Shallow-Diving Crankbaits are made specifically for fishing shallow water. You can fish them over deeper water, but they are much less effective. When bass are in the shallows to feed, a shallow-diving crankbait is hard to beat.
Crankbaits that cover the medium depth ranges (6-10 feet) are some of the best crankbaits to use for smallmouth bass in the spring, fall and during low light conditions in the summer time. At times, smallmouth bass are going to be found much deeper, but these depths do hold a lot of smallmouth bass throughout the year and smallies will usually hit a crankbait when they are hungry. Fish these crankbaits on shorelines with good drop-offs, off of points and over reefs and you should be able to find plenty of smallmouth bass.
Deep-Diving Crankbaits excel when smallmouth bass are in deeper water. During the early spring, summer and late fall, it is common to find smallmouth bass suspended out over deeper water. Deep-diving crankbaits will help you get down to those depths to give you a chance to catch those bass that are much less pressured.
Lipless Crankbaits are arguably one of the best search baits for catching smallmouth bass in shallow water (8 feet or less). These lures still can work over deeper water, but they excel in the shallows for bass that have moved in to feed on bait fish.