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Crankbait fishing lures are relatively short, stubby plugs with a big lip that makes them dive and wiggle when retrieved. They are terrific for imitating shad, minnows, perch, bass, or trout fry, so they are very effective when baitfish or fingerlings are in the water. But they can also draw reflex strikes in many conditions and are very good when run along the bottom and banged into obstacles like wood or rocks.
The crankbait's lip tends to keep the hooks away from obstacles, so don't be shy about contact. Most crankbaits are buoyant and float up on a slack line's stop-and-go retrieve makes the lure dive and rise. Because crankbaits are armed with two sets of treble hooks, it's usually not necessary to put a lot of muscle into setting the hook. Many crankbaits are also available with an internal rattle, which can draw more strikes from inactive fish.