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I can give you a cople of answers, but I need to know: what type of river conditions are you fishing under? What species are you targeting?, What part of the river are you fishing?, what type of gear you will be fishing these cranks on?, Are you wading, shore fishing, or from a boat?, do you know how to use planer boards? With out answers to these ?? all I can say is use something that looks like it might live in the river, cast around "fishy" looking areas, retrieve the lure and do it again.
 
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Little dude the questions you ask. Let me give you the lite version. Crankbaits in rivers can be used in a couple ways, in slack or fast water. In fast water you could use a method called quarter casting and that would be casting across the current and keeping a tight line letting the current do the work. This method is best when you cast the bait into the edge of fast water and letting in pull through the slack water or eddies. Fishing the slack portion of the river is just like in a lake with the exception of the current. Even a slight current will help push your bait around and depending on you casting angle, deeper faster.

Size is any bait that allows you the opportunity to fish the water column without getting snagged on the bottom. I like the bait to just barely tick the bottom and have always had my best luck that way. That just barely scratches the surface on this topic but it’s a good start for such a broad question.
 

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I've had success with Rapalas and shallow-running Rogues using a pull/pause retrieve while the lure moves in the current, or move through a pool.

For deeper divers, take off the front treble hook to reduce snags. Again try a pull/pause retrieve.

Orange/gold or bright colors if the river is muddy, more natural colors if it's clearer.
 
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