take the bait

take the bait

To respond to someone's actions or words in the way that they intended. Likened to a fish attempting to eat the bait on a hook. That's just what he wants you to do. Don't take the bait. The undercover officer changed the conversation to the recent burglary, hoping the thief would take the bait and confess.
See also: bait, take
References in classic literature ?
When they're lousy it's a sign they've all been herdin' together by the thousand, and when they take the bait that way they're hungry.
Daniel, a second year pupil at St Columba's in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, said: "When I felt something take the bait I was shocked and when I realised it was a shark I couldn't believe it.
But alter these misfires failed, they simply retooled their ideas, removed some of the more outrageously bad science and sent it out there, hoping some school district somewhere would take the bait.