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madtom (plural madtoms)

  1. Any of the catfish of the genus Noturus of the family Ictaluridae.
    • 1890, “Amblopites rupestris cavifrons (Cope). "Red Eye."”, in Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, volume 8, United States Fish Commission, page 123:
      Two specimens were taken; one very large example, 9 inches long, i a pool of Bottom Creek, and a small one in the river. The stomach of the large specimen was filled with minnows and "Mad Toms."
    • 1895 July 27, “In Appalachian Folds”, in Forest and Stream, volume 45, page 70:
      We were fishing with "mad toms" for bait; that is what the local fishermen call diminative bullheads.
    • 1916, Horace Kephart, Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers in the Wilderness, volume 2:
      On the Potomac and the Susquehanna rivers a favorite bass bait is what they call a mad-tom, which is nothing but a small yellow catfish (stone cat) with its spines cut off.