Mackerel: 360 shells
- Lobster Thermidor: 355 shells
- Rainbow Rice Bowl: 355 shells
- Cedar Plank-Smoked Sail: 330 shells
Secret Tip: Sand Fleas Count as Oysters
Interestingly, sand fleas, which is what you use to craft bait, count as oysters in the cooking menu. This means you can use them for Grilled Oysters (185 shells) after purchasing the recipe from Kevin. Sand fleas can easily be caught in bulk on the beach, meaning they're great for a quick buck.