I spend many hours on the river and i am going to say KNOWLEDGE ! Of course being in the right area with the right bait, your going to hook up sooner or later. BUT, having the right equipment & knowing WHERE to look for them is a major key factor. Me and my crew are still fine tuning each year. We find something to tweak to make it just a little better. Fish with different people and you will learn some new trick AS WELL as show them a new trick.
I saw it 1st hand again today. was aboard ACE CHARTERS again on a scouting mission, and he knew what to do to put us on fish. His 20 years of Striper fishing the river helped alot.