Yup – I remember that article. Pretty impressive.
When I worked in Southeast AK we would fish for halibut from kayaks with a handline. They are incredibly strong fish, and I went for a few “Nantucket sleigh rides” before the jerk at one end or the other cut the line. We would use inflated paddle floats tied to a several feet of floating line and a gaff, and when you would get one to the surface, you’d sink a gaff into the fish, and then let it fight against that for a while till it was tired enough.
A buddy of mine still holds our informal record for landing one from a kayak – 125lbs. It took a team effort with four inflated paddle floats gaffed to this fish, and over an hour, to finally drag it to shore where he killed it. He said that even with four floats attached to it, it would still dive and pull them all under.