Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fly Product...TLTFF Review of GPS Fish App by Trimble Outdoors

I was contacted a few months ago, right near the beginning of winter about an app that had been released that was right up my alley. Before we delve into the app itself, let me give you a little background about Trimble Outdoors, the company behind the app, via their site...

Trimble® Outdoors™ is a software product family from Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) – a world leader in GPS since 1978. With Trimble Outdoors, consumers can use their GPS-enabled cell phones to navigate trails and highways, track their fitness performance, geocache, and create, manage and share those experiences with others.

By leveraging Trimble’s 30 years of expertise in GPS, software, and communications, Trimble Outdoors delivers cost-effective and convenient position-based services that promote consumers' well-being, security, and enjoyment.

Though best known for GPS technology, Trimble integrates a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. Its integrated solutions allow customers to collect, manage and analyze complex information faster and easier, making them more productive, efficient and profitable.

Trimble creates unique positioning products applying its technology to everything from planning a day hiking trip or tracking your fitness performance to expeditions to Mt. Everest to projects with NASA. Trimble's portfolio includes over 700 patents and serves as the basis for the broadest positioning offerings in the industry.

Trimble products are used in over 100 countries around the world. More than 3,600 employees in over 18 countries, coupled with a highly capable network of dealers and distribution partners serve and support Trimble customers.

Trimble's family of apps provide trip planning tools via their site and the iPad that allow someone to network to their mobile devices to be used in the field. Trimble has mapping apps, their hunting app and their fishing app that are ideal for the outdoorsman.


The Trimble GPS Fish App was designed specifically for anglers of all types and has three different levels, free, pro, and elite depending on how much money you want to spend and what features are ideal for you. Click here to see what each level allows you to do and click "Features".

It allows the angler to:
  • Create a fish journal: Trimble GPS Fish tracks your daily catches.
  • Lake Maps: See depth contours for 6,900 lakes in the United States. (Elite only)
  • Weather Reports: Check five-day weather forecasts.
  • Sun/Moon: See solar and lunar phases by date and location.
  • Create your own offline map bundles and view maps off-the-grid (Pro app and Elite only)
  • Record unlimited tracks on seamless maps.
  • Navigate with the digital compass.
  • Mark waypoints of spots like a fishing hole, where you caught fish, or the boat dock.
  • Capture photos and videos.
  • See 10+ computer stats, including mileage, speed and direction.
  • Use our online Trip Planner at to scout fishing spots.
  • Auto-sync your private online trips with your GPS Fish phone app.

The Pro Level of the app is $4.99, a bit pricey but for the features, not too bad. For the Elite Level, there are two different ways to join. After a 14-day trial period, Elite will cost either $2.99/month or an annual membership fee is available at $29.99...a $5.89 savings if you decide to go by paying month to month for a whole year. Once you go Elite, you have that level for all of the Trimble apps/sites, GPS Hunt, GPS Fish, GPS Maps, and

We tried out and reviewed the Pro Level of the app for the iPhone (this app is also available for Android and Google devices via the Google Play Store) which allows for everything the Elite does except Mega Offline Maps (by county, state) of Public Lands, Forest Roads, Weather Maps and Lake Maps. Not too big of a deal to miss out on for our area since our DNR maps those out for the public via their site...just takes a little more digging and you have to exit the app to goto Safari and check it out.

We also found that there is a full support section on the apps page to help answer any questions you may have and it is available to all levels of users. 

Click below to...

For those of you who have followed us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you've seen the photos we've been posting all Winter long and how absolutely frozen it has been, making it next to impossible to fish. Finally things have started to melt down, giving us the opportunity to map out trips and actually use the app!

We'll start with the three main buttons of the main menu, "Map", "Weather", and "Fish Feed"...

The detail of the topo aspect of the mapping is unbelievably detailed, especially once you zoom in with a pinching motion. If the topo view is too overwhelming, you can switch, via the "layers" button and under "map type" to an aerial, hybrid, terrain, or streets view. You can also do an overlay of weather (temp, wind speed, doppler radar, and cloud cover), lake contours, forest roads, public lands & GMUs or simply none. The detail that went into designing this map was obviously done by someone who either knows what a fisherman needs when planning a trip or spends a lot of time outside! Under another options menu, within the "layers" selection, allows you to toggle docks, hotspots, obstacles, photos/video/audio (that you yourself take at a location), ramps, waypoints, channels, buoys, and obstacles/reefs on and off. All of these options combined, simply under one of the buttons, allows the user to completely customize their map and trip, making it as easy or as detailed as they want it to be.

With the "mark" button on the map screen, you can take a photo, video, or record audio as well as drop a waypoint or turn on the "track" feature allowing you to track or map out a course as you go...leave bread crumbs.

Under weather, well, you can look at the current weather as well as a 15 day, detailed forecast. The area automatically initially selects your current location but you can check out other locations by clicking and selecting your own. By clicking the "update" button, you can refresh the weather. You can also take a photo in this area to take a pic of the weather if need be.

Off the main menu, you can also click on a section called "fish feed", this is essentially a up-to-date feed of photos and reports from other anglers. To check out these reports and more detail based on photos, you need to have an account established. You can very "everyone"s report or "my friends". You can upload friends via Facebook and share your own reports as well...and again, take a photo.

Under those three main buttons are the options to check out "Active Trip", "Compass", "Computer", "Friends", "Help", "Offline Maps", and "Moon & Sun".

Most are pretty self-explanatory but the "Computer" section is a detailed display of Max Speed, Net Elevation Change, Distance, Bearing to Point, Distance to Point, Heading, and Dropout Time.

The "Moon & Sun" section allows the angler to check out moon phases and dates as well as sunrise and sunset times including twilights and noon time. Again, very detailed and well thought out.

My favorite part of the entire app was the "Jump" feature. At every screen, there is a button on the top right corner that says "Jump". When clicked, this pulls up a menu with every part of the app on it allowing you to jump to that section just like double-clicking the home button on your Apple device.

I took it for a go a few weeks ago on the Gunpowder, mapping out one of my favorite stretches to fish in the upper C&R section. The app worked perfectly, but as with any live-update/online app, it takes data and when the service is bad...the app runs slow and a lot of features don't work. But like I said, thats with almost any app that runs off data, so nothing deducted there.

I mapped out a few sections of the C&O Canal, just to look at it from a topographic standpoint as well as see details of sections I've fished or plan to fish that had brought on new references to certain areas.

I did have the app crash on me quite a few times when I first used it and more recently, it has been crashing much more. I restarted my phone and closed out other apps to see if that was what was causing the crashed but they continued to happen. Fortunately, it saved my progress once I reopened the app but having to go back into it was somewhat of an inconvenience.

All in all, this is probably one of the best apps on the market for the fisherman, especially the fly fisherman. From planning to doing, this app covers all your bases. With the constant crashing and prices factored in, we did have to drop our rating a bit, giving the app 3.75 out of 5 stars. I did submit a report about the crashing and hope that an update will come in the near future. I cannot wait to put this app to use this year and in the following year. I plan on posting photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter of screenshots with the app in use!

Make sure you check the app out on the iTunes store or via the Trimble Outdoors site. Give it a go yourself and let us know what you think!

A big thanks goes to Cory L. from Backbone Media for contacting me and making this review happen. Thank you also Cory for walking me through everything, as in the beginning I had a lot of questions that he answered accurately and timely!

*This review was completely unbiased and this app was paid for by myself out of my own pocket. This review, as with all of our reviews, was completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.


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