Two characters fish from a lake in a blissful stardew valley farm scene with a windmill and forest.

Most Cash Possible in the First Month of Stardew Valley

The good news is that the highest gold-earning I was able to achieve was roughly 120,000 gold by the end of month one, but the bad news is that it’s not very interesting and it won’t help contribute to your community center as much as other methods. This guide, to my personal surprise, solely leverages Fishing as an income and has far surpassed any method I’ve found so far by a factor of about 2-3x.

Important Note:

This is solely focused on achieving the highest amount of cash by the end of your first Spring. Going into your first Summer it is likely a good idea to transition into cash crops such as Blueberries, Hops, and food processing methods such as Fermentation Jars since these will largely outpace the “Fishing Only” income that this guide covers.

Farming is also more active, so by the end of Spring 1 you’ll want to swap to it for your own sanity.

Without any further adieu, let’s dive in!

General Fishing Advice

When it comes to fishing all day, there are a few things to keep in mind that I don’t want to reiterate throughout every single day’s overview.

  • Always pick up forgeable food that is worth energy. Only eating food when you’re low on energy so that you can avoid over-eating and wasting energy.
  • Stop fishing around 12 AM (midnight) every day so that you can get home before as-close-to 1 AM as possible. If you stay up much later you begin to gain less energy from sleep, which impacts your next day’s ability to fish.
  • Check the trashcans across the city while commuting to your fishing spot, they can contain high energy food!
  • Remove all of your tools from your inventory. I suggest putting them in a chest which I’ll go over later (you won’t need them this month and they’ll take up inventory space).
  • Try to keep at least one slot open in your bag at all times. This is because you might catch a new fish, a new fish rarity, or catch a fishing chest which can contain anything from Bait to Diamonds, so it’s always a good idea to ensure that you have space for at least one new inventory item at any given time. Move extra items/fish to your nearby chest (or sell items to Willy if you’re at the Ocean) to clear out your bags.
  • Always have bait on hand after getting an upgraded fishing rod.
  • Be aware of when holidays occur and be prepared to avoid areas to prevent activating them (which will then end your day immediately, reload your game’s save if this happens).

Day 1

When you awake on Day 1 you’ll see a small present on your floor which contains 15 free Parsnip seeds, just go ahead sell them immediately, you are not gonna need them– promise! This is the one day that we won’t spend fishing, so it’s a good idea to spend today getting 100 wood and build two chests, then spend rest of the time foraging for food which gives you energy. You’ll be able to get a few Spring Onions from down south by the sewer entrance, but otherwise foraging is randomized across the whole map. You can also swing by the beach to see if there are items dropped for some early money.

I suggest putting a chest on the Ocean Docks and another by the Mountain Lake.

It’s a good idea to swing by your chests we built and place the forged food in the chest so that you don’t need to carry them with you tomorrow and it does free up space in your inventory which will be good to keep open and available.

Day 2

Right away, head down through the village, hitting trash cans for food, to the ocean which will start the cutscene where Willy will give you a basic fishing rod. Start fishing on the docks, always keeping one slot free in case you catch a new fish or new rarity (deleting fish is bad!) If you’d like to clear your bags out, you can sell fish before 5 pm when Willy closes shop for the day.

Depending on your RNG with fish, you should be able to get roughly level 2 with fishing, which makes your bobber bar height larger making it easier to catch fish as well as decreasing the maximum time for a fish to bite and increasing your chance at catching higher quality fish. Try to catch with Perfect accuracy when possible since it gives you more fishing XP, but don’t sweat it if you can’t (I personally didn’t get a perfect catch until level 3 or 4).

Day 3

Rinse and repeat, hit trash cans on your way to the docks to begin fishing right away. You should be able to catch a handful of fish by the time Willy opens his shop at 9 AM. By now you should have roughly 2,000+ gold by selling both fish and beach collectibles such as shells, muscles, etc. You’ll spend 1,800 of this at Willy’s shop to get the Fiberglass Rod and a bunch of bait (I spend my remaining money on bait, which is ALWAYS worth it since it increases bite rates substantially, but the exact amount of bait I didn’t pay attention to. Purchasing a few hundred is not a bad idea). Buy the rod and fish for the rest of the day, using food when you’re low on energy. Since today is when we get both a rod and bait, our total amount of casts is going to go up substantially, so eating is going to be very important. By the end of the day today I had hit level 4 fishing and reached approximately 1,850 gold again from selling the gold quality fish which begin to appear around this level.

A Quick Note:
After acquiring the Fiberglass Rod your only cost should be to purchase bait in large chunks of 200+, meaning that there’s no benefit to selling your fish every day, especially since as your skill goes up you’re less and less likely to get lower-quality fish. It might be a good idea to stop selling fish on Day 3, then coast off of selling the minimal amount of fish to maintain your bait amounts until you reach Level 10 Fishing when all of your fish become worth even more money.

From this point forward, I’d suggest fishing from the Mountain Lake which I found gained approximately 25% more gold per day due to Bass being worth more money than anything in the Spring Ocean with a higher catch rate. Though it should be noted that fishing from the Ocean can have its benefits such as caching Eels at night (good for if you do care about shooting for the Community Center) and there’s the rare chance you can catch a look at Stardew Valley’s very own Creature From The Black Lagoon which I was lucky enough to see myself.

Day 4

Always be sure to purchase more bait if you need it! Fish all day and sell if you need to. At the end of the day today, I hit Fishing 5 Fishing which you want to pick up the “Fisher” skill which gives your fish 25% more value when sold, so I’d recommend not selling your fish on Day 4 and instead holding onto them in your chest until tomorrow since they’ll be worth more and can be sold to Willy in his shop the following morning without any drawbacks.

Day 5 through 9

Hit the trash cans, drop food in your chest, then head up to the fishing spot of your choice, selling if you need immediate cash for more bait, but preferably just putting them in your chest and waiting for Fishing Level 10 to roll around so that they’ll be worth even more money (since fish value isn’t based on when they were caught, only when they are sold).

Day 10

Demetrius comes to offer you a choice of how to style your cave, I choose the Mushroom setup since it can give you food options on a regular basis. Not all mushrooms give energy, but the ones you cannot eat can be sold in your box for more money.

All days will now become the same except for Day 13

Day 13 is the Egg Festival, regardless if you fish from the Ocean or the Mountain Lake, I’d suggest going to the Mountain Lake today. If you attempt to go to the Ocean today you will trigger the Egg Festival, which will disable your ability to fish and kick you out of the event at 10 PM, essentially removing a whole day of fishing from your profit which is no good.

In order to get to the Mountain Lake without triggering the event, leave your farm using the north-side passage way and reach the lake from the West side. If you attempt to leave your farm from the East, you will trigger the event and lose a day of fishing since the event will kick you out at 10pm once finished.

Repeat until Spring is over!

I fished all the way through the end of Spring and walked out with over 120,000 gold in my pockets, but also I wanted to fall asleep at my desk. The downside of this method is that you’ll find yourself without any progress in the Community Center for spring, but you should be able to set yourself up for high amounts of profit in Summer with your large amounts of gold to dump into farming and unlocking the bus system early, which allows you to make even more money in the mines.

Good luck and happy harvests!