Type of Dive: Reef / Bolders
Minimum Qualification: Open Water
Depth: 5 - 10 meters
Bait Reef is situated close to shore just off Trial Bay Gaol (the historic gaol). The reef is approximately the size of two tennis courts and lies lengthways parallel to the shore with two or three small bommies lying next to the main reef on the landward side. Bait Reef can usually be seen easily as reaches max depth of 10 metres on the surrounding sand and comes up to approximately 5 metres deep in the centre.
Highlights include the resident Green turtles that can be found often in abundance here. Also look under the small ledges for Pineapple fish and Lionfish. Covered in most part by abundant growth do take the time to look closely at the weed – home to anglerfish, numerous varied nudibranchs, sea hares, juvenile fish and molluscs. Bait Reef is a treasure trove of marine finds and with the shallow depth you have plenty of time to explore
The Reef is usually swept by shoals of bait fish (hence the name!) and also schools of squid. Other visitors are Humpback Whales in season – often seen over the Reef during their annual migration up and down the coast.
Other regular spots: Spotted and Ornate Wobbegongs, fiddler rays, shovel nose sharks or rays, schooling juvenile catfish, bright yellow and black catfish, numerous moray eels often many in the same hole, cuttlefish, small rays and also large black sting rays.
In the calmest of sea conditions this can be dived from the shore but requires a rock entry and exit or a long swim around the breakwall – also don’t forget your dive flag on float as this area is very popular with boats and fishers. A great second dive or night dive location we often try to take divers who have done a number of days diving with us to this site as they always rave about it later.