School starts soon, and if you, as a parent, missed the opportunity this summer to take your daughter or son to a lake or river in search of sunnies, crappies, bass, northerns or walleyes, commit now to getting them onto the water next summer.

Who knows? The favor might be returned one day — rewarding you with a monster muskie.

That’s what happened last October when Dominic Schneider, 25, of St. Paul called his dad, Mark, and asked him to come to White Bear Lake, where the younger Schneider was fishing.

“I had moved a good muskie that afternoon while fishing with a friend of mine,” Dominic said. “But he had to leave. So I called my dad and asked him to come join me. I said I thought that fish might bite.”

Dominic and his older brother, Nick, fished White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes a lot when they were kids. But what really got them hooked on fishing were the annual trips they made as young boys with their dad and grandpa to Lac Seul, Ontario.

“We were 10 years old before Dad would take us because he thought we might be too impatient to sit in a boat all day,” Dominic said. “It was just the opposite. We’d fish with Dad and my Grandpa Jack [Regenold] all day, then fish off the dock in the evening.”

Fishing is a sport. But it can also be a lesson teacher and relationship builder. Patience must be learned and practiced to be a good angler. Creativity is also required to figure out where fish are and how to get them to bite. Anglers also learn self-reliance and, ultimately, confidence.

But perhaps memories are fishing’s greatest reward — like the ones from Lac Seul that Dominic recalled when he phoned his dad and asked him to join him on White Bear for an evening of muskie fishing.

“Dad had only caught one muskie to that point, and that was by accident when he was trolling for lake trout in Canada,” Dominic said.

That was about to change. With his first cast to a spot Dominic picked, based on his earlier muskie sighting, Mark Schneider hooked a 46-incher and eventually fought the fish to the boat.

“I take my dad and mom fishing a few times every summer,” Dominic said, adding: “It was cool to see him catch it.”

Cool, indeed.