Coral reef fish communities were sampled at the Nayband Marine Park, Iran, using baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVSs) which incorporated animal (i.e. frigate tuna Auxis thazard and beef liver), or plant-based baits (i.e. raw dough and raw dough-turmeric powder mix). The A. thazard was found to record significantly (P < 0·05) higher species richness and number of carnivorous fishes than plant-based baits, while abundance of herbivores was maximum in raw dough-turmeric powder mix trials. There was also a significant difference in trophic composition of fish assemblages surveyed by animal- and plant-based baits which seemed to be due to variations in attraction patterns of carnivores and herbivores occurring at the earlier phases of each BRUV deployments. Meanwhile, the assemblage structure was comparable among fish assemblages sampled by different bait treatments, indicating that species-level responses to each bait type may be more complicated. In essence, the efficiency of mixed baits should also be examined in future studies.