The Chemung River originates at the confluence of the Cohocton and Tioga Rivers in Corning and flows through Steuben and Chemung Counties. The Chemung then flows into the State of Pennsylvania and is a western tributary of the Susquehanna River and eventually joins the Chesapeake Bay.
Numerous boat launches maintained by various state and local entities are found throughout the Chemung River in Steuben and Chemung Counties. The various launches consist of both boat trailer and car-top only launches. Please refer to the map found at www.chemungriverfriends.org/launches.php to determine the locations and amenities of the various boat launches. Please note that a low head dam exists within the City of Elmira. A portage site is located immediately upstream of this dam so that canoes and kayaks may be safely carried around this dam.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, chain pickerel, yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, rock bass, brown bullhead, golden shiner, white sucker, common carp.
The Chemung River offers anglers of all ages challenging and exciting opportunities for a wide array of warm water fish species. Most noteworthy are smallmouth bass, superb fighters on light tackle, and walleye, first-rate table fare capable of reaching 6-7 pounds. Various panfish, including rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed and yellow perch, are plentiful. Occasionally, muskellunge or tiger muskellunge (which have been stocked in recent years), have been caught in the Chemung River, providing a chance at a trophy-sized fish. While not traditionally thought of as an angling target, common carp are abundant, large and aggressive fighters while on the hook. Quality fishing opportunities in the Chemung River exist primarily in the spring, summer and fall months. The best time to fish for smallmouth bass is during June and July and in the fall. Light to medium fishing tackle using minnow imitating lures, curly tail jigs, and live bait such as crayfish or minnows are your best choices. Smallmouth bass can be caught all along the Chemung River. Concentrate your efforts in deep pools or at the base of riffle areas.
Most walleye are caught in the deep pools in the Corning area or downstream of Elmira during late spring or early fall. Spinners baited with worms or minnows will usually attract walleye, although curly tail jigs or minnow imitation lures will also work. Sunfish can usually be caught throughout the year. Light tackle baited with crickets, worms, or small spinnerbaits or spinners are your best bet. Sunfish can be found in deep pools around cover, usually treetops, boulders, or riprap.
Special fishing regulations apply for tiger muskellunge and muskellunge in the Chemung River and for smallmouth bass in the Steuben County portion of the river, so please review the Special Fishing Regulations by County section in your Freshwater Fishing Guide.