Haven't fished them much since the tackle monkey took over and filled the box with shinier stuff. I used to have my best success with road runners fishing s-l-o-w. Just barely keeping it moving and off the bottom. Also best with a chartreuse curly tail, as I recall.
You might want to add some small inline spinners to your tackle box. White, yellow, or chartreuse rooster tail or mepps about an inch to an inch and a half seem to work well for many of the fish around here. Cast parallel to the banks where the little minnows hide and you can usually pick up a bass, cat, white perch, white bass, or even a sunfish. Ultralite to light gear works best for this size lure. The ones with the feather tails seem to work better than the bare hooks.
For the inline spinners, yes, cast and let it sink for a few seconds to whatever depth you want to start at, then retrieve just fast enough to get the blade spinning. If you were in a school of breaking fish you might trry just ripping it over the surface as fast as you can to see if you could get one to hit it.
Different sizes and brands take different speeds to get the blade moving.