To lay the bait

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Senior Member
Spanish, from Spain

Does the expression "to lay the bait/to lay out the bait" exist?
Either talking about fishing/hunting, or figuratively.
When we say thay someone or an animal "took the bait" , is it the result of a previous bait that has been laid?
I think I've heard the phrase before, "to lay the bait" but when I type it on Google or a dictionary it doesn't yield any result.
Anyone ever heard or read , "to lay the bait"??

Thank you.
  • akelas

    Senior Member
    Spanish, from Spain
    Ok, thanks.
    I knew I heard it somewhere... But as you confirmed it doesn't seem to be very common since I couldn't find it on the internet.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The rat took the bait that had been laid out/put out/set out for him.

    In an extermination context, or as a metaphor, it sounds fine to me. I know nothing about fishing or hunting.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    …… tends also to corrupt te principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; ……
    THOMAS JEFFERSON, from his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, first presented in 1779

    Fishing examples from Google Books:
    Before you lay the bait, however, be sure that you have already prepared torches made of dried coconut frond to illuminate the scene. (2012)
    The next step, particularly for rigging whole baits, is to lay the bait out on a flat surface, preferably waist-level, and premeasure various distances. (2003)
    With a spey rod, the angler usually can reach over and lay the bait, fly or lure above the fish and drift it past the steelie's head with little or no line touching the water. (2002)
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