swallow the bait

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swallow 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 swallow the bait. The undercover officer changed the conversation to the recent burglary, hoping the thief would swallow the bait and confess.
See also: bait, swallow

swallow the ˈbait

(informal) accept an offer, etc. which has been made or prepared specially by somebody in order to get you to do something: When people read the words ‘Free Gift’ on a magazine they usually swallow the bait and buy it.
A fisherman uses bait to attract fish to his hook.
See also: bait, swallow
References in periodicals archive ?
Once the gator swallows the bait, close the distance and strike with the snatch hooks and/or harpoon.
It will happen again and again until you finally mend your ways and let the fish take out line - 10 to 20 feet, or more - until it finally swallows the bait.
If a fish completely swallows the bait on one of these hooks, or the hook gets under the tongue into the gill area, the soft flesh envelopes the shank and point.